Today we bring you Geoff Wood, who's not only a force to be reckoned with in the photography circuit, but also a good friend to Elizabeth and I. And he offered us large amounts of cash so we couldn't resist sharing him with you. Last week, Geoff offered his fine services to us and we shot some really cool promo photos for Dapper Paper. It was a lot of fun and we'll be posting those photos in the next week or two.
Geoff and I have a lot in common, and sadly one of those being we have fallen victim to the corporate world and long for a more a creative story in our lives. Geoff, along with another good friend of ours, Thad, shot our wedding and we were blown away with how the photos turned out (See photos 1-4). These guys know their stuff, and resist getting stuck in the world of trends and put their own stamp on their work. Geoff's been featured in regional and national publications and has worked with the best. And if you're mind isn't fully blown after eyeballing these (um, there's a photo of the National), head on over to his site for more. You won't be disappointed. And be sure to check out our interview with Geoff at the bottom of the post. Enjoy!
So Geoff, tell us a little about yourself.
Well, I'm a commercial and editorial photographer. But first and foremost I'm a husband to a beautiful and creative wife, Regan, and a father to a hilarious and smack-me-in-the-face cute little girl named Gibson.
And how did you find your way into photography?
I've always liked cameras, even from a young age. My friend and I used to buy those disposable underwater cameras and take pictures of ourselves surfing. In college I "studied" graphic design and advertising, eventually taking a photography and printing class as an elective. But still it was just sort of something fun to do. It wasn't until 5 years later, on a trip to Ireland, that it really hit me how much I actually enjoyed making photographs. From then on I started taking my camera to Kings, The Cat's Cradle or wherever to photograph bands, all the while working as a graphic designer. And if I forgot the camera my friends would really come down on me. Looking back, I really owe them a great deal for seeing something in me and pushing me toward it.
Eventually, I started working as an art director on photography shoots. Instead of hanging back at craft services, I'd find myself quizzing the photographer or his assistant on lights, lens choices and what not. And at times lending a hand during the set up. In my opinion it was better than assisting, cause I was right there in the middle of the action. So I started picking up my own photography jobs here and there. Then on a flight home from Italy, 3 years ago, I decided I had had enough and wanted to make a go at shooting professionally. It was the best decision ever. There are ups and downs, for sure, but I love being behind the camera and creating something I'm proud of.
What makes your work stand out?
This question is always on my mind. There's so many good photographers out there. In Raleigh alone, the photo community has an impressive roster and I'm excited that I'm getting to know more and more shooters. Locally, I really admire Charles Harris and have looked to him for a lot of advice. On a broader scope there's guys like Jeremy Cowart, Nick Onken, Norman Jean Roy and David Bean just to name a few. So the question for me becomes, what do I need to improve in order to stand with this crowd.
I guess to answer your question more directly - eventually, I had to come to a place where I trusted my creative eye. That, combined with my design background, I think I have a good understanding of concept, color and space.
What's your inspiration? Where does it come from?
Inspiration comes from just about anywhere. Traveling is a big inspiration for me. As you can see I make big decisions while I am traveling. I love the ocean and that shows up in my work a lot. It also comes from other photographers, hanging out and talking shop with them. Film and cinematography were and still are a big influence. I've always wanted to shoot something that looked like it belonged in movies like Amelie or CQ. Or position a group of people like director Akira Kurosawa did in the movie High and Low. I once assisted on a still shoot where the photographer was using the big movie lights. Like the Arri lights that will melt your hand off if you're not careful. That was pretty amazing and I hope to incorporate that into my style. Ultimately though, I think inspiration comes from being around and surrounding myself with creative people and being in community with others.
All photos ©2010 Geoff Wood