Thursday, October 6, 2011

Interview with Chris Talbot (September 23, 2011)

1. Lets just start off with a brief bio, where you are from and how you got started?
Chris- I’m from Malibu California. Moved to Tahoe when I was 13, and I’ve lived in Incline for 35 years now. I try to spend as much time during the winter overseas. My specialty is taking photographs. I can do very little things very good but I can take photographs very well… I’ve learned the whole spectrum of photography from shooting kids, weddings, portraits, into the food industry, hospitality shots, lifestyle and all the way through into extreme lifestyle stuff, sports and finally landscapes and that’s what I’m most proud of is my landscape photography… My job is to photograph everything that is not sad, not bad, and that’s not mad in this world.  I don’t want to be the guy catching all the images of Libya or the horrible things in life. I’d rather show off what’s good and what keeps us going to be better people or to sustain for our children and our grandchildren… My bio is I am a good photographer and hopefully I care about the world, especially my family, start there and move you’re way out and if you can help other people.
2. When did you first discover your creative talents?
Chris- My dad gave me a camera when I was 18. I was on my way to school in Hawaii. I spent my first 2 years at the Chaminade University of Honolulu and I still have the camera today and it’s all cleaned up… When I was 18, my dad gave me that camera that inspired me to really start shooting… (Camera was a Minolta T202) I took it around the world, I had it with me with a 15mm lens on it and that’s it, that was my direct research project at USC and I got a really good portfolio from one lens on one camera… I’ve got 15 cameras and I use mainly five of them and the other ones are hard to get rid of.
3. Could you tell us about some of your work?
Chris- The stuff I’m doing now, the one that pays the bills, is shooting developments, hotels, trying to show off the amenities of the place. Trying to show of the beauty…Try to create things that are not there yet… I’ve got an edit all day long. I’m doing a new property called Shaffer’s Mill in Truckee Ca. It will be very nice one day but we have to show it off to the people and potential clients… Doing that stuff is fun but it’s not fun, what I like to do is get to my landscape photography… I should be shooting this afternoon… I tend to shoot a lot on the north shore and on the east shore. I don’t get over to the west shore though… I’m doing a lot of portraits as well… Wedding seasons is ending and I’ve done 38, which is low for me, normally I do 50… Weddings are insane, I’ve done 850 of them, and they grow on you… 
4. What is it like to travel the world doing what you love?
Chris- Really fun… the anticipation is one of the greatest feelings in the world… the trips that I take and sometimes my wife and baby take, and we done this a couple time to Vietnam… Those trips are very fun… Travel is different then journey, I journey when I go.  Once I have a curtain amount of time set aside and some money set aside and some jobs in there, so I can go out there and know I’m going to make some money… We will be spending sometime in Saigon…We be going in January, will be there for 3-4 months… To be honest with you, I can work a lot more there then I can here… for small hotels, larger hotels, golf courses… that tends to be the future of photography… There are a million pictures of Niagara falls and Emerald bay, the key is shooting stuff that’s hasn’t been to photographed yet.
5. What was your most enjoyable location to photograph? 
Chris- I really like photographing Thailand or Southern Cambodia, and there is another place called Phu Quoc, Vietnam. Those places were really fun. And I just went to Con Dao last year… This place had tiger cages and torcher. It’s like there Alcatraz… When I got there it was a great location, right now it’s my favorite place to go in Vietnam, its quiet and up and coming… Actually I probably haven’t been to the place I like the most…Palawan is probably my next place… and I want to go see Borneo… the answer is, I probably haven’t been there yet, cause its always what’s next is the coolest thing… the one last place that I went to that was really exciting to shoot… Tahoe… Tahoe and Nevada…  It my state and my hometown. There so many images out there that no one has taken...

6.  What inspires you to keep going and how do you keep your self motivated?
Chris- Money. Money is important.  I have a friend who is an artist as well. He came up last month and saw all my posters and canvas around town… I thought he was going to say, “Dude you sold out”, we used to talk about that, you can’t sell out. But what it comes down to is making money, and if you want to be a photographer you have to make money… The benefits of running your own business and doing what you want are also part of it. But making money is the key because we have to survive, and now I have kid… Before I was cursing around Asia for 12 years having a pretty good time, and shooting everywhere from Japan to Singapore.  So many times I think I did 15 trans-pacific return flights in that time… Travel is the best thing for you, the best thing for you.  You know the best reason for travel? It grounds you…  I’ve seen how the world views the world, not just how we as a western society, but there is so many different thoughts. 
7. Any influences or anyone you look up to when it comes to your work?
Chris- Frans Lanting
  Galen Rowell
  Ansel Adams
8. Any advice for aspiring artists?

  Chris- Identify… 80 percent of photography is getting the camera to the location and in position. 10 percent is Knowledge and the other 10 percent is pure luck…

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