I like form and shape and strength in pictures.
I always enjoyed art history because, growing up in California, my exposure was limited, and it was a new experience. To learn the history of art opened up certain things to me, made me see. It intrigued me.
Many people who excel are self-taught.
I'd go down to the end of my street, to a garage that had a certain feeling about it, or a particular light; I'd take a picture of a friend who needed a head shot. That's how I learned, instead of having school assignments and learning camera techniques.
I think a lot of the time these days people are so concerned about having the right camera and the right film and the right lenses and all the special effects that go along with it, even the computer, that they're missing the key element.
I did grow up next door to Steve McQueen, who was a very famous movie star at the time, but as a kid it didn't impress me. We always had great fun with him. He would take us out on Sundays on his motorcycles, riding around in the desert; he was like a second father.
Even though I didn't get a business degree, I enjoyed learning about economics.
I'm pretty selective. I generally edit the contact sheets and then do work prints. Because I have my own lab and printers, I can afford the luxury of going through the contact sheets for black-and-white, making up work prints, seeing them big, and honing them down.
Within two hours of where I live, you have mountains and desert as location. I like the natural elements that abstract into light, texture, shape and shadow.
For me, the most important thing I learned was just honing my eye. I think I had a good eye.
I think knowing people by first names, not by what they do sexually, is really what it's about. Not being afraid. Fear is the enemy. I've always been comfortable with being gay.
Once you develop your own style, you know when you're able to give your best. Feeling at home is part of it, and I don't think that's an L.A. thing. It's a matter of the environment and of what affects you.
Actually, when I first started dabbling in photography, I was still working for my parents as a salesman.
Generally, the French highly promote culture and the arts, and photography is in their blood.
I was an economics major, which I enjoyed because I had a good business sense.
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