Brian DeMint of eyeworks photography (OMP Member #61063) has a background in oil painting, so his transition from brush to camera five years ago is a logical extension of his artistic talents. He and his wife, who does almost all the makeup and hair styling for his shoots, collaborate on creative visions that seem worthy of being hung in a museum.
He got his start in photography by building a website for a local modeling agency. “I started taking interest in their photographer’s work and doing creative retouching for him in Photoshop. Soon, I wanted to try my own hand at fashion photography. The first shoot was a complete revelation for me… a rebirth, as it were. I knew this is what I was here for!”
Brian describes his unique style as “artistic fashion.” “That is a bit of a misnomer now because the term ‘artistic’ has evolved into a generic description for running around shooting naked people… and it’s really not so much about ‘fashion’ as it is trying to convey a mood and thematic idea. The clothing plays a supporting role instead of the lead. Despite the fact I may cover a model with fake blood or dirt and sticks or paint, etc., the women are still beautiful and the men handsome.”
He reveals that his detailed and colorful concepts are generally not pre-conceived. “For the most part, the ideas come on the fly. I rarely pre-plan any themes. I prefer to be inspired when I see the model in person, and fortunately I’ve been blessed with models that resemble everything from the Virgin Mary to deranged serial killers. The ideas are rooted with the diverse set of artists that have influenced me, melded with the aesthetics that I feel are visually appealing and hopefully unique and thought-provoking.”
The Missouri resident does, however, like to communicate with the model before and during each shoot to help them get into the right mindframe for the assignment. “With the initial information I send to models, I inform them that posing for me is more akin to acting. I do not pose models for each shot. I expect them to make a sincere effort and interpret the theme, idea or mood with their own input with creative posing and expression. In order to accomplish this we make the model ‘look’ the part with styling, I then give them adjectives that describe the general mood we’re going for. Then I always play music that supports the theme we’re shooting so they can ‘feel’ the role. Giving them feedback as they work is extremely important as is a very positive and supportive attitude, and giving the models some creative freedom is essential to being diverse in your imaging.”
The photographer who gave Brian his start is an OMP member, and introduced him to the modeling website. “He raved about the assets of being on the site. Since I joined, OMP has allowed me to get my product to my target market (models) in a professional and non-imposing way. It has also allowed me to collaborate and share information with my peers which has resulted in both knowledge gain and business leads. Plus, with its incredible model base, the site is just an invaluable resource for finding the right talent for each project.”
His equipment consists mainly of a Canon Digital Rebel and five dollar reflector lights from Wal-Mart. “My backdrops are everything, from textile prints from JoAnn’s fabric to painted cardboard and 4 x 8 sheets of plywood. I realize this information might cause some hardcore tech photographers to vomit profusely, however, for me it’s all about the end product and this equipment is producing the look I am currently going for.”
In terms of new photographers just starting out, Brian’s advice is to study heavily on the fundamentals that govern visual art. “Learn the elements of design, theories of composition, etc. While technical knowledge is a must for some situations, what will compose your art and define your style is the ability to manipulate the elements of design. This is the knowledge that will advance your art. Your competitor can may have the same or better equipment that you have, so your edge should be your artistic knowledge. In addition, if you conform completely to the critique of others, then your vision can get lost in the process. Learn to self critique and always challenge yourself to never let anything but your best work leave your studio. Lastly, here is a quote from Ernest Holmes to consider: ‘All limitations are self imposed’.”
See more of Brian DeMint’s eyeworks photography on his portfolio at OMP Member #61063 or by visiting at www.eyeworksphotography.com.