David Paul Larson is a man who knows what he wants and dosesn’t wait around for it to happen, rather he’s the kinda man who goes out and gets it. Talking to David I learned that no matter your situation if you want something, it’s up to you to make it happen. It takes work, motion, commitment, drive and passion, not just one, but all these qualities to get your desired result.
David spends his time doing what he loves, and that is filmmaking and photography. He turns his lens towards what he loves and interests him, people. Looking at his work, you realise he’s not afraid to get intimate and be in the moment. He has a way of getting a photograph that captures what he’s looking, admiring and appreciating right in front of him that is uniquely his.
I’ve followed David since forever, I’m a massive fan of his work ethic and views on life and how to go after your dreams. It’s super humbling to have had this amazing photographer answer some of my questions, so you can learn a little bit more about him and without further ado.
Interview with David Paul Larson
Q: What are you passionate or curious about outside of photography?
A: I am passionate about living an untraditional life, filmmaking, minimalism and inspiring others.
Q: How important is it to have a photographic voice & style. And what lead you to point your camera towards “fashion and portraiture?
A: It is important but I think its more important to just shoot work all the time. I shoot personal work one day a week no matter what. If I’m booked all week and have no days off I still manage to create work of for me. At the end of your life, you will be much happier if you have a large body of personal work to leave behind. Don’t wait for people to hire you. Shoot fake assignments and pitch them to brands. It’s never been easier to get into photography as it is now. Your voice/style will develop and change over time. Don’t rush it.
Q: Was there any specific moment or event you remember that started your journey in photography?
A: I got my first film camera when I was 20. I had just been injured in military training and had to rethink my life plan. I knew that I wanted to travel the world, be my own boss, have an untraditional life and to do something that was as challenging as The Marines was for me. I went to school for photography and marketing then I assisted in New York for five years with Mario Testino, Mark Seliger, Norman Jean Roy and many others. You don’t need to go to school for it. If I could do it all over again I would have gone to school for business and minored in marketing.
Q: What is the most important thing to consider when taking a photograph, and why is that important to your portraiture work?
A: For me, the most important part is to always be trying new techniques and ways of working. Every time I shoot I try something new at the end. Humans are creatures of habit and we tend to stick with the same habits over and over again. Try a new light, new lens or different shooting space. Getting out of your comfort zone will give you much more insight.
Q: Everyone wants a short-cut to success or mastery, but what would be your advice to aspiring photographers that have perseverance and are willing to put in the work.
A: Shoot every week for yourself. Get to know what inspires you and the relationship you want to have with photography. Grow a tough skin and realise that it’s very competitive. It’s a dream job and dream jobs have a lot of sacrifices involved. Develop at close peer group that you can trust and show work too. You will learn more from your peers than any photographer you assist. Most importantly, figure out a way to keep yourself inspired. Go to museums, take trips to places you’ve never been, read about your favourite artists, watch films, fall in love and never look back. Every experience makes you who you are.
And an added bonus for everyone a film made by David about how he approaches and live life.
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