With the latest installment of my artist interview series, I’d like to introduce Shaun Morse of Fire In The Eye Photography. We grew up together in Rhode Island and talk often about photography and art, so I figured he’d be a great person to showcase as I continue to connect with and gather insight from creatives across all types of artistic disciplines.
How long have you been into photography? What initially inspired you to pick up a camera?
I’ve been a fan of photography for quite some time. It all started when I was in junior high school and one the of the art teachers, Mrs. Harris, asked me if I would be interested in joining the Yearbook Club. I figured, “Why not?” I wasn’t an athlete by any means and it was a good opportunity for me to get into some extracurricular actives after school instead of just going home to play video games.
I started out developing film in the school darkroom and from there I was hooked. On top of being a part of the Yearbook Club, I found out that my aunt Ellen had a camera. Back then there was no form of digital – all film. She let me borrow it and I began shooting from there.
I was, and still am, a huge fan of murals and graffiti, so I began photographing them when I would visit my dad on weekends in Boston. I enjoyed looking at objects that many in the mainstream would consider vandalism, but to me they were masterpieces showcased on concrete.
What type of equipment do you use?
My weapon (camera) of choice is a Nikon D7000. I also have an assortment of lenses, including a 50mm, 16mm-70mm, 35mm and 50mm-200mm. I currently use Lightroom 5 as my editing software.
What’s your favorite subject to photograph?
Like I mentioned, I am a huge fan of urban murals and graffiti. But over time, I’ve come to really enjoy taking photos of people (models, families, etc.) and landscapes. It was one of those things where I said to myself, “Let’s try it and see if it works.” My goal was to get better as time went on.
At times, I look back at some of my older photos of people and landscapes and then compare them to what I have captured recently – what a difference! It’s all about practice.
Do you have a particular style or creative process that you like to follow when shooting?
Ha! Good question. To be honest, man – no, I don’t. One of my favorite things to say on social media is, “Follow me and my random eye, one shot at a time!” And to be honest, that’s what it is. When I see something cool, I just shoot and capture the image. That’s the cool thing about photographers or artists, they see/have a vision and they run with it, no matter what the mainstream has to say about it.
What’s the most challenging part about being a photographer?
Well for me, I have two things that are challenging. The first challenge is living in Rhode Island, the smallest state in the country. Even though Rhode Island is diverse, being geographically small limits the number of unique areas to photograph, especially compared to large cities.
For instance, when I go Boston, I can take photos in Chinatown, Dorchester, Southie and Roxbury. Same thing when I travel to New York. You have The Bronx, Brooklyn and Harlem. Each of those areas have various unique communities within them. That’s one thing that is lacking within Rhode Island.
The second challenge is finding clientele. When I really started making a business out of photography, I found out that lots of other people had the same idea, so the competition can be tough in a small market. So being on social media is key, as well as connecting with people who might need a photographer, like a club promoter, make-up artist or clothing designer.
What is one piece of advice that you’d give someone who’s looking to get into photography?
I would tell anyone that is looking to get into photography to stay focused and practice, practice, practice! And, oh yeah… if you’re going to buy a digital camera (Them joints cost dough!) keep it off of AUTO. If you’re going spend the dough on a nice camera, make use of it. If you’re going to keep it on AUTO, you might as well go a get a point and shoot and call it a day.
Where can people go to find more information about you and your photography?
People can check out my work on my website, FireInTheEyePhotography.com, reach out to me on Twitter @QuietStormS529, follow me on Instagram @Quietstorm3 and email me at FireInTheEyePhotography@gmail.com.