Location: Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles is a hotbed of fashion photography, and Shiloh Strong has based his operations there to take advantage of the opportunities. In addition to his impressive photo career, Strong, like many pros today, is diversifying himself by working in motion pictures. As he says, “Be it funny, haunting, cinematic or beautiful, my goal is to find and express a story that will hold and interest people.” He’s a 2008 and 2009 International Photography Award Winner.
I went to the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara and graduated in ’10; I actually walked in ’09 and graduated in 2010.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned either from a teacher or mentor?
Paul Meyer always pushed me to find a new and different angle with my lens. In class, he would wave the camera all over yelling, “Look at it this way, get on the floor, shoot from the ceiling, move!” Nino Rakichevich was a huge mentor for me for many reasons. One day he was demonstrating how to set up a strobe for a lower-division class. He had a small softbox in his hand and he kept yelling, “Move the light around. Find the light, move, move, move!” So what I took away from all that was: Don’t stop exploring because there’s always another angle, and to move, move, move! Also, great teachers yell a lot.
What was your first job?
Shooting an actor’s headshots. It wasn’t very glamorous. I didn’t do it very well.
What advice would you give to a photographer who is still in school?
Do whatever you can to get the images you want and that express your style, even if you don’t know what that is yet. It’s all about the work you have once you get out of school, and it’s so much more difficult to shoot for yourself once you’re hustling outside of the “school bubble” and trying to make rent.
What inspires you about photography?
The storytelling. There’s always a story.
What kind of camera equipment do you use?
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EF 24-70mm ƒ/2.8L USM, 24-105mm ƒ/4L IS USM and 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS USM.
What’s your favorite piece of Canon gear?
The Canon EOS 5D Mark II is such an amazing camera—crazy shallow depth of field makes my day. The still images are great, and I’ve also been able to start building my cinematography reel with the video capabilities. I’m also in love with the EF 24-105mm ƒ/4L IS USM lens right now, as well, and its macro ability.
To see more of Shiloh Strong’s work, go to www.shilohstrongfoto.com.