Brad Olson is a fashion and commercial photographer. Brad is represented by the FORD / Robert Black Agency and his images are represented by Art + Commerce. Brad lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife.
Name: Brad Olson
College: I didn’t study photography in school.
Favorite Color: R: 0 G: 0 B: 0
Favorite Book: My favorite photography book is “The Photographer’s Eye” by Michael Freeman; beyond that I enjoy biographies.
Favorite Movie: I tend to like quirky movies, anything from Wes Anderson
Favorite Food: Good sushi
Favorite Quote: No good deed goes unpunished.
How long have you been in photography? How did you start? I was involved in video production prior to photography. I have been working full time as a photographer for 5 years. My first commercial job was for a clothing catalog and most of my work has a connection to the fashion industry.
How would you define yourself as an artist? I aim to present the best version of my artistic perspective through my photography. I share my vision of beauty and attempt to do so in a way that connects with the viewer.
Where do you find inspiration? I think inspiration is all around us. Often something as simple as seeing light fall beautifully on an object or seeing a person in an interesting position can inspire new work. I am also very inspired by photos and art from different genres such as street or architectural photography.
Is Brainstorming the only creative method used to create new concepts? I think brainstorming within a team is always a great way to expand your ideas. I often create challenges for myself to try something new or do something familiar in a different way to find new concepts.
Please could you tell us about photography and digital technology? I think that the immediacy of digital photography and the ease of digital editing are two of the reasons that attracted me to photography. I wasn’t interested in film photography and it wasn’t until DSLR cameras and Photoshop were popular that I really became interested. The universal access to digital photography has made nearly everyone a photographer and it becomes much more important to really understand and develop your craft to stand out and create work that is meaningful.
What type of camera do you use most? I use a Nikon D810 for most of my commercial work. I prefer the Fujifilm X100 for travel and street photography.
What is your favorite lens? I love the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G – I probably use it 80% of the time.
What has been your most memorable assignment and why? I had a project where I was hired by an advertising agency that was truly epic. We had 6 wildly creative concepts to shoot in 7 days. The first day involved creating a gardening scene inside a hotel bathroom and the final day featured a polo player with a horse in an elevator. The challenges of the photo shoots were exciting and the final images were very rewarding.
What are your favorite three images you have shot recently? An impromptu series with a model in a river was one of those ideal situations where the location, light and subject all came together better than I could have hoped.
How important is an awesome website for your business? A website has to be the core of all of your marketing. You can’t completely control your social media channels, and no other form of communication is as cost effective and readily available as a website.
What’s the most important quality a photographer needs to have? I think that a critical eye is ultimately the most important. Having a unique perspective and the discipline to keep working and improving are very important.
Which of your projects has given you the most satisfaction? While shooting fashion editorials are often the most enjoyable for me, I think the projects that give me the most satisfaction are when I am asked to document an important moment in someone’s life, like engagement photos, for example. I think that these will be the photos that will be treasured by someone and eventually by their children and grandchildren.
Who are the photographer’s you admire the most? Tim Walker for sure! I always love to see new work from Romina Ressia, Marta Bevacqua and Maria Svarbova.
What are your next projects? I am shooting an outdoor fashion editorial this weekend and hoping for good weather!