Todd Blubaugh on livin’ the dream, his rules on bro-ing, and following the three B’s of photography.
– todd blubaugh
Read the entire interview with Todd Blubaugh after the jump below…
City: Seattle WA
Clients: My client list is pretty diverse. Everyone from Vice to the United States Army.
Camera of choice: That depends on the project. I Prefer Canon but I shoot with a lot of different cameras.
The first thing you should know is that I hate talking about myself so I will keep this short. I’m originally from Kansas. I moved to Seattle six years ago after finishing school for a staff photography job with K2 Sports. These days I keep busy shooting anything and everything interesting.
How did you get introduced to photography, and when did it become apparent that this was your calling?
My mom and dad are both very artistic and always pushed my in that direction. We had a cameras around the house because my mom is a painter and she was always photographing scenes she wanted to paint. I started back then just learning how to use the manual functions of a SLR camera and with that came an understanding of light and it’s behaviors. I always romanticized the life of a magazine photographer and wanted to pursue images while traveling. Outside magazine and National geographic were huge influences on me as a kid. I knew very early on that this was what I wanted to do. It’s been a lot of work but I guess you could say I’m livin’ the dream.
You have a section on your site just for motorbikes. Do you ride, and what kind of motorcycles do you have?
Yeah I ride pretty much everyday rain or shine out here. There was a motorcycle park behind my house I grew up in and so I’ve had a bike since I was 12. All the kids in my neighborhood had shitty old bikes and we used to terrorize the neighborhoods of my home town. I never grew out of it, and I still ride old POS bikes that take a lot of maintenance (mainly HD’s). I met my roommate Jeff (Tower) Pochodowicz Shortly after moving to Seattle and he introduced me to Twinline Motorcycles and they adopted me as part of the family. Twinline has been instrumental in building Seattle’s vintage scene. It’s a pretty magical place with a lot of diversity.
Capturing that perfect slice of time – how do you know where you need to be for a shot?
It’s very simple really. The decisions I make for composition are determined largely by two things: horizon and background. You have to push and pull your subject based on it’s relationship to your background. Then you give it authority based on its relationship to the horizon. After calculating or manipulating these elements I make the decision of where the camera should live.
You’ve also done some video work. How is it different from shooting stills? How are they the same?
I studied film in school and was very turned off by the ridiculous cost of production. Back then it was a lot more. I was not comfortable with begging for money so I switched to photography because that is all a film really is – an army of photographers working on the same shot…same story. Nowadays technology has reduced the cost of production – so I have no excuse.
Best piece of advice you ever received about photography?
The three B’s…Be brief, be brilliant, and be gone…Photography is intrusive. You don’t want to overstay your welcome.
From your experience, have your best shots come from perfect planning or accidents?
Stills are almost always an unplanned moment. The success in film comes from a lot of meticulous planning.
If you could shoot any event in the world – what would that be?
Politicians. I’d like to explain politicians by photographing the real people hidden underneath the political facades they are forced to present. It’s a pretty big challenge I hope to tackle some day. I may have to use motorbikes to break them down.
Favorite mantra or saying?
Don’t bro me if you don’t know me.
What’s next for you?
+ Source: Todd Blubaugh