Rick Souders – Pro Spotlight
I consider myself a specialized image-maker who likes shooting food, beverages and people— although my tastes in photography are very complex. Creative thinking, fun perspectives, bold colors and textures and great light are important to my visual process.
Light is the essential ingredient to all life. Light is what gives a photograph life. Light helps define and refine an idea or thought. One of my personal mantras is “When we stop seeing, we stop learning. When we stop learning, we stop growing.”
My favorite place to shoot is in the studio because I can control and create light. Even though I have shot on location scores of times, I am keenly aware that the quickly changing outdoor light can be tough and sometimes out of the photographer’s control. I think lighting needs to have a purpose. It needs to create drama, tension and have attitude. Lighting needs to create visual appeal, taste appeal, emotional appeal and give us a sense of perspective. Lighting should be very intentional, but not over thought. That is a very tough balance to create.
My Thoughts on Chimera Products:
Chimera products are great because they are simple and well constructed. They are lighting devices that allow me to create any kind of lighting situation I want. All of the Chimera lighting devices create different looks with different qualities. They allow me to create different styles and emotions with light. I primarily use Lightbanks with white interiors, but occasionally use silver interiors for a little extra forced directional light. I use Chimera's Window Patterns frequently to provide more interest in my backgrounds. I used them in every shot found in my self promotion project showcased here. From traditional Strip Banks, to grids, to the Convertible OctaPlus 57, with Chimera I have many tools available to help me create brilliant images.
My Advice to Students:
Look – See – Learn. Lighting is a way of seeing and ultimately learning. If you see light, follow and watch it, you can then understand how to create it.
The images here are from a Self Promotional Mailer Kit entitled “Retro Girls.” Everything was pre-conceptualized according to color and style. All elements were staged to have just the perfect match of talent, wardrobe, sets, props, food and drink. This series illustrates my Studio's ability to capture people, food and drinks in a very Retro but timeless perspective. The lighting is very simple, refined and beautiful.
Note: See more of Rick’s work and style in the May 2010 issue of Photo District News - Page 25.