Member Spotlight: Chris Randall

1.    What first drew you to photography?

When I was a kid we used to go "people watching" . We would drive with no destination and when we found an interesting place wed stop and get food. We would just look at the people around and just observe their interactions. This sparked the desire for me to capture these moments via photography.

2.    What do you want your viewers to take away from your work?

Ideally i want the viewer to make a back story in their mind about the subject in the photo. I want to convey the joy, love, fear, confusion in everyday human interaction.

3.    What were the difficulties you encountered first starting shooting?

I am a "street photographer" so just approaching the situation in general was trick at first. Also i started on film then moved to digital and I would take way too many photos and it got boring. So i went back to film and it trained me to be more patient.

4.    Who are some of your favorite photographers, and how have they influenced you?

All the greats!!! Bresson by far would be my number one though. He was an innovator in street photography. And then the lesser known Mark Cohen also an innovator who focused more on the details of hands or belts or not the norm face shots.  They have influenced me greatly to just always have a camera on me.

5.    When you are out shooting—how much of it is instinctual and how much is planned?

100% of my photography is instinctual and unplanned. If I try to look for the perfect shot it just never seems to happen. But if I just go out and let my instincts lead the way then the interesting people just find me.

6.    What are the advantages (and disadvantages) you find of being a member of the darkroom?

There are so many advantages! Its close to home and finally gave me the outlet of being able to print again. The people are all great and fun to be around and its a great place to make a tangible piece of art instead of just looking at a computer screen. I'd choose making a print by hand then a digital print any day. As for disadvantages I don't believe there are any. I just wish I had more time in my life to spend there.

7.    Why do you take photos?

I take photos because if I didn't i would lose my mind. Every one takes photos these day on their phones because they want to. I feel as if i physically need to take photos. It is the one thing that makes me feel at one with myself. As for my street photography i just want to capture moments that are so fleeting and we forget to appreciate. I love taking the time to just enjoy human social behavior rather than always be in a rush and miss these amazing moments.

8.    What are some tips/advice you would give to yourself if you started all over again? 

I would tell my younger self to not even bother with digital first of all! I would also tell myself to slow down when i first started and to take more shots of the same subject in different angles and work the scene.