Beyond The Lens – Independent Massachusetts photographer Shawn Pearce is getting his first publication on Internet Hollywood after completing his first interview with me this week. I got in contact with the talented photographer last week and asked if he would like to do an interview and he was definitely open for it. After that, I worked on the questions then sent it to him as soon as I finished them! I finally got his responses back and now I could finally share the interview with you all. I hope you enjoy reading!
~*~*Beyond The Lens /w Shaun Pearce*~*~
Internet Hollywood: What’s up Shawn?! Welcome to the Internet Hollywood universe. It’s always a pleasure to interview a talented photographer to learn about their background story, interest, and future plans. What motivated you to want to get involved with photography and what was the first camera you bought to get started?
Pearce: Hey hey, Justin! Thanks for having me! I am extremely grateful for the opportunity! I was always interested in photography from a young age. I would constantly read magazines to see incredible shots, browse the art section at bookstores and see what some creative friends of mine were doing but always felt I would never be able to afford a good camera or ever be good enough creatively so I buried the idea for a long time. I can’t remember exactly when it was but fast forward many many years and a friend of mine at a job I used to work as a photographer and he knew I was interested in the art so he told me his friend was selling a camera for a good price and I could take some time to save up the money. The camera was an Olympus E-500 and I was absolutely horrible!!
Internet Hollywood: How hard was it learning how to use a camera and now that your more experienced what is your favorite camera to use when you want to get the best results out of your work?
Pearce: This is a great question! Learning at first was difficult. I couldn’t afford schooling, YouTube wasn’t an educational tool at the time and I lost connection with friends of mine who either do or used to take photos so I started with experimentation. My camera didn’t leave my hands and I would constantly mess with settings to see what they did and how different type of lights and light positions would change a scene. Early on I would pirate editing software (I’ve long since purchased legit licenses) and make these horrible edits that I thought looked amazing at the time and now I look back and cringe! To answer the second part I will quote Chase Jarvis “The best camera is the one that’s with you”! Seriously it is. Practice makes perfect and in an age where we have some incredible tools at our disposal like cell phones with some great quality cameras you can constantly practice and get good shots no matter where you are. Lighting is much more important than the actual camera you use and while phones can’t replace a good high-quality shooter it can help you learn to achieve better results with any camera you use. That being said, since a camera is a tool and a higher quality tool helps get the job done easier and more reliably I shoot with a Canon 7D. I’m looking to upgrade to something newer when finances will allow it but for now, I have very little to complain about.
Internet Hollywood: What was the experience like doing your first photo shoot and now that you’ve done many what has become your favorite style of shooting when it comes to collaborating with models?
Pearce: (examples; gothic, cosplay, etc.) I have social anxiety to begin with and any time I work with someone I deal with nervousness until I get the camera in my hands. Once I hold my camera something changes and I just focus (ha!). I’ve gotten much better with that but my first shoot?? I had no idea what I was doing! Shots came out blurred, underexposed, And the ones that came out “ok” I ruined with extreme editing. I knew my camera, I knew what I wanted but once I was in the thick of it I froze up and forgot everything! I kept doing it and kept getting better at it although I’m far from where I want to be but that is why I love photography. It’s a non stop learning process and I absolutely love learning! Currently, I work with many models and love to collaborate with them on their ideas as well as my own projects but I would have to say my favorite style of shooting is horror and I have many upcoming projects planned for that genre but I will never limit myself. I appreciate the art form too much to not delve into every style.
Internet Hollywood: Many photographers have chosen to dive into things like magazines, films, and calendars to expand their work and make ends meet financially. That only made me more curious to ask; are you currently diving into other things besides doing photo shoots with models?
Pearce: Absolutely! I was published a while back in an indie horror magazine called “Necro Girls” and more recently a rotating themed magazine “MIRaJ” and I was nervous but excited! Besides someone thinking my work was actually good enough I was part of someone else s form of art and I love supporting other people in the industry. I need to start focusing more on the financial side of things though because frankly I’m tired of working for other people in mundane non-rewarding jobs and I would love to actually support myself with creative projects. I would also like to get more into filming and I have plans to start a podcast for people in the artistic world but I’m still working on the title and format for it.
Internet Hollywood: Where did the origin of the name ‘Tribal Moon Photography’ come from and what made you use that name to represent your brand?
Pearce: While I’m terrible at updating my page, at least on Facebook and maybe rebranding myself soon, Tribal Moon Photography originally came from a combination of my interest with both Tribal cultures and how drawn I am to the night sky and moon. I have always been interested in Shamanism and other spirituality practices like that as I find them incredibly fascinating and would like to incorporate more of those themes into some future photography and every day life. I also have a very strong interest in science as well, especially dealing with space and one day I’ll buy a nice telescope and learn astrophotography! What ties them together though, is the moon. I know spirituality and science can be very conflicting but I feel there is some correlation between them. I can’t remember the source but here’s a little experiment for your readers. Document the moon cycle for a year. every night write down the moon phase and your overall mood for the day and you may be surprised to see a pattern emerge!
Internet Hollywood: Do you currently charge rates for your services?
Pearce: This is something I have been terrible at. I’ve only started charging this year and mainly for certain events, band liner/portrait photos and family/senior portraits. I typically do shoots with models for TFP and cover certain events like charity or veteran organizations free of charge but if I want to progress professionally and reach my goal of making a living off art I need to start doing more paid work and advertising. I think most people in the industry struggle with putting a price on time and skill whether you are a model, painter, photographer or anything in between so I guess it’s part of the learning process.
Internet Hollywood: Last question; what main goals are you hoping to fulfill this year that you feel will get you closer to achieving the dream you always imagined conquering?
Pearce: This year I’m hoping will be my biggest year creatively and professionally. I have many plans! I will be launching my podcast and have many awesome guests lined up that have shown interest in being interviewed!. I will focus on my photography and diving head first into improving my editing and making more surreal/dark looks with compositing, especially in my horror and fantasy work. I also want to start working with more people who do things like fire spinning and other arts that we can collaborate on. I just want to learn more and keep progressing as a person and an artist and be in a financial position where I can constantly surround myself with fellow creative people!
~*~*Thank You For Reading*~*~
~*~*Credits & Links*~*~