Artist Spotlight - Braedon Flynn
Braedon Flynn, film photographer out of Costa Mesa, CA, will be filling the IFL Instagram feed with his awesome images this week. Here's an introduction to Braedon and what he and his work are all about.
IFL - How did photography become a part of your life?
BF - I started bringing a camera to concerts I was attending and shooting all the time. I used photography as a way to get into shows for free and either on stage or against the stage for all my favorite bands. Pretty quickly I was shooting for magazines, then started my own music blog (no longer in existence). From there I started shooting everything and anything. I went to college for business, but afterwards hooked up with a local community college photography department to really learn, shoot with larger format cameras and print in a darkroom.
IFL – Why film?
BF – It’s really an aesthetic choice for me. I don’t like watching TV in high def for the same reasons I’m not attracted to digital images—a little too sharp with too much detail. I prefer the softness of film and I feel it gets a depth that I can’t replicate digitally. I also love shooting film because of the older cameras I get to use like my Rollei or shooting medium format.
IFL – What’s your favorite film stock?
BF – I typically shoot Fuji 400H when I’m shooting weddings because I find it to be a bit prettier of a film. I love Kodak’s portra 160 & 800 for anything I’m shooting in the fashion/lifestyle direction. The 400 for some reason doesn’t do it for me but I love the other two.
IFL – What/who/where gets you inspired?
BF – Friends, adventure, fashion, music and architecture. I’m so inspired when I’m in new places, especially places with history or character. I love cities. If I was single and without kids (I have 3), I’d probably be living in New York. That place gets my heart going.
IFL – What other art forms or artists are you drawn to?
BF – I’m really drawn to moving picture these days. I’m in the process of directing a short documentary and I love shooting super8.
IFL – Any challenges you find in being a film photographer? Or supporting yourself as an artist?
BF – I’ve been fortunate to be able to support my family as a photographer and have priced myself in a way to cover my film costs and be profitable. Being a film photographer is definitely expensive. And traveling is a pain but I definitely have my routine down. I typically shoot with (and carry on my body) 5 cameras at a time and that’s a bit ridiculous. I sometimes wish I could just shoot with one camera but I’m always missing something if I do that.
It’s hard being a small business and making a living in general. It’s crazy expensive out here. With photography in this market, unless you have a studio with several photographer, you’re trading time for dollars and that’s hard to scale. I feel that too many photographers out there, especially film photographers, don’t charge enough.
IFL – Any gear secrets you’re up for sharing?
BF – I have a lot more cameras but those are my main guns. – Contax 645 and I keep color film in that one – Mamiya 645 which I keep black and white in – Rolleiflex 2.8 – I keep black and white typically in there – 2 canon EOS 1v bodies – one for black and white and one for color – digital cannons for reception time.
IFL – If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
BF – I’d either be working on my other site – The Photo Report or I’d move to a creative director role somewhere. If I never got into photography, I’d probably still be in commercial real estate.
IFL – Favorite moment you’ve ever captured
BF – I’ve documented the births of my kids and those have been some pretty special photos for me. My kids are really sweet with each other and I love documenting them.
IFL – What’s your everyday look like?
BF – I travel for probably 60%-70% of what I shoot. I love it and find I’m way more inspired to shoot when I travel but it’s gotten harder with 3 kids. My wife gets to play single mom while I’m away, and that’s tough on her. My everyday when I’m not traveling usually involves do the morning routine with my kids—up with them early, get them fed and dressed and hang out a bit. I drive my oldest son to school (he’s going into kindergarten) and head to my studio/office. At the office: I’ve delegated a lot of my post work to my lovely lab, Indie, and my office manager does final touches, sorting and exporting of those images. It frees me up to be able to head home around 5 p.m. to be with my family. With a lot of my photo work delegated, I spend a lot of time working on my other sites.
What makes you feel awesome? Music. Weather. Great food. I’m a strong extrovert so I need to be surrounded by people and friends. I’ve found exercise incredibly affects how I’m feeling, so I started doing crossfit about a year ago—it’s awesome. And I surf as often as I can.
What makes you dance? Do you dance? I definitely dance. Give me some friends and good music and I’m in.
Can you handle skinny jeans? Well, I was wearing women’s jeans before they started making skinny jeans for men if that answers the question.
Favorite music Really into the EDM (electronic dance music) scene right now and generally listen to that while I’m working. Indie Folk is my main jam.
Favorite thing about your current home/town. I’m in Costa Mesa, CA. It’s a really great community of friends, we’re 5-10 minutes from the beach and the weather ranges from 60-80 degrees all year round with relatively no humidity.
Do your kids/family think photography is cool or nerdy? My kids are 6, 3, and 1. My oldest is the easiest kid to photograph. Seriously, every picture is good of him. My 3 year old is one of the hardest kids to take a photo of—he just won’t let me. My little girl—she’s pretty dang cute.
A little piece of Braedon’s heart: A little family video I shot on Super8 around my son’s 3rd birthday.
More of Braedon’s work and projects here: