Today's Artist Spotlight travels to Dayton, Ohio! This week we got to chat with the talented Caleb Morris - photographer, writer, musician - about his incredible body of work and upcoming projects.
Is there one photo in particular you are most proud of?
A photo that I am most proud of - hmmmmmm. Thats a tough one. I’d say that some of my portrait work is my favorite. I love the ones that really use natural light to their advantage. I usually use nothing but natural light (except for the studio portraits of course). But, I love photos that use natural light and capture people in their natural habitat. I like telling stories. I love when you can look at a photo and get some feeling or emotion and I find that this happens the most when I capture people in their natural habitats. Like the photos below:
What was the first camera you owned?
The first camera I owned was a Canon T3i - I still own it. It’s my main camera. I kind of have a love/hate relationship with it. It is a T3i… haha. Its not the best at all, but that is what I like about it. It just proves that you DO NOT NEED a huge expensive camera to take good photos. Am I saying it is as good at a 5D Mark III? No way. But, I feel that I can produce high quality content with something so cheap. I like proving that point to be people.
(It frustrates me when people who are just starting out buy the nicest thing on the market. Get to learn the cheap stuff and prove you know what you are doing before you spend thousands of dollars. Otherwise you are just waisting money.) I do rent a 5D Mark III for most weddings though. :)
What photographer(s) most influenced you (maybe mention specific works of theirs, as well as what you learned from studying their photographs)?
I love love love Jeremy Cowart
. Every photo the guy takes is Golden. He tells stories so well with his photographs. What I have taken from him is his ability to share emotion in a photo. Another is Rosey Red Photography
. I love their edits and their mood. Too good. What inspired me about Rosey Red is the use of natural light to make everything look so good. I am definitely inspired by their work.
Probably, the person who taught me the most about shooting photos is Christian Sampson
. That guy is great. What I would say influences me the most about his work, is his camera technique. He introduced me to the whole small aperture thing. I wouldn’t say I necessarily have a favorite though. I tend to just look through Instagram or the VSCO Film User’s Facebook page for inspiration. I love most of the stuff that is on there.
If you could have any photograph on your wall, what would it be? (attach as well if you can)
Any photograph of mine? Or a someone else’s? (I’ll answer both) Good question.
I do really love this photo of mine. The deep blue mixed with the yellow hint in the foam really looks pretty cool if you ask me.
My favorite of somebody else work is probably……. this one by Rosey Red. Its of my wife and I on our wedding day.
Do you have any advice you would like to pass on to other photographers? (technical advice for the amateur photographers out there would be great.)
Yes. I do. I said it above. Don’t waste your money on an expensive camera until you absolutely need to, and take care of your equipment. Also, back everything up. And have a contract to protect you in case something horrible happens. It’s important to get that stuff figured out.
Also - I would recommend buying a nice lens before you buy a nice camera.
What camera do you use on an everyday basis?
T3i / Rent 5D Mark III for professional occasions. My most used camera is the iPhone 7 Plus.
seriously though… look at the photos you can get with this thing.
Is there any piece of equipment/lens that is essential for your work?
Prime Lenses are essential. I love having a small aperture and I love the sharpness they give off.
Another piece of equipment that I believe is essential is an eye to see natural light and to understand how the light will look in your camera before you’ve even taken the photo.
Light is the absolute most important part of a photo imho. If you have poor lighting, the photo will suffer. Learn to understand how different cameras read the light around you and use that to your advantage. Is there any non-photographic practice/activity that you rely upon to stimulate your creativity? (alternatively, what do you find is the best way to stimulate your creativity?)
Music. I play drums in a band called Wise Words
. We are on Apple Music
and everywhere else. I love playing music. It’s another way to tell a story. Bands who use lyrics to tell their stories are the best.
I also write and design over at thelightchase.com
. that keeps me pretty busy. We are currently working on creating a space for people to tell their stories through video - written work - or anything else. We love featuring artists and people who have an important story to tell.
Are you working on any special projects now?
Also, thelightchase is working to create an open community / network of people who may be spiritually homeless. If that sounds interesting to you at all, follow thelightchase here
. Or if you want to tell us your story, we’d love to hear it!
See more of Caleb's amazing work here