Interview: Photographer Miles McCormack
Striking colours and vibrant tones have streaked our feeds with the works of Miles McCormack and we marvel at the gorgeous work that is packed with colour and emotion — every new image is a new adventure and beautifully arranged visual roller coaster. And we couldn’t have been more excited to talk to the man behind it all!
How did you end up picking up a camera in the first place?
In 2016 I moved away from my hometown to pursue a relationship I was in, which was a long distance relationship most of the year. I had this canon 60d that I used to record videos with for my band at the time, but I never really used it otherwise. However, when I moved away, I didn’t really have friends, but I had a lot of time. I found myself going on long drives to hike and find cool landscape shots or I’d try out some self portraits at home, pictures of my dog, etc. Really anything. I was trying to find out how to tell a story with a single picture. I didn’t have much else to do.
What made you decide on pursuing photography?
So that relationship that I moved away from home for ended in the summer, rather unexpectedly to me. I’m a pretty sensitive and dedicated person, so I took it pretty hard. I’m an artist so by nature I’m really dramatic. When I got back home, I searched local hashtags and geotags and hit up every model I could. That summer I met some of my best friends, went on road trips around the state, and made art every single day. Photography was the only connection I really had made with other people, thanks to instagram. So I got hooked and haven’t looked back.
A lot of people don’t know this, but I spent an entire year living in my friend’s living room and sleeping on the floor, just so I could afford to buy the camera that I wanted and so I could spend all of my time and money on bettering myself as a photographer and shooting everyday. Sometimes you have to be uncomfortable by putting yourself through situations like that, but it’s worth it.
How would you distinguish your style?
There’s so many amazing photographers that take these moody and dramatic photos and I admire them so much, but I couldn’t follow in their footsteps. I love colors too much. The average person can see 1 million colors, I think that’s so amazing. I couldn’t shy away from them. My style is vibrant, whimsical, and freeing.
What do you try to shy away from most and why?
The world can be a depressing place, I’m just trying to distract people from their problems, even if it’s for just the 2 seconds they spend looking at my photo before they keep scrolling.
What are some essential elements to the work you do?
A huge element behind my work is good relationships with my models. I don’t publish any work with people that I don’t click with, you can tell in the photo if the model is uncomfortable. Most of the time I shoot with the same few models, especially if I’m going to try a new concept that I’m not comfortable with at first. Aside from relationships, good natural lighting and complimentary colors on location are key.
Where would you say the “feel” of your work and style comes from?
I look for those little in between moments that are really intimate. Like when your friend is recovering from a laughing attack or when the model just finished telling me about some drama that goes on in their life, they feel light and good and it really shows in their eyes. So just by talking and being real with my subject is how I capture the mood, and when it comes to editing, I’ve been heavily inspired by Brandon Woelfel, Abel Lares, and Kai Boet. Masters of color and photo manipulation.
How would you describe the mindset you go about life* with?
Some important things that I’ve learned in my 20’s:
1.You really only have control over the way you react to what life throws your way.
2. You can have whatever you want, but no one owes you it. If you think you’re working hard, try working harder.
3. People are complicated, everyone you pass by on the street has lost something or someone really important to them. Treat them like it and have empathy.
What has your journey evolution through photography been like?
Life changing honestly, I’ve been taken on trips to see amazing places to create with even more amazing individuals. I’ve met and made some of my best friends because of it. I’ve traveled by myself across the state just to meet with strangers that I’ve only met online, and they’re some of the coolest people that I’ve ever spent time with. Don’t tell my mom, though.
What do you see the photography community and world lacking?
Honestly nothing. We encourage, we inspire, we collaborate. And it all leads up to capturing a thousandth of a second and sharing it online with our friends. That’s pretty incredible.
Is there anything, absolutely anything at all, that we didn’t ask about that you’d like to share?
I guess I’d just like to be cheesy for a second and say that if I hadn’t decided to start using my camera a year ago, I don’t know where I’d be right now or what I’d be doing. All I know is that my eyes are set on the future, and it’s big. There’s not a second of the day that I’m not thinking about what’s next and how I can create better art. I hope that everyone gets a chance to find something that makes them feel THAT alive, and if there is something like that in your life, please chase it and don’t look back.