Is there a photographer whose work you find yourself going back too again and again? Maybe you have never heard of this photographer? Perhaps they are “flying under the radar”? It happens but I want to find those photographers. I want to celebrate their work. 2019 is the year of elevating those that may not be getting the attention they deserve in this industry and I am counting on our readers to lead the way!
Each month we will be featuring an artist who is inspiring others, who may not necessarily be someone you have heard of. From time to time I will be enlisting the help of the SSG community to nominate an artist. I want to hear their story, share their triumphs and hear what they are doing to make this dream of theirs a reality. We can learn from others whether it be through inspiration, education or everything in between.
This community will only get stronger if we are there to uplift and give as many people as possible a voice.
Our “On Our Radar” artist this month is Trevor Ray of Trevor Ray Thompson
Nominated By: Vickie Black
“I have been on the sidelines eyeing Trevor’s work. Each social media post has captured my attention. I reached out and knew I had to feature his work.”
Tell us a little about yourself…what do we need to know that we don’t already?
I’m foremost a father to 3 rad children. First there’s Kat. She’s 19 and in her first year of college. She is my step-daughter, and I do my best to stay involved in her life even though I am no longer married to her mom. Then I have Henry and Bruce, ages 7 and 4, who stay with me 50% of the time. All of them inspire me to be a better person. I’m an extroverted introvert. If I’m at a party, we’re going to have lots of fun, but when I get home, I’m going to need to retreat to recover! I’m a non-conformist. I feel like I’m writing a dating profile here. I’m so bad at this. Humor is super important to me. Life is short and let’s stop and laugh now and then. Trying to be funny gets me in trouble sometimes, so just please accept this pre-apology. As a creative, I feel like I always need to be creating. Obviously, this applies to my photography, but I also love to learn how to create new things. I brew beer and I’m pretty good at it. As of now, my favorite brew to make is a nice session IPA or a hoppy brown ale. Have you had a hoppy brown ale? Mmmm, so good. I have a 3d printer and I enjoy tinkering with that. I just finished making Pokémon game pieces for my sons. And I LOVE to travel. I caught the travel bug a while ago and have been fortunate to explore many places and cultures. And I’ve been able to incorporate destination shoots into my photography, combining two of my passions.
How long have you been shooting seniors?
I’ve been shooting seniors for about 6 years now. Before I started exclusively shooting seniors, I was shooting a variety of genres. For a while, I was a “still photographer” for some indie films when I lived in Los Angeles. I’m on IMDB, which is fun. But, I went to a Senior Photography workshop at Imaging USA and realized that’s what I wanted to shoot exclusively. It’s been a fun ride since and being a part of the senior photography community has been so crucial.
What is your elevator pitch to marketing yourself?
I’m supposed to have one of those? I feel like my photos speak for themselves. If a potential client doesn’t like my work, then I’m not the photographer for them. I’m really bad at pitching myself. We can be honest here right?
I have kind of become obsessed with your work. How did you choose your style?
Or did it choose you?
Oh wow, well, first, thank you! I guess my style chose me. I didn’t specifically set out to shoot a certain way. I do know that I want to deliver images that stand out. That means sometimes taking risks and shooting or editing in a way outside of my comfort zone.
Lets go there…as a male photographer, what do you see as obstacles and/or positives in this industry for yourself and other male photographers?
I think most importantly, that you need to realize that you are a male photographer and behave accordingly. I don’t see any obstacles, I just feel that it’s important to have boundaries. Such as never shooting or being alone with a female client. I also feel that as a guy, I need to be careful on what I post. Case in point, I did a group swimwear shoot with my two BFF’s, Nicki and Holly, at the beach with our model teams last year. And while I took some amazing shots that I am proud of, they won’t be appearing on social media. I personally don’t feel it’s appropriate for me as a male photographer, to be posting bikini shots of teenagers on social media. Some may disagree with me on this, but that’s just my perspective.
Tell us about your watermark. It stands out in a good way!
Thank you! I’ll tell you right now, I am sure there are some that think it’s obnoxious. And you know what? It is. About a year ago, I made a conscious decision to say, I’m going to do something different. I want my clients to feel like they are part of an exclusive brand. In some ways this goes against what some are saying about Generation Z, but I’ve just decided to go all out and make my branding a part of the photo as much as the photo itself. I want my images on social media to feel like an advertisement in a French couture magazine. And I want my clients to want to be a part of that. It’s an experiment. If it fails, it fails. But it’s what I’m doing.
What was your aha moment in the senior industry with your business?
When I stopped shooting for everyone else and started shooting for myself. Shoot your way. Clients will follow.
Tell us about you most favorite place to photograph and why!
I love shooting in cities. London is my favorite place to shoot. There’s such a good mix of old and new architecture. And you can have a pint at a local pub after! What’s better than that!?
What are your top 3 goals for 2019?
1. Wake up at 4:30am and go to bed earlier. I have more time before my boys wake up and I get more done during the day. Nothing good happens past 10pm anyways, right?
2. Learn. Learn. Learn. Learn new photography shooting styles. Learn new lighting. Learn new editing. Learn new marketing techniques.
3. Lose 10 pounds.
If you could photograph anyone in the world who would it be? Where would it be? And why?
I would love to have an hour alone with President Trump and do an editorial style photoshoot with him in Mexico City. I would love the challenge of capturing his humanity and personality, capturing a different side of him and hopefully learn something meaningful.
See why Trevor is On Our Radar?
Follow him here: