“Photography is a passion, not a job. Creating a vision for others to experience is such an honor.”
Photographer Luke Braswell is always looking to help others in bringing their vision to reality. Showing the world how beautiful things truly are from the perspective of the ones who care the most brings a new light onto every subject and that is what he strives to provide in his work. This week we sat down with Luke Braswell and had a little Q&A session to get to know the person behind the lens.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? What do you do, etc.
My name is Luke Braswell. I am from Oklahoma and went to school for Photographic Technologies at OSU IT. From there I went on to do a couple staff photography positions and freelance work. And now I work for Bedford Camera & Video as the Director of Education.
How did you get involved with Photography?
When I was a sophomore in high-school I started getting an idea for it. I started out shooting basketball games, football, you name it. At the time I had no idea was I was doing, but the lady who got me interested said, “Don’t worry about it, just put the strap over your neck, point and shoot.” It all kind of started from there. I thought to myself “I really enjoy this and have a great time doing it” and so I continued photographing sports events, and then went onto senior portraits for fun.
Who/what inspires you? Where do you find inspiration? Which other photographer’s work do you admire and why?
So one photographer basically taught me everything that I know. His name is Nathan Harmon who is based out of Tulsa, OK and travels all over the world doing things. He is definitely the photographer that is at the forefront of my inspiration. Just because he is a solid photographer and has been there with me from the start teaching me what to do. Because When I got into college I was shooting in auto mode, I had no idea what I was doing, I was just pointing and clicking, hoping something would work. He really instructed me and now I am who I am because of him. As far as a daily basis inspiration, one of my favorite photographers is Erik Almas who originated from Norway. He travels the world now doing commercial photography, and is one of the most spectacular photographers I have ever seen. He is also a great instructor. I have had the privilege of getting a few of his tutorials and they are remarkable.
And then of course, you know, good old fashion Pinterest and Instagram give me inspirations.
What do you like most about photography and this line of work?
It’s ever-changing. It’s never boring. The fact that I have gone from full-frame Nikon system to a crop sensor Fujifilm is crazy. If you would have asked me that four years ago, three, years ago, even earlier this year I would have never imagined that I would’ve switched. Technology has changed so much, and that influences photography greatly. That’s a huge portion of it.
Photography is a language barrier destroyer. It’s similar to math in that it’s the same everywhere in the world. You could be working with someone who has never spoke English in their life, or never spoke anything, they could be mute, and then you show them “hey I want to take a picture” by gesturing with your camera, and they are like “yeah, okay, great!” And the fact that it can convey so many emotions, it is an art form. It’s something you have to practice and get good at it, but anybody can do.
What do you like to shoot?
So theres a few things that I really enjoy photographing. Automotive is huge. I love cars, i love taking photos of cars. Portraiture, I love getting just these crisp photos of eyes. It doesn’t matter if I am shooting in studio or on location, having those crisp eyes makes a portrait. Those are definitely some of my favorite things to photograph.
What would you say your style is and how did you find it?
So, when I started I was horrendous. Yeah, everything about what I did when I started was horrendous. When I started my style was basically, out of focus, that’s probably the best way to explain that. Now, I would say crisp and clean. I don’t typically do a lot of elaborate things, or if I do it doesn’t look it. My processing is very clean and crisp.
What are some challenges you encounter with your type of photography and how do you approach those challenges?
I mean working with people is always a challenge. Working with people’s very expensive toys is always a challenge. But, that is kind of the beauty of it. Being able to connect with somebody that you may have never met, getting the communication and trust built to let you take a photo of them or their possessions is a really cool thing.
What advice would you give to anyone who is trying to find their niche or just getting into photography that you wish you knew when you started?
The best camera is the camera you have. That’s probably the biggest thing. I hear people all the time say, “Oh well I can’t really do this because I don’t have a good camera.” Well you have a camera, even if it’s your cell phone, that’s huge! Also, shoot. Shoot everyday. That’s the key, if you want to learn how to photograph something, or just learn anything, do it. Practice makes perfect.
What are you currently working on?
This is not what anybody else really wants to do, which is kind of crazy, but stock photography. Just something that could be hung in a generic hallway of a hotel. That’s actually something that I have been really interested in doing. That’s something I am working on currently, is getting photography that can be utilized for many applications, not just a personal standpoint.
What do you shoot with? What are some of your go-to’s as far as equipment goes?
Cameras: Nikon D800, Fujifilm X-T2
Video: the cameras mentioned above as well as Sony FS5, FS7, & Rode VideoMic Pro.
Lenses: Fujifilm 56mm F1.2, Fujifilm 23 F2, Nikon 24-70mm F2.8, Nikon 85mm F1.8
Lighting: Natural light, Profoto Strobes, Interfit S1’s Location Kit.
What will you be speaking on at MAPSym?
At MAPSym I will be talking about videography and DSLR video. Touching on tips and tricks to start your DSLR video project.
Where can we view more of your work?
You can view more of my work at lukebraswell.com
or on Instagram @luke.t.braswell