Model: Loriel Andrea.
SINICAL: What drew you to alternative photography?
RICK CRAFT: I've always been into the creative side of things, more so than traditional portrait style wedding photos. Alternative style photography embraces any form of art that would be out of the ordinary :) I also have a huge background in horror movies so it was only fitting that I incorporated this look and vibe into my style.
SINICAL: What kind of camera/film do you use?
RICK CRAFT: I use a Canon 5D/7D mostly, sometimes I shoot on the RED camera and take stills from the footage. And then there is always the hipstamatic app for my iphone.... ;)
SINICAL: Are you self-taught or did you go to school for photography?
RICK CRAFT: I am completely self-taught. I started out doing photo re-touching for a friend, after doing numerous photo sets I decided to make a website for my photo re-touching services. When I asked this friend if I could post before and after samples of the work I had done, she said absolutely not! Understandable I guess, but it inspired me to go out and buy a camera to do my own photoshoots so I could edit and post pictures to my little hearts content. A few weeks after I purchased my first Nikon D60, I fell into doing behind the scenes photography for a music video director on the east coast (Virginia, my hometown). Over the past few years, it has been a ton of trial and error and developing my own way of lighting, and setting up scenes to get the image that I see in my head. I have since learned a lot about the digital cameras, and the cinematography world which has allowed me to also be a Director of Photography for movies and music videos while still doing my photoshoots. A long story I know, but I believe you can do anything you want as long as you put in a lot of work and practice into your passion!
Model: Loriel Andrea.
SINICAL: What are your visual obsessions?
RICK CRAFT: For some reason I like different finshes in a single image. The look of Latex against the non-shiny surface that is skin always intrigues me. It is a fun balance to find the right exposure to make the outfit and the person pop. Or maybe I am just looking to deep into something that I just think is hot. Haha. Really though, I am into bright colors in a picture that you may get an eerie vibe from, its sort of unexpected and I find myself really captivated by those images.
SINICAL: Do you touch up your photos?
RICK CRAFT: Yes, all re-touching has been done by myself, every painstaking second of it! I honestly look more forward to the re-touching of photos than I do the actual shooting process!
SINICAL: Who are your inspirations?
RICK CRAFT: I would have to name a few movie directors here, J.J Abrams and Quentin Tarantino. I know these are film directors, but also working in the film industry I have found an appreciation for the idea of something, and the story behind it more so than just the eye candy of a single image. I love looking at images that seem to tell a story, little hidden messages that you might not see the first time around. Its like a song you listen to a hundred times, and maybe on the hundred and first time, you hear a buried guitar riff that you never noticed before. Or maybe thats just me. Haha. Starting out, I had no idea that I wanted to do photography so I didn't really look into it as much but I have since found a few photographers images that I really enojy. David La'chapelle for his crazy themes, all of which are intense set builds. Jeffrey Scott (1019) is an amazing photo manipulator, known mostly for his robot/people integrations. Tyler Shields for his simple yet powerful approach, it almost looks like he carries a professional studio in his backpack and just goes with it wherever he ends up. Redrum Collaboration, this is a photography team and cute couple from PA, I have worked with them a few times and they have been nothing but helpful and just cool people to be around in general not to mention some of the amazing images they put out. I'm sure there are thousands of other inspirations I could name but I know you have a magazine to run, maybe I'll save those for "Sinical.... The book edition."
SINICAL: Is there a certain model you would like to work with?
RICK CRAFT: Lady Gaga. I am destined to do a shoot with her!
SINICAL: Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to models?
RICK CRAFT: I would have to say, when they take images I have given them and have someone else do a weird re-edit or image crop. Im not sure why this has happened as often as it has, but they will take the pictures I give them and a few months later I see the same image looking like it went through a bad iPhotobooth image distortion labeled as "fan art". Now I get the appreciation for someone's amazing Microsoft paint skills, but it is definitely a slap in the face to the original artist to see these things. I know they usually don't do it as an intentional thing, or they might just have a friend getting into the re-touching industry but it is definitely a pet peeve considering how much time we put into our art form :) Oh, and when they leave you to get attacked by ghosts in haunted hospitals *cough* Loriel Andrea *cough*.
SINICAL: Have you been able to maintain a living from photography or is it more of a hobby?
RICK CRAFT: As I mentioned before, I started out doing behind the scenes photography on top of my model shoots. This alone hasn't paid for 100% of my bills, but with re-touching/cinematography and movie set design I have been doing this full time for the past 2 years and I love every second of it :) I still consider it a hobby even though it is my only source of income at the moment, because I get to put my own creativity and ideas into what I do all day. Of course there are the times you have a specific goal to reach for a paid project, but I still enjoy finding my own way to accomplish it :) Just throwing it out there... if you are in Los Angeles and want to buy me pizza for dinner, I will do a photoshoot with you! (This is the lacking part of my 100%)
SINICAL: Do you have a website or any photography packages? If so, please tell us about it.
RICK CRAFT: I do! My website is www.rcdesignstudios.com. I have most of my work posted on there with easy to browse tabs in case you want to skip over the lame sections (all of them), and you can also check out a few of the most recent music videos I have shot in the appropriately labeled "video" section :)
*If you liked this Q&A make sure to join our Fan page on Facebook!. We appreciate your readership and support!