Meet The Photographers Who Write For Digital Photography School ~ James Brandon
You’ve been reading their articles for months or years, have you ever wondered “Who are the photographers who write for dPS”? We thought it would be a good time to introduce them to you through a series of interviews.
Today, we meet Texas based photographer James Brandon, author of the e-book Tack Sharp: A Step By Step Guide To Nailing Focus.
1. How long have you been shooting?
I really got serious about it around 4 years ago on a trip to Mexico with my wife. We went to the Mayan ruins at Uxmal and I was hooked. I don’t know what it was about that trip but I completely came alive with a camera in my hand.
2. Do you have a full time job or are you a full time photographer?
I’ve been doing photography full time as my career for about 3 1/2 years now. I worked at a bank before; selling mortgages, business loans and checking accounts. I made good money and hated every bit of it. I took a good look at my life and couldn’t see myself ever finding happiness on the path I was on. I worked long hours, always came home in a bad mood and just didn’t feel alive. I decided to start seeking out clients for my photography and slowly started building them one by one. I eventually went part time at the bank and a few months after that I put in my two weeks and haven’t looked back since.
3. If you had to limit yourself to one genre of photography, what would it be and why?
Travel for sure. My true passion in photography is traveling the world and photographing all the beauty that this planet has to offer.
4. When did you start writing for dPS and why?
I guess it was about two years ago. I had been a reader of DPS for some time and saw a place on the website for people to submit articles. I was really into HDR at the time and hadn’t seen a whole lot of articles on the subject at DPS. I submitted a three part series on HDR that was really well received. After that I asked Darren if I could continue submitting articles and he was gracious enough to allow me to continue writing.
5. What do you shoot with and what is your favorite lens?
I shoot all Canon stuff. Not because I think it’s better than Nikon, but simply because my first DSLR was a Canon Rebel. I now use a Canon 1Ds Mark III as my primary body and have a 5D Mark II as a backup. My favorite lens at the moment is one of my newest lenses, the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS. It’s the sharpest lens I’ve ever used and the image quality is just insane. And at only around $900 it’s one of the more affordable L series lenses you’ll find. If I was offered a $2,000 85mm f/1.2mm prime but I had to give up my 100mm, I would turn it down in a heartbeat.
6. What would be your number one tip to any new photographer?
Don’t waste your life doing something that doesn’t make you happy. That doesn’t mean that everyone reading this needs to quit their job and become a photographer, I’m just saying that if you aren’t happy with your life, change it. If you love your job and love doing photography on the side, then keep going. But if you hate your job and photography is your driving passion, then make a move in that direction. Start somewhere. Start anywhere. Just don’t look back at your life wondering what could have been. Life is too short. When most people think of the word “lazy” they think of someone sitting on a couch in their underwear eating cheetos and playing xbox. I think of my old self; driving day after day, every day to a job that was suffocating my joy and creativity…and not doing anything about it for so long. That’s lazy.
7. What’s your next big project?
eBooks! My goal in 2013 is to write 3-4 eBooks to start building a collection. My first eBook Tack Sharp has been a huge success and I hope to create more content that is equally as helpful to the photography community. I also became a father back in June of 2012 so my new and ongoing personal project is to document that little guy!