Northeast Florida is home to a ton of talented artists, and when it comes to photography, there’s no exception. In order to highlight some of the awesome photographers out there working their craft, we decided to start routinely featuring some of them on our website here.
First up is a friend of mine who just so happened to be in a few of my photography classes at UNF. His work has been featured in Void several times, even on our cover, so we felt Cameron Nunez would make a great first entry into the series … thanks for being the guinea pig Cameron.
Zach: So, how did you initially get into photography? What was your first camera setup and when did you receive it?
Cameron: Initially, I got involved in photography due to my grandmother. She was a very talented artist and photo was just one of a handful of crafts she used to keep me productively busy. Shot film on and off on a Pentax ZX-7 and a Nikon N70 until my senior year of high school when I finally got access to a digital SLR, which was a Canon XT paired with a Sigma 24mm f1.8.
Who were you inspired by initially? How about with some of your more recent work?
As far as inspiration I was a big fan of the standards like Ansel Adams but found myself really gravitating toward more contemporary and studio photographers like Annie Leibovitz, David LaChappelle, Richard Avedon and Edward Colver as I got older. Recently, I find myself really enjoying the work of Jacob Roberts, Jake Hicks, Max Moore and a handful of friends currently working (Kayla Surico, Evan Dell, Sam Shapiro, Strati Hovartos).
Tell me about some of the people you collaborate with? Who are a few of your favorites and who are some you’d like to work with in the future?
My most consistent collaborating partnership has been with my lady, Lisa Carreiro, who has been very pivotal in allowing me to shoot studio portraiture to the extent that I have when I am home and able. As of right now, I’ve been lucky to work consistently with a group called The Music Experience who have been the biggest source of opportunity in working in the field of music based photography and video, which has been a goal since I decided to make this my passion.
What would you say your style or specialty is? What do you like to shoot the most?
If I had to pin point a specialty I’d say without question, music and portraiture. I love artificial lighting, whether studio or on location, and I love live music. If it wasn’t for hardcore and metal shows, I wouldn’t have progressed the way I did in learning to be quick on my feet or how to make the best of any situation.
What’s your current setup like?
Current setup right now is quite a long list at this point since I picked film back up:
- Digital: 5D Mark 3, Sony A7Sii
- Lenses: Canon 35 f1.4, Canon 16-35 f2.8, Canon 70-200 f2.8ii
- Film: Leica M3, Rolleiflex T, Contax T2, Yashica T4
Photography has seen some serious changes in the last couple decades, for good and bad, how do you see the future of the industry evolving?
The question of the future of photography honestly depresses me. The medium has evolved so much, which in a way has been both good and bad from what I’ve personally experienced. To my understanding, there used to be sort of an order to things. You worked hard, networked, took your place when opportunity was earned. Nowadays, I feel that the era of social media has caused extremes in both the devalue and heightened value of media content. And an artist’s future is not solely determined by the hard work and skill because now it has to be paired with the overwhelming presence of social media and the power that source holds. It’s made it way too easy to claim the title of photographer, videographer, etc. without any actual credentials to back it up. So, in a way, it has saturated the market. I hate the popularity contest that social media is, but what’s even worse is having to play the game to stay relevant — because without your own visibility, you lose value yourself. And also the amount of media is overwhelming. Its caused people to crave it, but so much so, that they treat it like a happy meal rather than art.
Biggest thing people should know when working with a photographer?
So the biggest thing to know — respect the artist. There’s an ignorance to the craft and work that goes behind it, which I think leads to a lot of issues that can be avoided. And sometimes it is hard to explain. They may not know the amount of invested income that’s gone into having the resources a photographer does. They may not know that a single image took 2+ hours to get in a session and another two hours to retouch and edit out of the requested 50+ that the client or model favorited. And it may only be for personal social media use or for memory sake. But there is a reason prices have been set where they have been set, and fees exist for a reason. Because, like any other working person, we are all just trying to make a living doing what we love. So even though you understandably don’t get to see it, there is a lot of work that goes into professional services. Advice to people working with a photographer, you aren’t entitled to their work, and if you expect it for free, you are not a true fan. Show support for those who you care about when you can. Follow and share their work, tell a friend, donate to their projects. Its hard out here for creatives.
What are you currently working on, and where can people find more to follow your work?
My current projects luckily are all music-based. Have a handful of metal, punk and country music festivals where I will be traveling to Kentucky, Sacramento, NYC, Ohio and Tampa. And in-between the workflow, I have a music video I’ll be releasing soon for a band called Engraved and a few upcoming projects as well that I am currently in the planning stages of. Being bored is not something I can afford to have at this point in my career. If you want to follow my work, all my website is Cameron Nunez Photography and my social media accounts (Instagram, YouTube, Twitter) are all linked to my name @cameronnunez.