Bryan Schutmaat Interview: When poetry meets Photography

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While we might pass by an empty car park or motel room, he would take a picture, challenging us to see the stories of these places that we would otherwise taken for granted. Bryan Schutmaat photography work can be conpared to poetry or song lirics. He tells the stories from an America that we rarely see in traditional media: The stories of the people and places that we would otherwise never know.
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See his work on his Flickr page or Website and read his interview with Visual Candies:
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Can you shortly introduce yourself and how/when you started photography?

I’m Bryan Schutmaat, from Houston, TX. I started taking pictures in 2003 for fun

Did you study photography at school/university?
I’ve taken a few photography courses in college but I’m actually a history major.
Do you think it’s important to have good technical skills to be a good photographer?

I think it depends on what you want to achieve as an artist. Some photographers that I really admire display no technical proficiency yet still make magnificent work. Jacob Holdt comes to mind. But for me, yes, I think it’s important that my work is technically sound.

How would you describe your work?

Last month had to describe my work in a different interview using only five words. Thus, I’ll recycle that answer: Diverse, dreamy, genuine, quiet, loud.

What are the subjects that mostly interest you and why?

I’m interested in an array of subjects so it’s hard to pinpoint this. But I definitely like day-to-days objects and ordinary places. Such subject matter challenges what are acceptable figures of beauty and also gives insight into cultural identity etc. Not surprisingly, this interest was provoked by some of my favorite photographers. I’m also getting a lot more interested in portraiture and human relationships.

What are you trying to capture through photography?

I am aim for an array of things so it’s hard to say, and what I attempt to capture definitely varies throughout each project I do.

To the viewer of your work what feeling or impression would you like leave?

Some of my recent work tries to evoke feelings of remembrance and times past.

What do you think about when you shoot?

When I shoot I analyze the color and composition, striving for simplicity. Sometimes I think about the philosophical implications of the scene that I’m shooting, but other times I just think about what
I’m going to have for lunch.

What material (camera and light) do you use?

I use all available light. The sun pretty much tells me what I can and can’t shoot, and I’m okay with that. I’ve currently been shooting on a Mamiya RZ67, a Rollieflex, and a few various 35mm cameras.

Right now are you working on a specific subject? If yes can you tell us more about? If not can you shortly introduce us to your latest work?

Right now I’m working a series consisting of mostly portraits. They are about being young and anticipating nostalgia.

What are your main inspirations?

My friends and things on the side of the highway.

What do you look for in other photographers work?

Clarity, consistency, concepts—the usual stuff.

If you could invite 3 photographers or artist at a dinner who would it be and why?

Van Gogh, Garry Winogrand, Bob Dylan. Those are some of my favorite artists and I’m sure the conversation would magnificent.

Any young photographers or Flickr member which work you really like and that you would like us to discover?”

Many deserve attention. I’m part of a few websites that were started in order to shed light on some of these young artists. I’d encourage you to explore fjordphoto.org, ypu.org, and wheattoast.org.

Thank You Bryan

Bryan Schutmaat Website

One Response to “Bryan Schutmaat Interview: When poetry meets Photography”

  1. […] Candies interviews Bryan Shutmaat in When Poetry Meets Photography. I’ve seen Bryan’s work before and was glad to see him get an interview because a) […]

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