Aspirations of a Student Photographer

Shot on iPhone

Many students here at Chavez are talented and have asperations and dreams they want to achieve and make a living out of one day. I got the chance to interview one of our students aspiring to become a professional photographer, Steve Berry. Here is a Q&A of what inspired him and what you can to take from a young photographer.

“My name is Steve Berry, but I like to go by Charlie. I’m an 11th grader at Cesar Chavez and I’m 16 years old.

Q: What or who inspired you to become a photographer?

A: My biggest inspiration when it comes to photography is Natalie Curtis. I had my camera for 7 months before I had ever really thought about actually doing photography as a career or even for the sake of art, until I stumbled on Natalie Curtis’ work and realized she was doing that for a living. That really inspired me and from then on I’ve embraced photography as my medium.

Q: What sparked your inspiration to take photos?

A: The inspiration to start taking photos came from my love of cinema. There was a period of time where I found myself watching a lot of movies that had some amazing cinematography, and I just fell in love with lots of different shots. At first I thought I had wanted to get into cinema rather than photography, but I soon realized that I was more in love with the camera work rather than the movie itself.

35mm Film

Q: What does photography mean to you?

A: I think photography is one of the purest ways of immortalizing a single moment or emotion, the meaning and purpose behind it all for me is to capture those moments in a way that makes you feel the emotion behind it, and to make you feel as if you could live in the photo itself.

Q:What are you hoping to achieve photographing?

A: Well, I would hope that people are able to feel as if the photo is alive, like they can still feel the picture and the life that it holds. In terms of interpretation, I think it should be left up to the viewer’s decision. I always find joy in hearing people’s ideas of what my photos mean to them.

Q: What is your advice to someone who is trying to get into photography?

A: The best advice I could give to someone starting out is to experiment as much as possible. You might have some idea of what you want to do when you’re getting into it, but then you’ll find yourself being really good at capturing something different or enjoying certain quality of photo. Don’t be afraid to take pictures with your phone, or use an older camera, experiment with a film camera maybe. I wouldn’t recommend waiting to get a $700 camera to start taking photos, you really lose the experience of starting from scratch.

Q: What kind of photography do you enjoy the most and why?

A: Street photography is definitely my favorite kind of photography. I think you can find so much life and emotion out in a city, there’s just so much history to capture and the buildings and people are living relics of that history.

Shot on Digital Camera

Q: What’s the most difficult thing you’ve come across in your camera work?

A:The most difficult thing I’ve across while I’ve been doing the photography is being able to adapt my style to different environments. My style is more geared towards low light and ambient environments, but a lot of times I like to take pictures during the day with lots of people around. You really have to practice and learn how to mold your style when you end up going out of your comfort zone like that.

Anyone can contact Steve on Instagram @onion2k20 via direct message. Phone number & email are located on the page as well.