Name: Luke Copping
Job Title/Description: I'm just Luke! It sounds so redundant to say photographer at Luke Copping Photography.
Personal website: http://www.lukecopping.com
What’s your camera of choice?
Whatever is right for the assignment I am on! Whether it be digital, film, medium format, iPhone, Canon/Nikon... it is all irrelevant. Cameras are tools, I think too many photographers are mired in a race for gear and not to improve their creative skills and refine how they express themselves visually. If all you are competing on is price and who has the best gear than it is surely a race to the bottom. We set ourselves apart through the work we make.
Finish this sentence:
Taking pictures makes me feel...Everything!! It makes me feel everything. Happiness, anger, elation, confusion, joy, disappointment, uncertainty.You have to infuse your work with the whole spectrum of what you feel and what you want to communicate to your viewers. If you love making images it should be your best friend and your worst enemy. You have to always be pushing yourself to grow as an artist and cannot become complacent by falling in love with your work too much - that leads to you denying the mistakes in your works - and denying your mistakes means you will not grow or improve.
What subjects do you love capturing the most?
People, I just love the idea of photographing people, especially faces. I have done quite a bit of beauty work, and I love creating images of a beautiful well styled visage, but even more than that I love faces with some character and quirk.
Who are some of your photography icons?
Nick Knight, Rodney Smith, and David Bailey
Where do you find your inspiration to keep your photography fresh and creative?
It can come from anywhere: books, movies, music, jokes, other images, media and ideas of all sorts. It strikes sharp and suddenly when it does come. I think it is much more important to discuss not where inspiration comes from, but how you utilize it. People have great ideas every day but they often don't act on them or record them. Carry a notebook or a voice recorder and put those ideas down on paper so you can revisit them and make them real. You also need to sharpen your creative talents so that you can perform in the absence on inspiration. Clients and subjects are not going to wait around for you to have a serendipitous and ephemeral moment of inspiration, as a pro you have to reach out and grab that. You have to MAKE it happen.
What was your most fun or crazy photography moment from this past year?
Shooting the dirt series, simply because who doesn't love getting to play around in dirt and get their friends filthy?
What’s the key to doing what you love AND making a living?
Learn to value your own work, don't let other people dictate what you are worth to you, if you feel that your clients don't value what you do and the value you provide for the price you charge then it is time to find new clients. The internet enables us to have a global visual presence, we are not limited by region anymore, there is no reason you cannot be focused on finding the clients that are right for you, instead of worrying about being right for the clients available to you geographically.
Are there any Photography Associations that you belong to or recommend being a part of?
Being a member of ASMP has been a huge benefit to me, I serve as the president of the local board in Western New York. It is an amazing community that has done so much to create an open spirit of education and mutual improvement that benefits the industry so much, rather than the mindset of professionals being closed off and not helping one another. Worse still, the mindset of not helping to educate emerging photographers about the business and the value of their work, which ultimately is one that is very harmful to the industry