For the past couple months, you’ve seen their work under the @legavenue Instagram page. Now it’s time to get to know the people behind our content. In this new blog series, we like to call Beyond the Lens, we do a little Q&A with the talented models, influencers, and photographers who are essential to contributing to the Leg Avenue lifestyle. We will be starting the series off with photographer @dreamstatelive.
Dreamy. Sultry. Sexy. Just a couple words to describe @dreamstatelive’s style. At any mention of his name, models who’ve had the pleasure of personally working with him, revel. One model has even said that she only goes to @dreamstatelive for personal shoots because he is the only one capable of capturing her at just the right angles.
So we sent @dreamstatelive a couple of questions regarding his life and photography, and this is what he had to say.
How did you get into photography?
As for many, at first, photography was just a hobby that grew. I started playing around with the camera and taking pictures of close friends at first. Soon, I had more and more friends ;).
How long have you been a photographer?
I started making an effort about 4 years ago.
What type of photography do you enjoy the most and why?
I like it all; beauty, fashion, artistic figures, sports, and landscapes. Combining them seems to be most fulfilling - especially when it's with a great team.
What’s a typical day in your life?
There are two types of days. Shooting days and non-shooting days. On shoot days it’s all about creating with people and sorting through the results. On non-shooting days, its taking care of the rest of life, and editing.
What was your breakthrough gig?
I shot with my first real model who gave me a chance. She showed me how an experienced model moved. I was raw and not very good at the time, but I was willing and had boundless energy. She was stunningly beautiful and generous. She still is. I’ll always be grateful to her for sharing her time and efforts with me. Even classier, she texted me after the shoot to thank ME for taking the time to shoot with her...”I’m not worthy…..” I thought. Still makes me smile to think of that.
Why is your Instagram called @dreamstatelive
Some of my favorite pictures have a dream-like quality to them. They make the viewer wonder if they’re awake, asleep, or somewhere in between. That’s the place where distractions and imperfections feel minimized and emotions seem heightened. There are moments in the creative process where you feel connected, almost out of body, and even the surroundings fade away. It’s a great place to visit.
Who are your inspirations?
I’m inspired by some of the landscape and cityscape photographers I’ve followed on Instagram. They have a different way of editing that I love. There are others I enjoy following as well that shoot with models; @charleslucima, @keslertran, @davidbellemere, @purienne_, @guyaroch, @shotbybryce. Then there’s athlete @davidgoggins - what a beast.
I’m very inspired by the models I shoot; I don’t think I could overstate that. It’s the reason I keep shooting the female form after 400 shoots and 12,000 edits. Not the least influential is model and close friend @patiencesilva who has an eye for subtlety and nuance of which I’m still a student.
What’s a fun fact about you?
I don’t sleep much. Yeah, surprise, surprise.
What do you do on your free time?
What’s free time?
What’s your advice to photographers getting started?
Pick 1 fixed lens and a decent popular brand camera (new or used) that will shoot in manual mode. You want it popular so that there are enough people using it to warrant lots of youtube tutorials you can watch. That way you can learn your camera without being frustrated.
Use only that camera and lens for 1 year. Shoot everything with it. You want to use it so much it becomes instinctive. So don’t go changing lenses or cameras or you’ll freeze up in front of a model when you forget how to work it.
Shoot in manual mode only. There are plenty of 5-minute tutorials on youtube to teach you how… With mirrorless cameras, what you see in the viewfinder is what you get, so shooting in manual mode is no longer a guessing game. On the contrary, it gives you constant control over exposure and depth of field. Also, separate your pre-focus from the shutter button by assigning it to a custom button. You’ll be free to focus and reframe the shot without the shutter button changing your focus again when you click it.
You already think you know what you want to be taking pictures of. Shoot and edit that subject as much as you can for a year until you don’t want to do it anymore. If you don’t want to do it anymore, then change your subject.
If you’re going to shoot models, be kind, generous, professional, and do your best work with everyone you work with. Your reputation depends on it.
If you got an opportunity to work with anyone of your choice, who would you choose?
I have a short list of models. They know who they are ;)
What is your dream shoot?
The Louvre, Paris. Access inside and out for high fashion and artistic beauty campaign.
What is your ultimate goal in life?
Growth and Kindness
As you can see @dreamstatelive is not only a humble person but also a dynamic photographer with work that speaks for itself. Those who have had the pleasure to make his acquaintance have nothing but tremendous things to say about him. Intrigued? Check out @dreamstatelive’s page for yourself and book a shoot. But be prepared to wait; he’s pretty busy these days!