Q & A with Logan Cyrus

Welcome to another Q & A Session! Get to know Logan Cyrus. Logan specializes in Editorial Photography. Enjoy the interview and if you enjoyed what you read, please leave a comment.

1. Tell us about yourself. How did you get started in photography?

It’s been a growing interest maybe since the latter half of my HS days. I didn’t start getting serious about it until 4 years ago.

2. What type of photographer are you? What motivates you to do what you do?

I’m a bright-eyed newbie. I think everyone wants to leave something behind in this world. When I’m dead and gone I want to leave behind great work that spoke to how I saw the world and something that my family can be proud of. Couple that with a child-like love for photography and that’s what motivates me.

3. What types of assignments are you attracted to the most?

Definitely shooting editorial assignments. Any time I get a chance to make compelling images and meet interesting people as well as tell a story is the best.

4. What motivated you to photograph local businesses? How does that benefit you and your client?

My parents worked for a small animation factory in Steubenville, OH when I was a kid. My dad was a machinist and put together the inner workings of the animations and my mother was a seamstress as well as a retailer. It was housed in this old 3 story building in the downtown area. I spent my summers there playing with the other co-workers kids. I grew up with small business but I had never really looked at it that way. It was just the way it was. As I’ve been progressing through school, I tried different avenues of photography but eventually realized that I liked more substantial, story-based work. I liked the connections and people I was meeting. It also helped me sharpen my photography skills because you don’t have the control over lighting and subject like you do in the studio.  I found myself photographing small business owners for different school projects because they interested me. It took me a while to realize just why they did. It’s about community and telling a story about what you love with your bare hands and that’s why I like to photograph it. I think understanding that helps with the process of photographing these individuals.

5. What type of equipment do you use? What cameras, lenses and any other vital gear do you choose and why? 

I use a Canon 5D MK II as well as a Canon 40D as a backup. I also use a 17-40mm, 50mm prime and a 70-200mm lens. Most of what I do now is on location so if I need artificial light I use Alien Bees primarily because they are small, inexpensive and well made.

6. Have you ever felt uncomfortable taking photographs of any of your subject(s) or event(s)?

Yes, I once had a shoot, set up through a 3rd party for Christmas. It was supposed to be pinup-ish and the 3rd party was going to set-up the ladies to be photographed. My job was to show up and photograph them and get paid. Really not totally my thing but I’m poor and it was Christmas so off I went. When I got there it was only 1 woman and the images were for her husband for Christmas. It went from fun pinup to a more risqué lingerie. I’m already sort of shy and awkward around ladies, so I tried to make as many jokes and try not to draw attention to how uncomfortable I was. The images came out fine and ended up meeting her in a Harris Teeter parking lot a week later to deliver them. It was weird.

7. How does your personality change when you’re behind the camera?

That mostly depends on where and what I’m taking pictures but I don’t think it changes too much.

8. How has social media helped you to promote your work? How much time do you invest in it?

Contrary to what some might say, I love social media. I’m a twitter addict. I usually meet the people I want to photograph through twitter and post my work through the same networks. It’s also a good way to create a database of creative directors, ad agencies and photo editors you may want to work with in the future. Most of my traffic comes from retweets and reposts from the people I’m photographing and other followers. I probably spend roughly 2 hours a day on some sort of social media trying to build my brand and promote my work.

9. What is the ONE lasting impression you want people to have after seeing your photos?

If 10 people look at one of my images and come away thinking something different then that’s great. If they all think the same thing, that’s great as well. My fear would be to have them say, “I feel nothing from this…” as overly dramatic as that may sound.

10. Do you think that a person must possess talent to capture emotion and expression in a picture? How do you capture that moment?

I think in the world of photography or multi-media for that matter, talent is measured many different ways. In what interests me there has to be a certain understanding of the world around you to capture emotion and expression. You have to know how to convert how you see the world naturally into an unnatural act like snapping a picture. Sometimes emotions or expression can be ugly, goofy, sad ect. I want to capture that.

11. Do you remember the first photo you took that made you say, WOW!?

I don’t know. That is a tough question. Most times I’ll see it on the LCD and think it’s awesome then when it’s on my monitor something will be wrong with it.

12. Photographers are told to find and develop a personal style to set them apart. What would you say sets you apart from other photographers?

It seems like every day forward photography becomes more and more of an extension of my personality and knowledge base. I want to try hard, learn, and consistently refine my craft. If that isn’t enough to set me apart then I don’t know what else I can do to make that happen.

13. Where do you see yourself in the future as a photographer? Where do you think it will lead you?

I hope to be working regularly getting good assignments and seeing my work published in magazines and newspapers nationally and internationally. I don’t know where it will be leading me. The future of editorial and photojournalism seems to be strange right now so there will be a lot of evolving and trial and error to get things right.  What I don’t want is to become stale and jaded and only see photography as a source for money. If I wanted that I would of got a regular 9-5 job.

14. What tips would you give to aspiring photographers?

I don’t know. Be cool? Maybe, try hard and learn.

15. Finally, what other thoughts would you like to share?

I think I’ve rambled on long enough.

Thanks for reading!! :)

Click on the links below to find out more about Logan.

Website: Logan Cyrus Photography

Blog: Logan Cyrus Photography

Follow Him on Twitter: Logan Cyrus

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