Brock Lawson is a fashion photographer from Houston, Texas and is our latest StarNow competition winner. When we first saw Brock’s work we were really impressed by his simple yet engaging style of fashion photography and were really keen to interview him for Urbanity Chic so that we could share some of his interest, experiences and impressive portfolio of work with you. Read on to find out, amongst other things, what his career highlights have been, how he would define his personal style and what he’s hoping to achieve for the next 12 months.
Q: Who are you called?
My name is Brock Lawson and I go under the name of Brock Lawson Photography to keep it simple for clients. Although, just recently I have officially added Amy Wigley to my team as a Photoshoot Coordinator to help relieve some of the planning duties.
Q: How did you get into professional photography?
I received an old .3 megapixel Fuji point and shoot from my father in Junior High. I started playing with it and moved my way up to a DSLR shortly after. I worked for a GM car dealership when it went bankrupt and began looking for a different profession. I began working on the transition to portrait photography and then was drawn into fashion and have been ever since.
Q: What do you enjoy most photographing?
I love shooting fashion. I prefer breaking rules and shooting it wide angle as well. I love strobe lighting and use it for all of my images whether in studio or mixing it with ambient outdoors.
Q: How has the last 12 months been for you?
The last 12 months have been pretty good for me. I began working full time for a fashion retailer as a photographer so personal projects have been slower than the previous year but I feel like I have grown tremendously this year. I set a goal to become much better at post processing and create a unique style for myself, which I feel I have accomplished.
Q: Who inspires you?
I wouldn’t say whom but what. I draw my inspiration from many different places. I love the fantasy genre and draw lots of inspiration from it. I also find lots of inspiration in folk music and classic movies. I have also always been interested by the Victorian period and the wonderful details on their clothing. I like to give my photographs a mysterious edge that keeps the viewers interested in the story behind the photograph.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
Personally, I am very interested in Tom Ford’s menswear. I am not a menswear photographer but it fits into my own personal style. Visually, I am extremely interested in Alexander McQueen’s incredibly detailed pieces. Also, going back to my love of fantasy and Victorian things, I have been interested in following the collections from China’s Guo Pei.
Q: What makes a good photographer in your opinion?
I love photographers who let their personality show in their work. Anyone can properly expose a photo and frame good composition but that isn’t what fashion is about. Fashion is about showing weakness, breaking rules and pushing towards the boundaries of fine art. I think photographers need to keep this in mind and always remember art is subjective. Don’t hold back on your visions to conform to the standards. Always push that line.
Q: Do you prefer using film cameras or digital?
I feel at home using digital. I have a few film cameras that I use for street photography and the like but I never share those photos because they don’t fit in with my body of work or the direction I want to go with my career. I use them more for visual exercises to help with creativity.
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
Either works for me. It really depends on what the concept is for the shoot and what will work best to create the images I desire.
Q: Do you have a specific style of photography that makes you unique?
I think every photographer has a unique style, including myself. But I don’t think it is something that can really be defined. Everyone’s vision will always be different from the next person. I enjoy seeing the outcomes from various photographers at workshops. It always interests me how even though the set, styling, and model are exactly the same. Every single person there interprets the scene differently.
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
Many! But currently I am in love with an image by Ruven Afanador of a man and a woman in an garden. The man has blue tooling tied around his head like a present and the woman has this amazing hair. The image has a 1920’s English feel to it and it is just gorgeous. The image is just one from the set but it just strikes a wonderful feeling in me. You can tell there is a backstory to the set and it really intrigues you to stare at it and figure it out. If you visit his site, it is slide number 25 under selected works > fashion.
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
So many to name! From the old masters it would be have to be Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Cecil Beaton and all the other greats. And some of the more modern ones are, Eugenio Recuenco, Melissa Rodwell, Ruven Afanador to name a few.
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with (either behind or in front of the camera)?
I would love to work with Melissa Rodwell some day. Her work has always been inspiring to me and her blog is amazing. She seems like a great person to be around and I have a feeling I would learn a lot just being at one of her shoots for even an hour.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to be is no limits. It is artistic expression at its most primal. Trends come and go but in every piece and collection, the heart and soul of the designer is throughout. Fashion is also a history book in a sense. You can look at collections and images from the past and really see what was going on in the world and the general mood of mankind.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
I try not to define it. I don’t want to ever be stuck doing the same thing over and over so I like to keep it free and open. I let the themes and stories develop organically to portray just what I was feeling during that moment.
Q: Where are you based?
Houston, TX USA
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Frustrating at times. Weather is always a battle. It is either extremely hot and makeup melts off models faces with in minutes or it is raining. In my opinion, the general attitude of the industry here is all sorts of messed up. We have photographers whose egos are big as Texas and models that think Kate Moss should kiss the ground they walk on. Although I’m sure most locations are like that. The Houston way is to be selfish; it has always been that way. I think we could have an amazing fashion scene if people would work together and create a positive environment for us all to thrive in and enjoy. There is an extreme lack of humbleness by most of the industry here and lots of bark but no bite. Of course, not everyone is that way. And to be honest, it is our way of life down here. It is the way it has always been and always will be. It wouldn’t be Houston if it was any different.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
I was featured on Italian Vogue’s Photo Vogue as one of the top images of the day. I have a love for all things Vogue and it was pretty awesome to see my image and name on the main page.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in the future?
The near future will be a website update. Longtime, I’m looking to get more publication work. There is something so satisfying about seeing your work printed in magazines. I’m also looking to travel sometime soon and shoot in other countries.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I enjoy watching old and obscure movies. I also do my fair share of playing video games. I’m a big car enthusiast as well and try to spend as much time as I can working on cars and just being around motorsports in general.
Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?
I’m not much of a holiday fan but I would love to travel more. I spent my childhood constantly moving throughout the US and have seen most of what it has to offer. But I haven’t been overseas at all and want to experience Asia and Europe in the near future.
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
Way too many to count. I love music of all varieties and have a 160 GB iPod that is completely full. But on a daily listen is anything by The Decemberists. They have been my favorite group for many years and have helped me through rough times. I am always inspired by all of their tracks and listen to them religiously!
Q: Do you have any interesting hobbies?
I’m a huge car enthusiast. It is what I went to school for and I made a career out of it for quiet a while. I work on a blog dedicated to road racing and try to spend as much time as possible immersing myself in the sport. I have been working on making my own car these past few months ready for the race track and plan on spending some considerable time there this year.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for aspiring photographers what would it be?
Stay humble. It is my number one pet peeve and I refuse to work with people who think they are the greatest model/stylist/MUA that has ever walked the earth. No matter what, there is always someone better than you. And that is a good thing! It helps you strive to become not only a better photographer, but a better person. Never ever talk down to fellow photographers or let your ego get in the way.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
Personal expression. Every person sees the world in a different way. And I think it is nice being able to show other people my own view on life.
Editor’s Note: Brock Lawson has in incredible fashion portfolio that is both appealing simple, dynamic and has incredible commercial appeal. Definitely one of Urbanity Chic’s “Ones to Watch for 2012 and beyond!”
If you’d like to contact Brock Lawson or check out more of his impressive portfolio just follow the links below:
twitter link: http://www.twitter.com/brocklawson
facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/brocklawsonphoto
web page link: http://www.brocklawsonphoto.com