Interview With: Sean McGrath
You might remember that part of my blog resolutions this year was to showcase local shoppes and local artists. I’ve started my list of people I want to interview this year – and coming up with 52 names is easier than I thought! (Although, if you have any suggestions, please pass them along!)
When you think of style and you think of fashion, the first thing that comes to mind (after shopping, of course) is photography! Where would I be without a camera?!
I caught up with Sean McGrath and asked him a few questions – take a peek!
Hi Sean! Tell me a bit about yourself and your photography business!
Well, by day I am software developer who builds everything from Photoshop plugins and iPhone apps to web sites and web applications. When I am not doing that, I am pretty much always in photography mode. While I love the software world, photography is definitely what I love the most.
Photography isn’t my full time job, like a lot of people think, and I am keeping it that way on purpose. I fear that the second that photography becomes my primary income source it will start to feel like a job and I’ll have to take jobs that I’m not excited about anymore. The way it is now, every shoot is still exciting and it doesn’t feel like work… and I think that gives me a bit of an edge.
When did you first pick up a camera? I want to know about your first roll of film!
The first roll of film I ever shot was at my high school graduation on my Dad’s Nikon SLR. After that I didn’t really pick up a camera until about 3 years later when I bought my first point and shoot digital camera. My first digital SLR came 3 years ago so I could have something to take decent pictures with on my honeymoon.
Have you had formal training?
Everyone wonders, but never asks. How many photos do you take before you have one that you’re specifically proud of?
It depends on the shoot really. One of my favorite images came from a shoot where I only took about 30 pictures. Looking back at my 2010 year in review blog post, I had a hard time narrowing it down to 100+ images that I was really proud of.
You have to have a favourite lens! What is it?
I love both my 35mm f/2 and 50mm f/1.4 a lot! My zoom lenses are nice, but not my favourites.
When did you decide that you wanted to make a business out of your photography hobby?
Last year (2010) was my first year really trying to make it a business. It was my first year shooting weddings. I made the decision to focus primarily on shooting weddings, portraits and bands photography.
How would you describe your style of photography?
Some words that come to mind are organic, modern, natural and classic. And yes, I used both modern and classic in there because I think my style has a modern look that isn’t so trendy that it should have a classic lasting appeal. Natural because I don’t like to pose my subjects very much and like to capture them in real moments. No fake smiles. For couples that means capturing them interacting with one another, showing real feelings and emotions instead of just looking into the camera. Lastly, I’ve stepped away from very heavily processed/photoshopped images in favour of more organic looking ones, often trying to recreate some of my favourite looks you get from shooting film.
Your wife has started doing makeup; tell me about that!
Makeup to her is like photography for me, i.e. she is self taught and does it because she loves it! She recently attended a workshop by one of her favorite makeup artists and has since started to pursue it as a business as well. Living with a photographer, and being one herself, she really knows how to do makeup that lasts and looks amazing on camera. I am by no means an expert on makeup, but I can certainly see a huge difference whenever I am photographing makeup she has done. We now team up on most of our shoots offering both photos and makeup together. It’s a great combination, I think.
(She is currently available for booking for whatever event you need makeup done for. Her website in under construction right now, but she has a Facebook page up at: http://www.facebook.com/PersonaBella)
A few questions just for fun…
What is your favourite song right now? The Wild Hunt by The Tallest Man on Earth
What is your desert island CD? (The one album you’d listen to forever) That’s a tough one, but I’d probably have to say either Siamese Dream or Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by The Smashing Pumpkins.
What is your favourite television show? It was Lost, but now I’d have to say House and The Walking Dead. Just started getting into Breaking Bad and that could become my favourite though.
Tell me about how to get a hold of you and how far in advance you should be booked!
For a portrait session you should get in touch at least 2 weeks in advance. For weddings I am already booking into 2012 so if you are getting married June-September next year, I wouldn’t wait much longer!
And now for the exciting part!
Sean has offered one lucky reader a 50% discount off of a photo shoot with him!
Sound exciting? It’s the perfect opportunity to get your girlfriends together!
Here’s how to enter:
1. Like Sean McGrath on Facebook!
2. While you’re there, like Persona Bella, too!!
3. Come back to my blog and leave a comment.
That’s all! I’ll draw for a winner (and a runner up) on Wednesday, January 19th at 5pm. I’ll e-mail the winner(s) and post the results back here. This giveaway is open for anyone living in or around Saint John. Please, feel free to leave a comment!
Thanks so much to Sean!