HotShots: Van Styles

While we love, love, love tattooed women, often there is a star on the other side of the camera. Meet Van Styles a rad shooter from LA via New York who shoots slick and sexy photos. We pick his brain in the interview below and show his interesting eye in the gallery that follows.

What do you think separates “photographers” from “artists?”
Those who do it for the paycheck and those who do it for the love of creating.

What do you try to create when you look through your lens?
I try to translate how I see things. Not really creating but sharing.

What characteristics do you look for in models?
Unique style is good but it really comes down to personality. Those willing to give themselves to the camera.

Do you prefer tattooed subjects?
I don’t prefer them but they are fun to shoot. I like the contrasts that their work can give in photos especially for black and white imagery.

What makes a photo great for you?
When I like it….when I feel like I captured a mood.

You have an extensive portfolio. Do you have a favorite style to shoot in?
I love natural or existing lighting for sure.

You’ve been shooting a lot for The Hundreds. What’s it been like working with them?
Amazing. Bobby and Ben are great people as well as their whole company. I definitely see it as an honor to be associated with them.

Would you rather shoot with minimal propping or in a lush setting?

Your portraits are wildly compelling, how do you connote that through a snapshot?
Tough to say. I guess the camera is my tool in showing people how I see things. I don’t believe in trying too hard but rather just capture someone how they are.

What sparked your interest in photography?
Being exposed to skateboard magazines as a teenager. I loved how so much energy and feeling was translated through a single image.

What camera do you work with?
These days it depends on what I am shooting. If I am working with models then usually my Canon 1DX but if I am doing street photography I have been having a lot of fun with my Leica M 240 or my Leica Monochrom.

Do you have a routine when shooting?
Not really other than having fun.

How do you get the most out of your models?
By asking the least from them.

Van Styles Meme: Tattooed model Ellis Cooper photographed by Van Styles.



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