RESiN: How old were you when you realized you had a a passion for photography?
R.L.: As a child I LOVED Ranger Rick magazine, it was similar to a National Geographic for kids put out by the National Wildlife Federation… It had lots of great nature photography and tons of excellent macro photography, I think that’s what really got my love for photography and nature going, I had a subscription approximately ages 7-11. I didn’t really get too serious about my own photography until I was 19 in my second trimester of college.
RESiN: Do you make a living as a photographer?
R.L.:I do, I also do graphic design from time to time, but always working on art and imagery. I like lots of mediums, photography is one of my favorites for sure.
RESiN: What is your equipment list?
R.L.:Hah, oh man way too much! More like what is on my want list! I have multiple camera bodies, macro lenses, wide angles, zoom, fixed focal lengths… Strobes, continuous lights, speed-lights, macro lights and beauty dishes, bellows, automated rail systems, extension tubes, magnification filters, so many lighting modifiers, gels, reflectors, umbrellas, soft boxes, stands, backgrounds, backdrops, shutter remotes, flash remotes, pelican cases, drones, lens filters, cleaning kits, light meters, hard drive arrays, tablets, laptop, desktop, Wacom tablet, tripods, video heads… That is some of the types of gear off the top of my head, I really have quite a collection these days.
RESiN: Can you describe your overall style of photography? R.L.:I’ve never really thought about that honestly.. I’ve noticed others have commented on it being ‘bold, dramatic, sexy’ lol…. The sexy one always cracks me up. I know my overall work style is pretty laid back and chill, I show-up check out what’s going on and then just make it happen.
RESiN: How did you get into photographing Cannabis? R.L.:I did a couple photo gigs back in the day that where pretty off-the bRESiN: How did you get into photographing Cannabis? R.L.:I did a couple photo gigs back in the day that where pretty off-the books, we snuck into the grows with my camera and gear after it got dark and in the middle of then night to not give anything away why we were going into a random shed or crawl space with photo gear, haha. Things where strictly black market. I kept the photos on encrypted password protected drives. That was around 2007 for some close friends. I moved onto fashion, architecture, illuminated signs, and people – doing photography semi- professionally. In 2015 a medical marijuana operation reached out to me based off a Craigslist Ad I had posted for photography services. They had no idea based off my initial ad that I would be such a good fit, and had a long history of 19+ years in the scene and experience with ‘the market. It was a great fit. The one-off gig turned into weekly (sometimes more) for a little over the course of a year. I had never been to a commercial grow prior to that, they schooled me on what was desirable and what was not in growing cannabis, the method and flow and breakdown. I had seen so many bags and hustled, I knew great finished herb but not that much on the growing side. As I gained experience I begin to invest in more gear and worked on my techniques and began to really document their operation and business growth. We went from approximately 900 followers to over 22k in the course of a year with those photos on IG, then of course the account was deleted, lol.
RESiN: What else do you photograph professionally? R.L.:Besides cannabis which is my main deal, I occasionally do other product photography or or advertising photography, copy-work sometimes when artwork or murals need to be reproduced accurately in high definition for art prints. I’ve shot motor cross on private test tracks and lots of random very technical shoots that other photographers didn’t want to bother with or attempt. I also do drone & video work.
RESiN: What do you photograph when you are shooting for you or just for fun? R.L.:My family, my own personal garden. I generally get my fix through work for the most part, so usually it’s more things I wish to capture in time. Although sometimes when I just want to make art and impress I tend to do landscape or macro photography of insects. Bugs and spiders can be true life monsters when you view them larger than life.
RESiN: What kind of photography schooling have you had? R.L.:I took a class in college! haha, I really liked it though. We shot on a 35mm all on slides – even at the time it was a little dated, but we knew they would offer highest resolution and hold up better in time to traditional negatives…That was circa 2000/2001. I read a few books, lots of manuals, a few videos. Tons of time exploring… Especially when it came to cannabis, I couldn’t find how to do the macro I wanted, or anything specific to herb or grow rooms. So it was a challenge, a lot of experimentation and trial and error. I did go to an art school and majored in graphic design, so beyond the fundamentals of design and art I had lots of classes with Photoshop doing advanced image manipulation and compositing, color correcting and matching, etc. I use to teach and tutor Photoshop for many years, so I always had the photo editing down even before I began starting to do photography professionally in 2007.
RESiN: Do you do art shows? R.L.:I haven’t… Well not for my photography, I tried a few casual art festivals locally with some fine art/photography composites I had done. I got lots of responses and praise but never really sold anything, other than to friends and family. I guess over the years I have had the opportunity a few times, proper art shows in legit galleries but something always came up. Usually a lack of funding to get all the large pieces printed and framed or presented. Also, I feel like you need to be able to market to some buyers or have the demand prior to a show to make it cost effective and viable. I guess I just fear not being able to sell anything, I’m not sure I’m willing to put myself out there again unless I’m confident I’ll be able to move some art.
RESiN: Do you need to be inspired to shoot? R.L.: Not usually, perhaps if they are looking for something extraordinary or unique, if they are just after for some dope shots I pretty much just wing it, I guess I just get lucky. I often need to be inspired to draw, paint, write or other creative forms, but really photography I just need to warm up a bit and go for it, – maybe 30 mins or so and I’m usually getting some really nice shots I’m quite happy with.
RESiN: Where will Sean as a photographer be in 5 yrs? R.L.:I wish I knew, I wouldn’t have guessed I would be here 5 years ago, 4 years ago.. maybe but 5 no way! I would love to team up with some people from other industries, I’ve always wanted to work on a film or do some work with national geographic, OPB, PBS. I love the entertainment industry and also nature, lol…I’m usually working on modest budgets, I would like to do some high production value things properly see how far I can push things.
RESiN: Where do you see Resinated Lens in 5 years? R.L.:Hopefully still making art and traveling. Perhaps build upon the brand, I would love to come out with some products, shows or something more than just pictures. I want my art to be out there more, not just in magazines and social media that is dated and not really seen again but large scale art in homes, businesses, etc. I would also love to team up with other people and companies.
RESiN: Do you have any advice for young photographers who would like to make a living with their camera? R.L.:Keep practicing, read. Read your manual, understanding the technical side of photography will allow you the freedom to accomplish what you’re after creatively, no matter what the conditions are. Photography is fun because it’s all about creative problem solving. There is no magic camera, lens or light that does it all, it takes a combination and more importantly being able to be flexible and adapting on the fly and getting what you’re after. So many people are caught up on needing a certain piece of gear – often it’s more of a status or want than a practical need. I started out with very modest gear and worked up as I needed and was able to pay for my gear through gigs. I think master what you have, those that go out with a laundry list of gear often don’t really learn their gear and become limited in their art. Those with limited gear that find creative solutions and hacks to achieve what they are after, truly learning their gear as they go – they are doing it right and the ones to watch out for.
RESiN: If you were not doing photography what would you be doing? R.L.: Graphic design and branding, would be the safe bet, but maybe BBQ or some form of being a restraunterr or recipe creation. I love to cook and often use my own
RESiN: Is there a photograph that you have been wanting to shoot but haven’t had a chance to do so yet? R.L.:Not a specific photograph, but I’d love to develop a campaign with a brand and shoot some staged awesome shots with products, models and maybe some effects go all out.
RESiN: Anything you would like to promote?
R.L.:I’m available for travel, I would like to see how they do things in CA, NV, AK or some of these medical states. I am also available for consulting and photo editing services for companies with existing in-house photography that need a little help improving their in-house photos.