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Depth in the field - Pat Vaughn Mar. 29. 18

HERE AT BUMBAG WE ARE A FAMILY OF CREATIVES WHO VALUE ARTISTRY OF ALL SHAPES AND  KINDS. BEING FRIENDS WITH SO MANY CAMERA WEILDING VISIONARIES WHO ARE CONSTANTLY BLOWING OUR MINDS WITH THE IMAGERY THEY CREATE, WE DECIDED THAT WE WANTED TO PUT MORE IN FRONT OF YOUR EYES THROUGH OUR NEW BLOG FEATURE "DEPTH IN THE FIELD".
THIS SPRING WE WERE STOKED TO PARTNER WITH GOOD HOMIE PAT VAUGHN TO HELP US SHOOT OUR SPRING18 CAMPAIGN.  WE RECENTLY CAUGHT UP WITH PAT TO TALK THROUGH HIS PHOTOGRAPHY, WORKING IN A STUDIO AND WHAT KEEPS HIM STOKED.  
MAD LOVE PAT - THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT!

JT: Pat, what up?  Where you at right now?
PAT:  I’m hanging in my backyard right now in Carlsbad, California. About to have some dinner here soon.

JT: So, you recently shot our latest Bumbag campaign and it turned out insane.  When did you start shooting photos?
PAT:  I started shooting photos as a young grom, but it was around 2009 or 10 when I started thinking about doing it as a career and less of a hobby. I would say thats when it turned from a hobby and turned it into something I wanted to pursue.


JT:  What were you shooting when you first started?
PAT:  Lots of product and catalogs, high volume production stuff with a quick turn around, time oriented stuff. One of my first jobs was clipping out t-shirts, with clipping paths. Say it was a shirt on a mannequin or flat lay, I'd do a bunch of those a day, I'll put in like for 8-10 hours a day, just clipping shirts. Lots of time went by not even picking up a camera.

JT:  Do you remember what it was about photography that made you keep shooting in those early days with long hours and not shooting ?
PAT:  It’s just something I like doing…  So when I was retouching all day for work, it really motivated me to pick up a camera after the retouch work was finished. So I guess I kept fighting the good fight for what I wanted to do, like take conceptual portraits, shoot higher end product stuff, and advertising work. I will always be thankful for the busy work (clipping shirts etc) I feel like it was a big part of building who I am today, and plus we all need to make a living. There is lots of talented photographers out there, its a challenging fight to only get the “Fun” jobs.


JT:  So you have been taking photos for 10 years at this point. What about now, what do you enjoy shooting? 
PAT:  I find myself really enjoying shooting product photography right now, I've been doing a lot of it the last 5 years. I enjoy shooting challenging surfaces like chrome, I find it interesting cause it takes so much more then just a camera and lights. It takes so much grip, gadgets, and gizmos. Its almost like a science project at times. Also taking portraits, both conceptual and traditional is something I love. Being able to relay a message or mood through a models expression is one of a kind. Even photographing for Bumbag, I like how bold it is, its just fun… You guys are always there making a statement. You guys are not worried about getting crazy with the photography, maybe its just a portrait, but you guys go over the top in wardrobe and putting it together. Its what people want to see and its nice to shoot things that are a bit more unique like that. 
JT:  You mentioned shooting on some surfaces were harder then others to photograph, what is the hardest shit to shoot? 
PAT:  In terms of a surface on a product, chrome is very tricky.. Ive shot a lot of golf clubs over the years. Its always tricky because everyone has a different interpretation on what chrome should look like. Sometimes people have different thoughts if the surface dips down or dips up with the way the lighting is hitting the surface. So its challenging to make it look nice and really show what the club features.
JT:  What other photographers keep you hyped on shooting photos? 
PAT:  So many people, like even yourself. I noticed I follow a lot of skateboard photographers, I think its rad how much content and photos are being put out there via skateboarding.  I get lots of inspiration from Brian Elliot, he's an amazing photographer and close friend. His ability to compose an image is mind blowing, you should check his work out.  There is something about being able to chat with a good bud 1 on 1 about all photography related subjects, I could talk photo with him for hours.     Theres a ton of photographers, like Mark Tule, he’s a legend, he is awesome, I'm am lucky enough to know him, he is such a rad guy. Also Tim Tadder, he create some insane work, the stuff he has been up to lately… he's breaking boundaries. There is a whole bunch out there, the list always goes on. Every single individual can put together this pretty interesting story line with some awesome photography, theres so many capable people and so many rad people doing it.

