The MISSBISH Photography Workshop | Rikkí Wright
Photographer: Rikkí Wright
Location: I'm based in Los Angeles, CA. I have lived in many cities and I feel that being a freelancer, it's important to be in a larger city. There's a lot more opportunity for you to work with more people, brands, etc.
Equipment: I am very minimal when it comes to what I use when I'm shooting. A lot of my mentors and other photographers I have learned from use tons of lighting, and I used to love shooting with artificial lighting, but the style that my photography has grown to be is very dependent on natural lighting. Even when I am shooting in a studio, I shoot mostly with natural light. I have been shooting with my Canon T4i since like, 2013. I love that camera. It just works for me. Most of my post is done in Photoshop/Lightroom.
Style: My style of photography is very warm in every sense of the word. The tones that I choose to use are warm tones, the way that I edit and my style of photography is influenced by the warm colors the sun gives off when reflecting on someone or something. I LOVE shooting women in their natural state, that has become a huge part of my portfolio over the past couple of years.
How did you get into photography? Tell us about your first experience.
My aunt was a photographer and owned a photo studio that I would visit a lot as a child. Having her around, and just being naturally creative, I was drawn to photography. When I was 13 my uncle bought me my first digital camera and I remember we took a family vacation to San Fransisco and I documented the entire trip with that camera. I still have those photos.
Tell us the story behind one of the most memorable photos you’ve shot…
One of the most memorable photos I have ever taken was for a breast cancer survivor, who was actually a good friend of mine. I was unsure of what I actually wanted to do for the shoot, I just know that we went to dinner a couple of weeks prior to shooting to plan and share ideas, and she said that she wanted the theme to be "The Beauty of Survival" and that stuck with me. I went to the fabric store the morning of our shoot and asked the sales person to give me a few yards of some soft pink silky fabric and that's all I had. I wasn't even really sure what I was going to do but I had a feeling. Once we got to the studio, everything fell into place. I made a dress out of the fabric and used a fan to help create motion in the shots and created some of the most beautiful/meaningful images I have taken to date.
“I love authentic moments and that's what I try to capture."
What is a constant source of inspiration for you as a photographer?
Nature and the environment that I live in is always constant inspiration for me. I'm inspired daily by my surroundings, I see beauty in a lot of things, like, in almost everything.
Photography is all about capturing that moment. What’s the secret?
A lot of the people that I shoot will literally say "I have no idea how to pose, you're really going to have to help and direct me!" My response is always something like, "just be you, and I'm going to capture the moment." I'll have conversations throughout the session, talking about different things to capture that person's different facial expressions. I love authentic moments and that's what I try to capture.
Who has been a great influence or mentor to you and what did you learn from them that you still carry with you today?
My college advisor Javier Thompson was such a huge inspiration to me. He taught me to never believe the hype and to always work harder. Even when my work was good, he made sure to keep me and all my peers humble by not praising us so much, but he always showed us he was proud in some way.
Tell us three photography tips.
1. Create Daily. As a photographer, I think it's important that you stay creative. You don't have to always shoot, but creating mood boards or editing is a way to stay creative.
2. Don't be afraid to play with lighting. A lot of photographers are into artificial lighting, but don't be afraid to get creative with natural lighting, which is my favorite lighting to shoot in.
3. Use What You Have. Photography is about capturing a moment. Do not think that because you don't have the latest new lens or body that you can't create great art.
Finish the sentence..
If I weren’t afraid I would... ask my parents/grandparents if I could shoot them nude for a project.
I wouldn't be where I am today if... it weren't for my sisters, who are my best friends (we're all one year apart).
I've been listening to... Translee & Kendrick Lamar.
Kids these days... are fearless AF. I love it.
I look and feel my best when… I'm full, whether it be food or knowledge, feed me and I will be at my best.
When no one is looking I… pop my gum uncontrollably.
Traveling... is something that I have done my entire life, but I'm finally leaving the country this year for two months.
I respect... myself.