Location: Los Angeles, CA
Born in London, Bartholomew Cooke moved to Southern California at age 6. His high school years were spent at Idyllwild Arts. A graduate of Art Center,a still life photographer with incredible technique and a wry sense of humor in his photos. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Details, GQ, Money Magazine, Teen Vogue, Men’s Vogue, Bon Apetit, Bloomberg Weekly, The New Yorker, Portfolio, and Los Angeles Times Magazine and on the cover of Time Magazine. His advertising clients include Nike, TBWA/CHIAT/DAY, Deutsch Inc., Targus and Incase.
I attended Idyllwild Arts Academy for high school, which let me begin to explore photography seriously. Professionally, I’ve been shooting for four years. I graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, in 2007.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned either from a teacher or mentor?
The most important lesson I learned is that you have to create your own world through your images.
What was your first photography job?
My first job after graduation was for Details magazine.
What advice would you give to a photographer who is still in school?
Focus on developing a portfolio that has a consistent and well-considered style.
What inspires you about photography?
I’m constantly inspired by the work of other photographers.
What makes you go out and shoot?
Each job offers up new challenges to solve, which keeps you on your toes and provides a level of excitement. Collaborating with clients, stylists and designers is also a very fulfilling element of my job.
What do you like best about the whole process?
It’s inspiring to work in a medium that has a rich history, yet is evolving at a constant and rapid pace.
What kind of camera equipment do you use?
I use several different cameras and lenses. The decisions are based on the nature of the job I’m doing. Among the gear I use most are Canon DSLRs, Hasselblad medium-format digital cameras with Phase One digital backs, Apple Mac Pro and MacBook Pro computers, a Wacom Intuos4 track pad and Adobe CS5.
What do you think it takes to be successful in today’s challenging and competitive marketplace?
You need an understanding that you have to occupy the dual roles of an artist who has to push boundaries and have confidence in your decisions, and a truly professional technician who must deliver the highest-quality product to the client.
To see more of Bartholomew Cooke’s work, go to www.bartholomewcooke.com.