CORY PAVITT won our Editorial Voting in January. We talked with the New York based photographer about his work.
How did it come that you developed a passion for photography?
I think I developed a passion for photography after seeing some pictures my dad had taken for a college photo class years ago. The images he captured told a story and set a mood instantly for me. That was the first time I sensed how powerful an image could be. I don’t think I understood it but I sensed it a little bit. In fifth grade my school had a photo contest. Not understanding that I was supposed to actually take the photo, I had instead gone through hundreds of family vacation images to match the theme of the contest. I picked an image and I won second place. A friend of mine was looking at the photograph and asked where I took the image. Right then I embarrassingly realized that I wasn’t supposed to find a photograph but instead actually take the photograph. Instead of the feeling of shame and error with the contest I instead felt freedom and responsibility with the fact I was already allowed to use my parents camera and I didn’t even know it. I knew I enjoyed looking at really cool images but didn’t know I could go out and capture them myself.
Working as a photographer, does it help that you worked in front of the camera?
The fact that I worked in front of the camera has helped a little bit because I understand what the model is going through. It’s exhausting to be still and on point all day. I try to help the model by giving shooting tips and ways to relax throughout the shoot. To be honest, I think models should also try photographing other models and that way they will learn why to pose in a specific way, lighting angles and why not to move when we say hold that. Same thing for a photographer…I think they should know how to model. It’s a team effort!
What do you like to express with your photography?
I try to capture a mood with my photography. Of course this is a mood that strikes me and everyone is different in how they feel. If it hits me then I’m happy with it. If my work strikes a mood with at least one person, then I feel like I’ve accomplished my job.
Do you remember your first motif?
I worked on a project in High School that I based on Ansel Adams. With a film camera and freedom I went out to photograph a series of black and whites around the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. It was a great learning experience!
Who are your idols in photography?
I’ve always liked Ansel Adams. He really understood the art of light and the science of the camera. You can get lost in his photographs.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes and goes from random things. I may wonder into a place that peaks my interest and from that I pull ideas to fit my other ideas for a shoot. I think areas in my editorial photographs are pieces of things I’ve seen and wanted to include in my work. It may be the way the window is lit or the way the model is posed or the chair in the corner.
What makes a good photo “a good photo” in your opinion?
A good photo is something that one looks at and connects with. We connect with something in a photograph that we haven’t seen before and some photos with something in the photograph we have seen before but in a different way. Millions and millions of photographs have been taken of the Empire State Building but when you see a new shot of it in a very different angle or lighting it becomes a very good photo compared to what we have seen before. Anything can be photographed in a new way that fascinates us.
What is beauty for you?
Beauty is confidence. It comes from the inside.
Tell us a little bit about the story behind the “Haus Of Taylor” editorial.
The „Haus of Taylor” came together after my friends Chris and Emery Ortiz built this amazing space (www.hausoftaylor.com) by hand in the Bronx, NY. After their long time renovation I visited and instantly knew what had to be done. I wanted to create a dark but edgy mood while at the same time give the apartment the respect it deserves. I credit the amazing team I worked with and stunning clothes given by designer Zang Toi. I can’t wait to shoot there again!
What are your next plans? Is there any future project you would “die for”?
I would die for a Caribbean photo shoot right now because I’m stuck in this freezing cold snow and ice storm in New York City. I can dream, can’t I??
I’m working on a project that my make-up and hair stylist want to do in the next week or two. It might be edgy with lots of natural window light and several models. We’re still thinking about it.