Based in Los Angeles, photographer and graphic designer David Jordan Williams keeps
his work fresh by exploring digital media. Not afraid of experimentation, David's
innovative work can be found on album covers, music posters and in numerous print
ads. With an extensive stock portfolio represented by Corbis and Getty as well as
art exhibitions across the country, Williams Studio is force to be reckoned with.
Where were you born and raised? Where have you settled?
I was born in Pasadena, California and raised in San Francisco and the Bay Area.
I now live in Culver City, part of Los Angeles.
What type of photography do you shoot most often? What type of photography are you
most passionate about shooting?
I work in many areas of photography and most of my time is involved with shooting
conceptual imagery for Getty Images and Corbis. I also do a great deal of work for
hotels and corporations and shoot for music packaging. Advertising photography involves
more and more of my time. I guess you could say that I'm most passionate about concepts
and pushing the envelope whenever I can.
How long have you been a shutter releaser? What led you to this profession?
I have been working as a professional photographer since 1978 and I just discovered
that my Grandfather was passionate about Photography and compiled a large archive
of images on everything in his world. I think that that interest skipped a generation
and moved me to continue that passion.
How has Zenfolio helped your business?
I would say that Zenfolio has helped my business in many ways, not least of which
has been its support and outreach. If there is one thing that I can say about Zenfolio
is that they really care about the photographic medium and have gone out of their
way to produce a platform and community that supports the creative process. Personally
I have seen my contacts expand dramatically since being with Zenfolio.
Tell us about your work flow, what editing program do you use?
I use Adobe Photoshop for all my image manipulation of course but I am now also
incorporating Adobe Lightroom 3 into my work flow because of its amazing archiving
and organizing capabilities and because I am also a Graphic Designer I use Adobe
Bridge for my interface with my Graphic Design work.
Do you have brand loyalty for Canon, Nikon or something completely different?
I'm not big on brands, for me a fine tool is a fine tool but I have been partial
lately to Nikon equipment because it's, well, amazing.
What is your favorite song of all time?
That is a hard question because music is such a part of my professional and personal
life but I'll have to give you two favorites since I can't seem to narrow it down…
"Running To Stand Still" by U2 and "Somewhere Down The Crazy River" by Robbie Robertson.
Are your photography skills self-taught or were you classically trained?
I have a BFA in Photography and Imaging from Art Center College of Design
What advice would you give a new photographer just starting out?
My advice here is simple… be passionate about what you do and how you see and make
every attempt to get what you "see" down digitally or on film and continue to feedback
on yourself with how you are experiencing your world. Don't be afraid of your ideas.
What was your first published work?
Camera Magazine published my first image… a jumping nude in 1976.
What inspires you as a photographer? Or who?
I'm a big fan of Harry Callahan and Joseph Sudek as well as Guy Bourdin. Travel
and history are huge inspirations for me.
If you could photograph anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why would you
I'd have to say John Lennon or The Dalai Lama.
What is the very first camera you ever owned?
Oh my God… it was a Kowa 35mm reflex and boy was it a challenging camera. I remember
ordering it from Hong Kong and when it arrived I was less than impressed.
Tell us something about yourself that we would never guess.
I'm a direct descendant of Aaron Burr and I'm one hell of a guitar player.
What piece of equipment or doohickey do you have with you on every shoot?
A camera of some sort.
Do you have any final words of wisdom on being a first class shooter?
It really is as I mentioned earlier… remain passionate and shoot a lot, striving
to engage your mind and express your world. Create a dialog between what you think,
see and feel with your developing aesthetic.