We think to be a creative means to take chances, regardless of how young you are, or how limited your gears can be. Its how you express yourself and how connected you are with what you do with your chosen medium. Being a creative means having the courage to put your self out there by pouring your heart into everything that you and not being afraid of criticisms and opinions. Being a creative means to explore and find yourself in everything that you do and learn to love and be kind to yourself. For us being creative is not always about the works but also the people, and here's how we were going to start.
Lance Oneil is an artist dwelling in the mind of creativity. Growing up in Bay Area, California, he has craved for the ability to create and explore. Currently living in the Philippines to finish his studies while he explores and hones his skills as a creative. By the age of 17, he was drawn to pick up a camera and started growing into his passion as a photographer from there. He has worked several modeling agencies and came up with several personal projects of his own. His main goal is live a life full of passion while inspiring many to go beyond the limits to chase their dreams.
We met Lance on the first solo pilot of our gathering entitled Truth to Table: Adulting he introduced himself as drone pilot and a photographer, we checked his works online and we were amazed at his photos a freelancer and a hobbiest -from photos of his friends, dabbing into fashion shoots to editorials, travel, landscape, and street, what really caught our attention was his photoset of aerial shots of Baguio City that the locals took notice of, it was as if seeing Baguio for the first time in a perspective that they can never imagine. Besides photography, he also keeps a blog where he writes his thoughts, currently still school finishing his college degree while learning how to do videos as well.
TLF: How did you develop an interest in photography?
L: I developed an interest in photography due to my mother. When I was child she would always take pictures of my siblings and me during golden moments (first birthday, traveling, funny moments, etc.) As I grew up viewing these pictures I tend to have this feeling of nostalgia and it inspired me to buy a camera and shoot moments of friends and family.
TLF: What does photography mean to you?
L: What photography means to me is capturing the essence of emotions and time and replaying over again reviewing the scenario of that moment.
TLF: What Inspires you to take photos?
L: What inspires me to take photos is new experiences, the people I meet, and the lessons I learn.
TLF: What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
L: One thing I wish I knew when I started photography is not too depend on gear too much. As I was a gear heading trying to look big while not making any good pictures.
TLF: Do you have any formal training?
L: I didn't really have any formal training but I find youtube the best teacher!
TLF: How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?
L: Related to my other answer I usually tend to find tutorials and tips on the internet. Whenever I get curious on a skill that I want to develop I have the urge to learn about it through youtube the most.
TLF: Are there any books or any people whose work you'd advise newbies to look into?
L: I advise reading "The Good Photographer" by Raymund Isaac. A book with different perspectives of photography.
TLF: Whose work has influenced you most?
L: One person who probably influenced my work is Ac Colvin his pictures are so alive that when I see it I always imagine a movie playing.
TLF: Who are your greatest influences as a photographer? and how did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?
L: One of my inspirations is a photographer named Marius Vieth. He influenced my thinking of overall art, not just photography. When I listen to his podcast I can sense the passion in his voice.
TLF: What challenged you most about photography?
L: What challenged me the most about photography is keeping myself out the trends or develop my own sense of originality.
TLF: What motivates you to continue taking pictures economically, politically, intellectually or
L: What motivates me in my passion is that I feel sane when doing it. I believe it goes for every artist who is going through pain in life to find out that their passion keeps them away from going mentally insane. Another reason that motivates me is that I want to also inspire people to also chase what they love not by just doing it but also living it.
TLF: What was your career path? How did you get from being an aspiring photographer to
actually doing it full time, for a living?
L: I'm taking up Nursing as my course through college right now. I'm not at this time living full time with photography, I do get paid here and there for gigs but with consistency, I do see myself living my life in my passion.
TLF: Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?
L: The reason why this my favorite photograph is because this photo depicts my friends walking through the night on an empty street. What makes it special to me is because I was a newbie in photography back when this picture is taken and shooting on auto was a habit. Since it was late at night my Camera adjusted to shoot with a low shutter speed and when I clicked the shutter button I was confused on why the picture looked so weird but as an innocent mind in photography I thought this picture is awesome and till this day I still love it.
TLF: You have a signature style and feel in your photos. How did you come up with your style or decide on one?
L: I usually tend to want this feeling of nostalgia when it comes to my picture but also a sense of feeling like shooting a film because I always view my life like as if it's in a movie with characters, a plot, moral lessons, etc.
TLF: What makes the good picture stand out from the average?
L: I think when it comes to taking a good picture, the idea or the concepts implemented in a shoot must be creative, tell a story, or have strong emotions behind it.
TLF: Colour vs. Black and White. Why one over the other, and is the photographic process different?
L: That's hard! Even though I enjoy shooting color, I can say that B&W has the greatest impact. The photographic process isn’t really different just one has color and the other doesn't, but when it comes to B&W since its just shades of a simple color it turns the focus more towards the emotion of the picture.
TLF: What would you tell you a young artist who wants to pursue photography?
L: I would probably tell a young artist is to just love what you do, don't be caught up over chasing the business or the fame but just be passionate about the art itself and just visualize, plan, and create from the heart.