It’s interesting trying to decide how to introduce a photographer whose work you admire. I could point out all the things in their work that attracts my eye, or how I perceive certain things about their work. But ultimately, when reading about a photographer all that tends to go out of the window, especially if I start looking for those things in amongst their photostream or blog. It’s kind of like trying to guess the end of the film you are watching, or skipping to the last page of a book.
So, if I find something I like, I try to follow it with an open mind and see how it develops rather than looking for that same individual component that spoke to me in the beginning. Peoples work develop and change, although the underlying eye remains the same. You’ll find a theme here in Eric’s work that I have chosen, but for the big picture you need to keep an eye on his blog. I hope you like it, for me Eric has the best use of negative space of the current photographers I am following – there, I just did what I said I wouldn’t! 🙂
As with a good book or film, your interpretation of his work will differ from mine. Drop a comment at the bottom of the post and let me know what you think.
Tell us a little about where your from, your background, education, and where you shoot weddings?
I’m Eric Yerke and I live in the state of Iowa, USA. I have a degree in fine arts with an emphasis in graphic design. I shoot weddings all over the state, and have booked a few out of state weddings for this year.
How would you describe your style?
That is the question I’ll never be able to answer. However, I can tell you what I look for while shooting… I’m looking for interesting light, shadows, lines, the intersection of architecture and nature, textures, and negative space. I spend a lot of time studying design, and think that has a large influence on my compositions.
My photography professor said this to me, “It’s not what you put in the photo, it’s what you leave out.”
Those words are always on my mind while shooting.
Another thing my photography professor said was, “don’t point your camera.” I interpreted that as finding interesting ways to bring your subject into the scene. I tend to put my subject secondary to their surroundings.
What kind of gear do you use?
I shoot Canon 5D’s. My favorite combo is the 35 f/1.4 with the 85 f/1.2. I also use the 135 f/2.0 lens quite a bit when I have a lot of space to work in.
I’ve also started shooting a lot more medium format film, because I love the look and the dynamic range of film. For that I use a Mamiya 645 AFD with a 80mm lens.
What’s your favorite lens?
35L. It let’s in just the right amount of a scene for a strong composition. I use it for my horizontal compositions.
How did you get into shooting weddings?
I credit my career in photography to the birth of my daughter 4 years ago. I bought a 5D and a 24-70 f/2.8 before she was born to capture her life. Shortly after this people were enjoying my work and wanting to hire me.
A co-worker at the time asked me to shoot her wedding, and I loved every second of it. From there I put my work in front of people getting married and slowly booking up.
Do you shoot anything other than weddings?
Yes. Lately I’ve been getting into shooting Polaroids. I love the simplicity, colors, and aesthetics of Polaroids. I’ve also been inspired by how Polaroids level the playing field and has almost nothing to do about gear. Just your vision and one button.
What photographers work do you enjoy?
I’d say the biggest inspiration has been Michael Ash Imagery. His style, and vision are like none other. I think his work has an organic vibe, and that really resonates with me.
Another photographer to look out for is Nirav Patel. He adds a level of mystery into his work that always leaves me in awe.
Lastly, I’ve been heavily motivated and inspired by Gabe Aceves. His determination for success is contagious and I’m happy to have been infected by it.
Any tips you can offer to photographers starting out?
Show clients the real “you,” don’t stress, post processing has very very little to do with good photography, light is all, and stay positive. Listen to yourself, and there is no price on experience. Passion backed by determination is the recipe for success.
What are your plans for 2011?
I’m focusing on customer service, connecting with my clients, and giving back more to the industry. I also plan on putting a lot more focus on shooting film, spending less time behind a computer, and shooting more personal work.