JT:  I know you went to school for photography at some point, that must have been pretty eye opening?  Did that change how you look at photography at all? 
PAT:  I graduated from Brooks Institute in 2012, and so thats when it all started realistically for me. I started in 09 and it was 3 and a half years, year around. I started getting side gigs up there, but my main focus was on school. It was introducing me to the commercial and advertising world. Some of the best teachers taught up there, so that was a huge positive opportunity that I had. I finished and immediately started free lanced right outta school, I didn't get to much work and then I started working at Lionshead Studio clipping shirts and working on catalogs and stuff like that. Photo school showed me that there is many ways to make money as a photographer, but its not going to be easy. Its a big cut throat world out there and you gotta fight to stay in the business.  
JT:  You recently went on a surf trip right?  Where did you go?  What was it like there?
PAT:  A year ago I went to New Zealand with a friend, we rented a camper, camped around the north island. We stayed out there for about a month. We surfed a bunch, got to surf Raglan, its always been something I'v wanted to do… Then my buddy got married in Sayulita Mexico recently, so we went down there for a week and made a vacay out of it, everyone brought boards down and all the friends were catching a few waves and enjoying the good times, that was awesome. A few weeks ago I went to Costa Rica and ending up getting into some super fun waves. I feel blessed to have a job that allows me to live the lifestyle I strive for. I will be forever thankful for photography and surfing.

JT:  Do you shoot on these trips? Shooting on trips like that must be such a contrast to the work you do in the studio?
PAT:  For sure I shoot photos on the road, really different from what I shoot back home. More with hope just to capture memories and the fun things in between. I always bring a camera with me every where I go. I feel like i just use it differently when I'm not in the studio. I usually tell myself I am going to put the camera down on these surf trips, and just enjoy surfing. But I also find myself coming home with a bunch of photos, so i guess its a win win.

JT:  Shooting on trips like that must be such a contrast to the work you do in the studio?  
PAT:  Totally in the studio you're so focused on a shot list and they have a specific angle if your shooting a product or they have a specific look if you're shoot a editorial or a model , its very specific when you are doing the studio things to where when your out traveling I feel like the images come to you instead of you searching for them.


JT:  The new Bumbag campaign turned out amazing, what was that like to shoot? Are these shoots much different then a normal day in the studio?
PAT:  You guys always get the proper krue together, theres never someone thats dull, its always a energetic vibe and everyone is stoked out, which I really appreciate. I love it. I really like the wardrobes you guys put together. It’s honestly the attitude and environment, its super fun! Like on the last one, Dan Lu. he is wild hahah, its cool to be around a environment like that taking photos, you end up getting some pretty classic shots.

JT:  Yea he’s a next level human being that may not even be human haha!
PAT:  Totally, and the nice thing about is you don't have to go over board with crazy photography , because the people are telling the story in that photo, so you don't want to overwhelm it with too much going on. It’s fun to do those I get really stoked.

JT:  Well we are big fans of all your work, what’s next?  You working on any projects currently?
PAT:  You never know what work is coming your way, so thats always a exciting part of the job. But as a personal goal I've been shooting a lot of product. Trying to make your everyday house hold items look interesting through a photograph, for example staples or a toothbrush. Im working on my new website yet again, i think its like the 5th one, its seems like I can never settle on one. Focusing on myself is a goal for me this year,a lot has changed for me this past year. Im always trying to build the portfolio and continue creating my vision. I just want to build a solid foundation for myself. I have learned so much from working at Lionshead, and I am still currently the lead photographer for them. So I shoot for them regularly  still to this day. Always staying positive and hard working is my main focus. Also making sure that your always having fun!!

 

 

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