LUMUNAUT STORY #68: FASHION & BEAUTY PHOTOGRAPHER: CALVIN ACOSTA
January 26, 2018
"when I would see the images that the hubble space telescope would transmit showing the beauty of the universe around us I knew I wanted to capture the beauty of it as well"
WHERE DID YOU MEET PHOTOGRAPHY OR WHERE DID IT MEET YOU?
When I was a child I wanted to be an astronomer, until I picked up my first DSLR when I was a teenager and fell in love with photography. I still love astronomy but I don’t believe I could match the passion I have for it like I do with photography! I always loved the feeling of mystery when I looked up into the night sky. Every point of light was a star twinkling billions of miles away, and I often thought of how many other worlds could there be with kids staring up at the night sky wondering the exact same thing. With photography I am able to capture my imagination my parallel universes my thoughts, desires, emotions and when I would see the images that the hubble space telescope would transmit showing the beauty of the universe around us I knew I wanted to capture the beauty of it as well
Shot with the aid of Lumu Power Light Meter
WHAT ATTRACTS YOUR CREATIVITY TO THE WORK YOU SHOOT?
Textures really get my creative juices flowing I love things like freckles, coarse hair, satin fabrics, velour, brick walls glass buildings, sweat, faux fur, even scars. Really anything that evokes a sense of touch is what draws me to a subject or a concept. I want people who view my photos to get a feeling of depth or to see a story from my photos without having to know anything about the subject.
WHERE DO YOU THINK THE WISDOM AND INSTINCT FOR GOOD PHOTOGRAPHY COMES FROM?
I truly think it comes from failure and trial and error! We as photographers start off shooting really anything we can just to tinker with the camera and learn it’s settings. It’s really only until later in our journey that we develop our own personal tastes and styles. Once you realize what you love to shoot and what resonates with you, then you will know what is your personal idea of a “good photograph” art is very subjective haha!
WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SHORT LIVED SUCCESS AND LONGEVITY AS A PHOTOGRAPHER ESPECIALLY WITH THE ADVENT OF SOCIAL MEDIA?
The difference between short lived success and longevity comes from establishing yourself as a brand more than just taking a pretty picture. You have to understand what makes you unique in the sea of competition among creators. Social media has made being a photographer more accessible than ever and it’s bittersweet but what separates photographers from social media enthusiasts is passion! Even if I wasn’t able to display my work on instagram that wouldn’t stop me from creating it. Instagram photographers are short lived, they will only create so long as they have an app to display that work. There's no true depth behind it, that’s why people like Annie leibovitz or Ansel Adams have legacies because they had passion and didn’t just do it for a like or two.
WHAT IS IN YOUR CAMERA BAG?
A Nikon D7100 and the holy trinity of prime lenses a 35mm, 50mm and an 85mm. I also shoot with a Tamron 18-250mm lens for fashion to get that elongated distorted look. There's also a speedlight spare batteries, some business cards and of course my Lumu light meter
WHERE WOULD BE YOUR DREAM DESTINATION ASSIGNMENT?
My dream destination wouldn’t necessarily be another country, or an exotic location surprisingly. The only spot that i’ve ever dreamed of shooting in would be on the set of a major fashion editorial, being the photographer capturing covers for publications like vogue. So in a way I guess really anywhere is my dream location as long as I’m experiencing that feeling of teamwork like you do shooting fashion editorials with a whole team of creators
IF YOU COULD CARRY ONLY FOUR (4) PIECES OF EQUIPMENT TO A PARALLEL UNIVERSE (NO PHOTO EQUIPMENT ON THE OTHER SIDE) FOR A YEAR, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
That’s a tough question! I would of course bring my camera haha but with that I would bring a tripod and good all around lens and maybe a flash. I was going to say my cell phone but I would imagine that would be rather useless in another universe. Not really sure if my wireless provider covers different universes.
WHAT LEGACY DO YOU WANT TO LEAVE OF YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY?
I want future creators to remember my style of photography and my passion for what they are. I want them to draw inspiration from it to form their own passion and concepts! I want people to look at works of mine in their art classes or history books. I want what I do now to be considered “classic” in the future. Just like the great artists before me, I want to be a great artist before them.
IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE FINAL PIECE OF ADVICE TO YOUR FELLOW PHOTOGRAPHERS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
The best advice I could give you is to stay true to yourself, it sounds generic but it’s true for the longest time I doubted myself and felt as though I needed to mimic the work I was seeing around me to try to be relevant and that shouldn’t matter. Shoot everyday until you know what you like, and what you don’t like. Realize that not everyone is going to view your work the way you do and that’s completely okay! You can’t please everyone but you need to make sure you’re happy with what you put into this world because ultimately that’s your legacy and its 100 percent in your own hands. Have patience with photography rome wasn’t built in a day and you can’t expect to pick up a DSLR and know it all. Being a photographer is a badge that is earned, just like with any craft you need to learn your equipment before you give yourself that title. Network and make friends who share your passions don’t feel as though you can’t ask for help!
YOUR READERS CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOU VIA?
You can find my portfolio at www.calvinaaron.net or you can keep up with me on www.instagram.com/calvinaacosta