I'm a photographer, an artist, a high-tech hippie and a salvage/flea-market/re-sale junkie, small-biz owner and a single mama of two really super-cool humans and one very noisy and needy cat named Henri.
I believe that photos hold energy. That there is a little something to the theory that they steal "a little piece of our soul" -- except I don't believe it diminishes us, rather, it fills us up instead. It allows us to share a piece of us, whether it's through an image of us or one we've taken that allows others to see things through our eyes, in the unique way we view the world.
I believe that's why there is literally a Photographic Renaissance going on right now, thru the ubiquitous use of phone cameras, digital cameras, editing tools and social media. As a photographer, I'm not threatened by this, I LOOOOVE it! Let the naysayers have at it, but I believe it's bringing us together and allowing us to share our stories, find our kindred and expose the truth more than any other time in history.
Lastly, I believe we can save the planet and turn things right-side-up again. We really do have the power to do it. And ain't nobody gotta get hurt, I swear! I believe we are all one and we are all connected. I believe what we think and do and say and purchase really, really matters A LOT and I'm trying super hard to honor that with my work and how I operate each and every day.
After struggling with creating copy about myself (no third-person marketing blah-blah thankuverramuch), I decided to interview myself for this portion of the program, using questions I’ve been asked and other random info that will let you know what my work & I are all about. My work is fairly personal, so I’ve found that putting it all out there attracts fellow tribe members to work with me and it’s a good fit and we’re all happy.
Q: Your name is Robyn Davis; we get that from the logo. Who else are you?
A: It took some time, but I actually kind of really figured that out during this bumpy and interesting ride. It’s been nice to get to know me. I’m a single mom of two of the coolest kids you’ll ever meet. An artist and photographer. A Branding Activist (yeah, I made that up, but it's true). Hoarder of memories but not stuff. Unknown comic. Facebooker & techie. Thrift & yard sale shopper. Chunky funky necklace addict. Socially adept introvert. I really hope I’m a good friend and person and mom. I try really hard to be those things.
Q: So what’s with the double : : colon thingie?
A: I dunno, I kinda like it. It’s an extra pause, because I think it would be a good idea if we all slow down and chill the hell out. Pays homage to the act of being. It’s my graphic symbol to stop and smell the LA jasmine or something.
Q: What other jobs have you had?
A: Waitress, bartender, cocktail waitress, entrepreneur, graphic designer/typesetter, Pre-Press and Digital Production Manager at Leo Burnett Advertising/Capps Digital, Web designer, Director of Innovation & Community Management for a social media dot-com, copywriter and stay-at-home mom. The last one was the hardest. By a landslide.
Q: What is your favorite part about photography?
A: It forces me to be present and connected.
Q: What do you want to do most with your work?
A: To make people happy. Someone once said to me (in a pejorative way), “You think you’re going to save the world with your photography!” and I thought to myself, “Hey, I never thought of that, but that would be cool.” So I wrote it down as a good idea. Doesn’t everyone want to save the world? Why aren’t we?
Q: So what’s this BEING thing all about?
A: It’s about the individual as well as the beautiful, messy, awesome and sometimes difficult experience of being human. I like capturing moments of that journey, as well as just trying to really capture the essence of someone in still images.
I also work with creative professionals to create images of them that will get them the kind of work & audience they want to attract – in honest, fun and creative ways. And to create artful, honest and/or fun portraiture for use in publicity & editorial work. I do commercial work if it’s a great brand and a good fit — but they have to be my people too.
Q: What’s your photography style?
A: Authentic. Soulful. Intimate. Funny. I’m addicted to finding/creating amazing natural lighting situations and bending it around to get the look I want. Natural light is my favorite and my specialty, but I’m just starting to fool around with off-camera flash and LED constant lighting in natural light. I’m interested to see where that takes me. I’m really into multiple-shot arrangements and collages. I like getting a little story or experiencing a moment in multiple still images.
Editing is a big part of my work – I love it as much as shooting. I love finding treasure that I didn’t even see when I was shooting. It’s like getting to be a second shooter. I also like editing to create the feeling, energy or mood that best matches the shot and conveys how I saw it and felt when I captured it. I wish I had even more time to play with techniques and create recipes for looks I want to suit every mood and scenario. It’s a continual craft & skill I like to hone. I’ve spent LOTS of time creating the color/effect recipes I use for my images now.
Q: What is something that might surprise people to know about you?
A: That I’m an introvert. I don’t go out a lot, I love my home and quite a bit of solitude. Too much social activity with lots of people drains me. I enjoy being social, but mostly in smaller groups and not in large doses. It’s part of the reason I don’t do weddings or events – they can be really overstimulating to me, even in a good way. I see too many things I want to shoot all at one time. So many moments I want to capture.
It’s also why I love one-on-one portraiture. I love the intimacy. I try not to use assistants if I don’t have to. I like to connect without interference. Everything else about me pretty much everyone knows if they are my Facebook friend or they Google-stalk me. I’m kind of an open book online; I don’t care. I’ve found that being really open about who I am causes people to be open with me in return. Saves a lot of time and prequalifies my audience. Anything beyond that is my dirty little secret. Gotta keep some of the good stuff for the memoirs!
Q: You say you specialize in children, artists and comedians – what made you choose that particular bunch of crazies?
A: I’m attracted to raw authenticity in people. I find it’s a shorter drive to get there with children, artists, musicians and comedians. They are my favorite flavors of the human varietal. As for comedy specifically, it is a big part of my life. I was brought up in a huge clan of crazy, brilliant and hilarious people, so the comedy crowd feels like family. They get me and the silly way my brain works and I get them back.
I’m also really, really interested in subcultures and progressive social movements. Where people are so passionate about something that they create a lifestyle to incorporate that passion as a major part of it. And that they form tribes of people who share their passion or work toward a specific goal. I think it’s fascinating, and it’s on my bucket list to explore those kinds of things photographically.
Q: Okay if I get a little personal?
A: Haven’t you already? If I’m talking about who I am, I suppose I should say more than I love the color green. Which I really do, btw.
Q: What would you like more of?
Q: Less of?
A: Bureaucracy and paperwork.
Q: Three favorite songs?
A: Seriously? Three? Are you kidding? Damn, that’s hard! Let’s do 4, I can’t do 3…
Q: What’s your superpower?
A: My sense of humor.
Q: How about your Achilles heel?
A: My heels are fine, but my lower back and neck are a bit of a mess.
Q: What’s the worst thing that ever happened to you?
A: I’ll save that for the memoirs. Choosing to look forward for now.
Q: Best thing that ever happened to you?
A: My entire life. All of it. This chapter is getting particularly good.
Thanks for your interest and for hopping aboard the BEING BUS! <3 Robyn