Photographer Tony Veloz: “I have a very minimalist aesthetic. I like simplicity and structure. I’m influenced by fashion and have a true appreciation for makeup and beauty and I think that shows in my work”.

21 jul, 2011

I was born and raised in Laredo, TX. While studying communications in college, I took some photography classes and fell in love with them. I was already interested in fashion and beauty so that was my first form of inspiration when I began shooting. It began as a hobby.

When I moved to DC, I met some friends that worked in theatre and they asked me to do their head shots. Those became my first paying gigs. One thing led to another and soon I was meeting models and bookers from different agencies.

I have a very minimalist aesthetic. I like simplicity and structure. I’m influenced by fashion and have a true appreciation for makeup and beauty and I think that shows in my work. Horst P Horst and Helmut Newton are photographers who I look up to. I’m inspired by their work as well as by the work of more contemporary photographers such as David Sims and Hedi Slimane.

The digital era: quality helping the photographers?

Absolutely. I learned photography with a film camera and to develop photographs in a dark room which is not as prevalent nowadays. I try even now not to rely on technology to do all the work. Obviously, it helps to have digital technology…like Photoshop, for example.

It can help fix certain flaws or help you adjust things. However, it’s so easy for anyone to just pick up a camera and some photo editing software and produce decent work without actually having skills. We live in a world now where technology allows anyone to take a decent picture. As a photographer you should still know how to understand light  and composition and have your own style and be creative.

Special moments capturing a perfect picture and working with the models

I work best when I’m at my most comfortable and that’s usually when I’m relaxed. I love working with other models and artists that not only inspire me, but that I enjoy being around. I’ve had many special moments, but in one of my recent shoots, it was just me and the model – no styling, no hair or makeup. The images turned out simple, raw and striking. I loved them so much. It was a moment that didn’t require so much of a production. Sometimes less is more and I feel like in that moment, I captured the true emotion of the model and his connection with the lens. There was no fuss.

I don’t know that I’ve really helped a number of models with their careers. I feel like I’m just a small part in some of their evolvement. I’m a firm believer that working with a team is about collaboration and one member of a team is not great without the other. Obviously there have been some amazing models for whom I’ve helped start a portfolio, but they’ve  also helped me with mine. Fame doesn’t really matter to me as much as talent does. And, I’ve been blessed to work with some great talent.

Funny backstages´s moments: don´t take this industry way too seriously

Most experiences have been fun and positive. Working with fun people always results in having a fun shoot and producing great work. Some of my makeup artist friends are a riot! I believe in hard work and professionalism during shoots, but I also believe in having fun.You can’t take this industry way too seriously.

Worldwide economic crisis really affected the fashion industry?

On the one hand there are photographers out there who are already established and have careers going for them so I’m sure they are suffering less, but on the other hand, because there are so many new artists evolving in this digital era, it can be more difficult to establish yourself and make a name for yourself in the industry. With the Internet and social networking, the cost of publishing and promoting yourself is negligible, so that has helped some talent survive hard times. Ultimately, it’s really about doing what you love and staying fresh…this will provide longevity in the industry.

Top cool places for a shooting

Studio is where my heart is. I like to be in control of my lighting. I’ve done location shoots but that’s not really where my passion and strength lie. I feel like I am out of my element on location. There’s a certain sense of style that’s all mine and I want to retain that throughout my work. That’s not to say I don’t like to shoot in ambient lighting. I admire  photographers that shoot great work on location. That’s one of the good things about this age we’re living in – there are so many photographers with different styles and points of views.

IMAGE worth a THOUSAND WORDS?

I’m very proud of my most recent B&W work because it’s been quite simple and raw with little to no retouching. However, I also really love the work I’ve produced with some talented makeup artists. I’m fascinated by makeup.

The projects and the unforgettable moments

It’s a pleasure to work with new and fresh faces all the time. There are a couple of New York agencies I’ve been working with that have some amazing models. At the moment I’m focusing more on doing simpler more commercial work. I’m also about to embark on a personal project shooting tattooed models. I’m fascinated by tattoos and have always been interested in doing something gritty and raw. This is going to be something different than what I normally do..

Thank you for asking me to be interviewed. I just recently got signed to an agency so I’m very excited to see what the near future holds for me. I’m ecstatic not only because someone would believe in my work and my talent, but also that I can make a decent living out of this. I’m also planning on starting an online magazine…it’s in the works but I need to finish a couple of projects before I throw myself full force into this one.

I don’t want to do anything mediocre so it will take some time. As far as special moments, there have been many. Again, for me the best part of all of this has been that I’ve met so many amazing friends and fellow artists who love what they do. I love collaborating with creative individuals who not only inspire me, but challenge me. And I know this sounds cliché, but helping someone start a portfolio or somehow be involved in their growth as an artist (be it a model, makeup artist, etc.) is really fulfilling and makes me feel genuinely happy.

Motto: “Let the work speak for itself”

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Contact info: http://www.tonyveloz.com/