The MISSBISH Photography Workshop | Rick Rodney
Photographer: Rick Rodney
Location: Los Angeles. I love LA. It’s always changing and filled with so many interesting pockets which makes it a great home base. I love other cities too, but Los Angeles has my heart.
Style: I grew up in the 90’s so my heavy influences were film, hardcore punk music, skateboarding, and living life pretty wild and free. I’ve been in a band for years called STRIFE and it’s taken me all around the world. I think a lot of traveling has had a big influence as well.
My favorite way to shoot is simple. That’s it. I’m not a big fan of big productions with lots of people. I like to shoot one on one with minimal distraction. Sometimes you can’t avoid the whole spectacle of a shoot, but if I could have my way, it would always be super simple.
Photography is all about capturing that moment. What’s the secret?
Be prepared. Always try to be ready to shoot. Sometimes you get the best results from the unexpected.
Tell us about your gear, what camera do you use? What lenses do you prefer?
I use Canon cameras for digital and 35mm. Anything L series but my faves are the 16-35 II, the 70-200 II, and 100mm Macro. I shoot pretty spontaneously so it’s good to have zoom capabilities. I also use a Pentax 67, Contax T2, and the newer Fujifilm Instax. For digital post I use Camera Raw & PS CC.
“Learn your CRAFT. You can’t get anywhere without doing it. All the best gear won’t help if you don’t have an understanding of what makes a good photo.”
How did you get into photography? Tell us about your first experience.
I first became interested in actually shooting when an old girlfriend of mine asked me to sit for some of her school photo assignments. I had already been into photography, but only as in appreciation… Around this time I began touring heavily with my band and I just started bringing a camera out with me. Many years passed before I took it more serious than a hobby.
Tell us the story behind one of the most memorable photos you’ve shot.
Wow, that’s a really tough question to answer, hahahaha. I just love taking pictures to be honest. Whether it’s a celebrity I dig or a band or even a look book or a story that’s just working… It's all amazing to me that I get to do this for a living.
What is a constant source of inspiration for you as a photographer?
That’s easy - Life, opportunity, and drive.
Life, because of all the people I encounter- strangers and friends alike. Opportunity, because there is nothing better than doing what you love- I try to remember that every day and stay humble and above all, appreciative. And drive. Drive is what keeps you moving forward. There are still so many places to see, people to meet, and photographs to take.
Who has been a great influence or mentor to you and what did you learn from them that you still carry with you today?
To be honest, I learned by doing it. I have never really assisted anyone for any length of time. I will help out friends from time to time but I’ve learned almost everything I know by trial and error. I took a class at my junior college to learn the basics. But I’ve just spent the better part of my life taking photographs. I’ve been able to develop my own style and thankfully, after time and effort, it’s worked out at as a career.
"Drive is what keeps you moving forward. There are still so many places to see, people to meet, and photographs to take."
Tell us three tips in relation to photography.
1) Learn your CRAFT. You can’t get anywhere without doing it. All the best gear won’t help if you don’t have an understanding of what makes a good photo. Have patience and practice.
2) STAY with it. It’s hard to stay motivated sometimes but you have to force yourself to keep at it. I’ll go out and shoot things or projects that I may not be super into at first, because every time you work, you learn something.
3) If you want to make it as a professional, you have to know your WORTH. Shooting for free is great, but if someone is going to benefit from your hard work, get paid. But remember, it’s not about ego or making tons of cash. It’s about quality and integrity. Always do your best.
Finish the sentence...
If I weren’t afraid I would… Skydive, haha. I almost did once. I will one day.
I wouldn't be where I am today if... I never listened to those who’ve been supportive.
I've been listening to... Myself and great tunes!
Kids these days... Are doing what they’ve always done.
I look and feel my best when... I've finished performing on stage? HAHAHAHA! (hard question).
When no one is looking I... Pick my nose???
Traveling... Is the best way to help understand this world we ALL live in.
I respect... Those who offer respect.