Isaac Torres (pictured bottom right), is a brilliant photographer based in Chicago. I love his natural style, they’re like stills from the hippest underground movie that’s never been made.
How did you get into photography?
About 3 years ago I was passing a hard point in my life and just needed to find seclusion in something. I went to school for illustration but I needed something other then painting and drawing that had faster results for me, so I started looking into photography to get my mind off my depression.
I started reading a lot about photography and just trying things out on my own. Soon after people started noticing my work and it just spread after that. I haven’t looked back ever since.
What camera do you use?
I use a number of cameras depending on the look I want. I use a Contax T2, Nikon FM2, Mamiya C330, Lomo L-CA, Canon 5D mark II and a Fuji x100.
How important is lighting to your photos?
Lighting for every photographer is extremely important. For me I try to play with natural lighting and treat it as a prop itself. How can I manipulate it or use it to my advantage if it’s too sunny or too cloudy is how I approach things.
I’m actually colorblind, so it hinders the way colors appear to my eyes. Colors aren’t as vibrant to me I guess, so I rely on strong lighting to bring out the colors a bit more and it plays a key part in my shots. I try to stay away from artificial lighting as much as I can. In all honesty, I never used it in the beginning because I didn’t know how and because I didn’t have a budget for strobes, soft boxes etc.
So I forced myself to work with what I had and got used to it. No gimmicks or expensive tools. Just my camera, ambient light, my subject and me. Natural light will always be my first choice. I find it to have more raw results to an image.
Do you try and get to know your models beforehand and make them feel comfortable?
Yes. Many models contact me wanting to shoot and I try to talk to them via phone, email or meet up with them at first and get a feel of who they are and what attitude they will bring to the shoot. Facebook has served a great tool in this regard. I don’t want to say “creep” but I scope them out first and see if they’re someone I’d like to work with.
Most times I won’t shoot with a model till weeks or months after they contact me. By that time though I have already formed somewhat of a relationship so it helps when we finally shoot. When shooting we already kind of know each other a bit so it helps the shoot work a lot smoother. My shoots are pretty laid back and I try to make it as if we’re just hanging out.
Having a few laughs, snap snap. Also I can’t work without music. Dead silence is horrible and makes things more uncomfortable so I play music to make both the model comfortable and myself as well. I try to be selective with who I work with and I prefer not to work with models that can come off a bit cocky, that shoot with every single photographer out there or think I must bow down to them because they’re attractive.
I want them to be able to contribute to me as much as I will contribute to them.
What other photographers do you admire?
I have a long list of photographers I admire but I am closely inspired by Valeria Lazareva, Lukasz Wierzbowski, Carlos Nunez, and Akif Hakan Celebi to name a few.
Who would like to photograph?
I’d very much like to photograph Amanda Seyfried, Emma Watson, Cassie Ventura, Danny Trejo, Jay Z, Kanye and a few other Celebs.
Is it a good way to meet girls?
If that was my ultimate goal, yes it’s a great way to meet gorgeous senoritas, but I am professional and stick to the shoot. I take my work seriously and really try my best to make the model feel comfortable. I don’t want to give off the impression that I set up or agreed to the shoot to “hook up”.
Many models have told me of their bad experiences with other photographers so I do everything I can to be a gent and not be added to that black list. It only takes one bad experience to kill ones image, and models do talk.
For more of Isaac’s pictures visit www.kolorblind.net