July 03, 2012

Photographer Feature | Will Vastine

Hi, my name is Will, and I am a portrait and editorial photographer based out of Nashville TN.
It's at this point that I should probably say something super deep or clever and use words like passion and vision, but that's not me. I'm a guy with a camera that shoots what he likes. I strive every day to define my style and produce images that capture the story of the subject. Shooting mostly portraits and commercial work, I am inspired by the world of fashion, repeating patterns, and negative space. And I am inspired by people. We are unique, we are complex, and we all have highly tuned crap detectors. We can spot a fake from miles away. I want my work to be honest and I want my subjects to be as well. I approach photography in the same way I approach life. I apply creative vision with minimalist techniques to make images that are free from over-production. This allows the focus to be on the subject, and gives their story the ability to speak.Your story is important.

So I've been secretly obsessed with Will Vastine's work for years now. I actually got the chance to shoot with him several years ago, but that was before I had any modeling experience, so I came over a little stiff. I wish I could work with him now, but he is in Nashville. And they are lucky to have him! I've always appreciated his subtle details. He doesn't oversaturate his photos with lots of effects, they are just clean, natural and beautiful while still displaying his talent and skill.
I recently got the opportunity to do a little Q+A with Mr. Vastine and I'm so happy to be able to share some of his insight with you all.

et:  How long have been doing photography?
Will: I have been consistently shooting for the last 5 or so years. It used to be something I enjoyed doing as a hobby in high school and college, but the photography bug really got me and haven't 

looked back. It's been a fun ride so far.

et:  What first got you interested and what keeps you passionate about it?
Will: Well, how i got into photography was way back in early high school, I started saving money for this really nice stereo system. I walked into the store to purchase it, but instead of the stereo, I walked out with this really nice Minolta 35mm film camera. And the first shot I came away with was a photo of my cat. I still have that photo and it's dear to me. Ever since then, I have loved the process of photography. In college I took some photo classes and learned to develop my own film. And then out of college, I had a lot of creative people around me that encouraged me to keep with it.

And I stick with it because photography always challenges me. It's one of those art forms that allows you to continue to try new things, push yourself and see what comes of it. And there are so many ways to express yourself with a camera. I also think the fact that I haven't taken my best photograph yet 
keeps driving me to grow, and keep with it.

et: Do you have a favorite photographer that really inspires you?
Will: Oh yea, I have a few, but my favorite is a guy named Richard Avedon. He was a very well know fashion photographer. Google him if you don't know his work. But what I love about his photography is the way he captures movement with his models. So good. If I can be as half as good as him one day, I'll be happy.

et: What is your favorite kind of photography to do?
Will: My favorite kind of photography to do is portrait and editorial work. I find that photos of people are way more interesting to me then landscape or still life. Sure, there are some amazing and beautiful 

photos, but nothing captures a story and emotion like photos of people.

et: I notice you take some lovely instagram photos. Is there anything you've learned about photography in using your phone instead of a camera and how do you apply that knowledge?
Will: I think the key take away for me from Instagram and mobile photography is that you have to really MAKE a photograph instead of TAKE a photograph. So many people just pick up their iPhone or camera and take a photo of what ever is put in front of them. But if you really want to set yourself apart from the crowd, and push yourself, you need to make the photos you see in your head happen. Move around, try different angles, etc. You're the photographer, your the one in creative control.

et: Do you have a piece of invaluable advice for other aspiring photographers?
It's what everyone says, but shoot all the time. Since digital is so affordable these days, there is no reason not to be shooting all the time. Practice makes perfect right?And shoot what you love to shoot. Don't settle. 

Make sure and check out Will and all of his greatness:

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