Where are you from and how has being there affected your creativity?
I’m from a small New Hampshire town an hour north of Boston.
Explain what initially got you into shooting?
I grew up with two grandparents that loved photography and always supported my art. I had always wanted to be an illustrator but my grandmother made me learn how to shoot on her 35mm film camera as a kid. Later while I was in college taking editing classes I decided to invest in a DSLR and take photography seriously.
Explain what does an average day look like for you?
I don’t know if I live the most exciting life, I’m kind of an old soul.. That being said I like to sleep in if I can, grab my bags that I packed the night before and head straight to a shoot after a shower and a meal. I’ll meet the model or client at a location and get to work, playing some music if I can. After that I’ll head home or to my girlfriends. I don’t think I know how to just hangout without shooting anymore so most of my free time is spent shooting friends and when I’m not shooting I’m editing into the late hours of the night.
What things do you look at or watch for inspiration?
My Instagram feed is pretty killer right now. I found a long time ago that surrounding yourself with people and things that inspire you help to motivate you through the day. I use a ton of other social media but I mainly monitor Instagram and Youtube unless I have some time to sit back and watch a movie. There’s nothing like a beautifully shot film.
What is a quote or motto that you live by?
“Jack of all trades, master of SOME”
What camera setup do you currently use (camera, lens, other accessories, etc)?
I currently shoot on a Canon 5D MK III. My Tamron 24-70mm 2.8 with VC is my work-horse lens. Always carry a prime though; for me it’s the 50mm 1.4 and I like to keep the 40mm 2.8 pancake in my bag no matter what I’m shooting. I’ll carry at least one YN600EX-RT with me for light. My latest obsession is my little Instax mini 8 so I like to take that along with some packs of film. Other than that I make sure to carry my Macbook Pro, extra batteries, lens caps & hoods, all the basic little things. These are all in my Lowepro bag. I believe it’s the 250AW. Oh if you grab an Eye-fi card make sure to bring a tablet so that your client can review the photos during the shoot!
What do you specialize in or what do you enjoy shooting the most and why?
Portraits. When I wanted to be an illustrator all I would draw is people and now that my art has changed the subject remains the same. People are natural works of art and to be able to capture what makes someone beautiful or represent the elegance that they exude is something special.
Since we believe that music is the center around all things creative, what are your top 3 music albums, and what about those albums that gets you in a creative zone?
Oh boy. I honestly like anything but country (sorry, not sorry country fans). Top 3 albums just off the top of my head would have to be: Avenged Sevenfold’s self titled album, “Toxicity” by System of a Down and “Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magik” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers. I probably wouldn’t rock out to any of these albums at a shoot but I might get pumped to these on the drive over! There’s something rhythmic about these albums with the last two being a little on the groovy side. I guess it’s all about those chord progressions!
Who are some shooters that you follow and what do you admire about their work?
I could pick out three favorites right now, my Instagram favorites. Gregorio Campos, Max Thompson and Mike Tang aka Ohrangutang. Gregorio makes every woman behind his lens look like a sex symbol. There’s nothing more gratifying than taking someone’s photo and knowing that everyone who sees the photo will know just how beautiful they are. I could say the same about Max but for me it’s more about the way he captures light and contrast and the way he composes his shots. To me he’s the whole package when it comes to style. Ohrangutang has something special that could be said about the other two but no one achieves this like him. His look. Every single thing he posts just screams “Ohrangutang” and in a good way. I can scroll down my feed and see a photo of his and know immediately that it’s him. You just don’t come by that very often and I would feel blessed if I could get to that point. It seems like I see a new photography trying to imitate his style every other week but no one does it like him. Check out his coloring and you’ll see what I mean.
What is one tangible piece of advice that you would give somebody who has just started shooting? (besides shooting more)
To someone just starting? Everyone will tell you light is the most important thing. It is but it’s not the ONLY important thing. While you’re learning how to take a photo correctly and learning all the rules just remember to get moving! Don’t stand there and shoot your subjects straight on, using the zoom on a kit lens to compose. Grab a used prime lens and move your feet! Bend your knees! Find new and different angles! If your in a photography class and everyone is photographing the same subject but you want to stand out. Change your exposure isn’t gonna cut it. Get down on the ground or climb up on something!
Random Question: What has been the best day of your life so far?
Well I’m still young yet so I have a feeling my best days are ahead of me yet. As it stands now though; probably my fifth birthday when I got a Gameboy Color and Pokemon. Not sure how I’ll top that one though.
What is next for you?
Hopefully a move! I have my sights set on warmer climates for a permanent residence. In my almost 23 years of life in New England I cannot say that I’ve enjoyed one winter here. That and I want to move somewhere with more opportunities so that I can continue to shoot the things I love and meet even more people that have the same passions that I do.
Where can people find you?
You can find me on Instagram as @cjclivio or even check out my website CameronClivio.com