Interview: Photographer Elliott Dunning
How Did You Get Brought Into Photography?
I was brought into photography by a close friend of mine (@max_ross) who started photography a year before I did. As I watched Max grow and share his travels and photos with everyone, I convinced myself to buy a camera. Shortly after buying my first camera, Max and I, along with another close friend of ours, embarked on a day long excursion through Laguna Beach. We started at the south most part of Laguna and trekked, on foot, up and down stairs, across sandy beaches, over and around rocky points, without surfacing the streets once to progress. The whole adventure was a total of 8 miles and took from sunrise to sunset. That was my first taste of adventure and with my camera I was able to document those memories and relive them whenever I wanted just by looking at them, how incredible is that? When a photograph can change your mood or bring back experiences long after they’ve been lived.
What Inspires You To Keep Going?
The people I’ve met through photography have inspired me more than anything. Photography has connected me with so many amazing and like minded people and I feel that when I’m able to meet these people, I feed off of their inspiration, creativity and passion. Seeing their work makes me want to keep creating, connecting, and progressing.
How Would You Describe Your Vision/Style?
The funny thing is, for the longest time I wasn’t able to explain what my style consisted of until a photographer (@brendyngilbert) I recently met was able to describe it to me. As Brendyn was putting all of my unconscious thoughts into words, which I started noticing in my photos, I realized that I did have some kind of distinct style that actually had an affect on people. Or at least enough of an effect to where an almost complete stranger could tell me exactly what he appreciated about my photos and why. I’d say my style includes a lot of the environment around me. When I approach a scene, I pay just as much attention to the foreground and background as I do my model and her posing.
How Has Being A Photographer Impacted You And Your Life?
Photography has impacted my life in many ways, all of them being positive. Photography changes the way I see everything. It may be cliche but there’s a reason for that. Light seems more dramatic and changes in an environment are more apparent. Everything seems almost scene-like. Not only that, but photography has an immediate impact on my mood. When I’m stressed out, mad, or sad, I can put some headphones in and walk around with my camera. It doesn’t matter where I go, photography is my escape.
What Are Your Goals With Your Photography And Work?
It’s hard to say what my goals are with photography. I’m still growing and I feel like with the age that I’m at, it’s hard to be certain with a lot of things so I’m just doing my best to shoot as much as possible with as many people as possible because I’ve learned more through collaborating with other photographers than I have trying to do everything on my own. As of now, I’ve been working on connecting with brands, more specifically lifestyle brands. The work that I’ve already done has been really fun so I wouldn’t mind exploring it some more. Other than that, I’ve always wanted work for a magazine (lifestyle, fashion, etc.).
What Is A Quote That Resonates With You?
We’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets. We’d like to be writers, but as everybody knows we can’t earn any money that way. What do you want to do? When we finally got down to something which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him you do that… and uhm forget the money. If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time — Allen Watts