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Through The Lens

Greg Gerla

October 8, 2009, by Chelsea Coyle

Location
Calgary

Website
  • www.greggerla.com
  • (article continues below)

    Veronica
    model: Veronica by Greg Gerla

    What photographers have influenced you and how?
    I really admire Edward Steichen (1879-1973.) His early pictorialism work is stunning in it's beauty. His subject matter was wide and varied encompassing landscape, fashion, documentary. His life was devoted to his work, and he left behind a vast archive. He placed a great deal of importance not only on his art itself, but also on his subjects, and he respected the power that photography has to influence society, culture, and the way man relates to fellow man.

    Did you have a moment when you realized, within yourself, that you were skilled enough to do this for a living and if so when was that or what was it like?
    Although I always had an interest in photography, I never seriously considered it as a career until I was almost finished my studies at the Alberta College of Art and Design. I still remember my first photo that was commissioned by a Business Magazine. Getting paid was nice, but seeing the image printed with a photo credit was terrific!

    What inspires you to continue shooting and how do you keep motivated when a certain shot or moment just doesn't happen?
    I'm inspired by everything around me. I get just as much satisfaction shooting a tree as I do a large-production fashion project. The camera gives me the gift of really being able to SEE what is around me. When creativity seems elusive, and that image just isn't coming together, I find the best thing is to take a break (short or long), and calm the mind. I think creativity can't be chased or pursued, you need to be calm and quiet, and it comes to you...

    As a photographer (and sometimes art director!), where do you find your own artistic inspiration?
    I love researching, reading, and studying the work of the past photo greats (Steichen, Steiglitz, Karsh, Avedon, Newton). I also love to read about artists in other disciplines (painters, writers, musicians).

    What is your favourite shoot to date?
    I recently did a fashion shoot for two weeks in Jamaica! Often, the last shoot I've done is my most favorite....

    What do you look for when casting?
    Of course, a model's look needs to fit the job. But it's often just as important, if not more, that their personality and character comes through on the job. I believe what's inside is just as crucial as what's outside.

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