Ashley and I have been following the adventures of Giles and his trusty travel buddy, Zeiss, for a few months now. He's taken his photography talents to the wide open road and we felt so lucky that our paths crossed last weekend in Columbus. And now we know that one Spring evening, some gin+tonics, a sleeping puppy, a naked toddler, a group of good friends and a talented tintype artist makes for some pretty timeless portraits and a damn good time. It's a fascinating process and really quite thrilling to watch as the image develops. We hope you enjoy getting to know him as much as we have.
1. We are very interested in how creative folk balance work + family/friends. How do you keep up with friends and family while on the road?
I've been traveling since I left home and feel fortunate to have made friends in all parts of the country and the world, so I'm never too far from someone I know. I also instagram, snapchat, facebook and skype more than I should.
2. Memories of being creative as a kid?
Both of my parents were creative, my dad was into photography and type setting when he was younger and my mom painted and crafted. I grew up in the mountains of upstate New York and had a very free reign to explore with my seven siblings. One thing my mom impressed on me when we were drawing was to always use the whole paper. I still use that lesson with my photography, fill the frame, make every millimeter say something.
3. Where are you gaining inspiration currently?
In the past three months that I've been on the road I've met a galexy of fellow creatives each with their own amazing story and body of work. Many of those have been musicians and it's been great collaborating and drawing inspiration from them and how they interpret life.
4. How does working with tintype effect the way you see the world?
Tintypes have slowed me down a lot with my photography and the way that I consider an image. Each photo is costs time so I've gotten better about thinking things through before unpacking my camera or even before I get to a location. It's also affected my digital and film photography which, by comparison are so portable and flexible. I'm mostly doing portraiture now so I also look at peoples faces more than I used to and think hmm, how can I hide those eye bags :) (not that you have eye bags).
5. Being your own boss can be a tricky thing. What is your favorite thing about owning you own business?
I really don't have a favorite thing about owning a business. It's bloody awful. But I am extremely grateful to have found a career which gives me the freedom to travel, enjoy life and take a day off when I need it.
6. What has been challenging about being on tour and how are you overcoming those challenges?
I'm slowly learning to schedule things better, to pace myself and also organizing events and shoots a few months out. Time flys when you're having fun and it's amazing how quickly a week can go by.
7. Was there ever a point in your career when you wanted to throw in the towel? Can you describe how you overcame that time and kept going?
There have been quite a few moments like that throughout my career. Any kind of art form is tough to translate into rent money and photography has had some massive shifts in the past decade from a fairly viable career to one which you really have to struggle through to make it. I've been fortunate to have the support of my family and friend/family who've always been there for me and pushed me to keep doing what I know I can.
8. How do your friends/family encourage you?
Every way possible, I have such an awesome group of friends, no idea why they even like me but it's probably the dog. Everything from a cold beer to a couch to crash or a week of dog sitting when I can't take the kiddo with me. And they tell me to stop bitching and keep creating if I ever get discouraged.
9. If you could photograph any living person who would be your top pick?
Jeff Bridges would be fun, he's a fellow Widelux shooter and an amazing photographer. Plus, who doesn't want to photograph The Dude?
10. How do you take your coffee?
Weirdly I don't really drink coffee anymore, quit a year ago and it helped a ton with anxiety. Do you have anxiety? Try quitting coffee. (I do still occasionally have a cup, love the shit out of it and take it black).
11. Most productive place to work?
I love a huge, sparsley furnished studio with all my tools lined up. But I'm pretty good at working out of the back of my car too.
12. Favorite place to visit for rest?
Probably Columbus to be honest, I have tons of friends here, and my brother and his two super fun kids are great to see when I can. Or my friends cranberry farm on the coast of Washington.
13. Do you and Zeiss fight over radio control when traveling?
Poor little bastard lacks opposable thumbs so he's stuck listening to Pop-Country while I sing along in falsetto.