Derek Blanks: Lights, Camera, Magic

Derek Blanks Photography

BE-Style: How did you get involved in photography?

DB: As a child, I studied and developed my craft as an Artist. From there, I pursued and achieved a professional background in Illustration that I carried over into photography. Directly after college, I begin my professional career as an Illustrator with a design company. Within my position in this company, I would often use a digital camera as a medium for my designs. From there, I became more intrigued by the lens and what I was able to capture with it. I pursued this interest in photography, transitioning from hobby to profession.


BE-Style: How much of current day photography is done with digital camera versus traditional film based cameras?

DB: A lot of it nowadays is digital. Film is still relevant being that it is the foundation of photography.


BE-Style: What new angle are you bringing onto the photography scene?

DB: I continue to push myself creatively and explore different aspects of art, more specifically photography. I believe that you have to continue to study and strive towards perfecting your craft. It’s a continual process that I belive you have to force yourself to do to remain current and to also just be the best you can.


BE-Style: How are you differentiating yourself/work and what do you want to become known for?

DB: I differentiate myself because of my illustrative background. I’m a fine artist painter and illustrator by trade so I try to let that come across in photos through my use of color and my composition.

Derek Blanks Photography

BE-Style: How do you get ready for a shoot? Where do you get your inspiration?

DB: In preparing for a shoot, I always like to pull inspiration and get background on the project. I usually get ready for a shoot by doing research Derek Blanks Photographyand coming up with a solid concept…my inspiration comes from pop culture, music, CDs, magazines, videos.


BE-Style: Name a couple photographers (past or current) whose work you admire.

DB: David La Chappelle, Bruce Webber, Mark Baptiste, I’m also inspired by painters such as Remere, Michael Angelo, and Renaissance artists.


BE-Style: How do you maintain your own point of view and “style” in your photography while also delivering on the wants/needs of your clients?

DB: I just do me; I don’t try to mimic any other photographers or artists. I do what comes to me, and what inspires me. Fortunately, I have a corporate background so I understand the basic needs of the client, which keeps me from going too far to the left.


BE-Style: Would you ever or have you ever walked away from a job because it didn’t represent who you are or how you want to be viewed as an artist?

DB: Yes, I have walked away from several jobs that I didn’t feel were fit. Anything that is not morally sounds, I pass. I have had many opportunities to represent different modeling agencies, however I felt that they didn’t represent their client’s best interest so I passed. At the end of the day all we have as people, is our name.


BE-Style: What’s your take on other photographers using your Alter-Ego idea?

DB: Imitation is the best form of flattery. I agree with this, but I feel that the photographers that are doing it should put their own creativity into it, so that they are not just emulating. After this project, I plan on moving on to better things as well, so I don’t mind.


BE-Style: How has business changed for you since being on the “Reality” franchise?

DB: It has increased. Instead of me being known in the industry, I have become known internationally.


BE-Style: Can persons that admire your work find it on display in a Gallery?

DB: Currently no, but I am working on an alter ego portfolio, and doing a book tour through different cities. Hopefully it will be on a coffee table near you!


BE-Style: What suggestions can you provide for those who have a passion/desire to get into this line of work?

DB: Study your craft; make sure you look at magazines. Look at the covers and make sure that you are paying attention to modern day trends. Push yourself to be creative, innovative and do it for the love of the craft, not the money.



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