What is your name and where are you from? My name is Larry Renner and I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio in the USA
How long have you been taking pictures? Well it seems I’ve been casually taking pictures throughout my adult life by way of throw away Kodak cameras (yes, I’m that old), point and shoot cameras, my iphone and DSLR’s but over the past 10 years I’ve become increasingly intentional about the craft of photography along with the evolution of subject of matter too.
When did you get into photography and why? Such a simple question should have such a simple answer it would seem, but not for me. I’ve no single event, no single inspiration or eureka moment other than I’ve forever been interested in ways to recall moments, people or places. I’ve always been interested in storytelling via spoken words and that same interest exists for me in photography where the visual leads to the spoken.
What would you say your style is and has it changed throughout the years? If so why? When I started being more intentional with photography my primary focus was abandoned buildings and the left behind that was created. In those environments my aim was to recreate what I imagined it would have been like. I was forever intrigued by what was left behind and why. My other focus was always landscape photography and the pursuit of environmental imagery that created a significant serenity for me. These days my primary interest is portrait photography which truth be told was always my primary interest, but I wasn’t confident enough to pursue as I knew it was most challenging kind of photography possible. Thankfully for me, I was introduced to a portrait photographer who grown weary of portraiture and wanted to be exposed to abandoned sites / landscape photography, so we became a perfect match to help each other grow in new directions.
How do you approach a shoot? Do you pre-plan or is it a click and run? I love the notions of spontaneity of portrait work, but I’ve come to learn that having a plan in place is incredibly important to meeting the needs of the model and the photographer. So, having a plan about styling, location, mood, make-up, genre and the story to be told are all important to me as part of the planning process. All that said, once at the shoot location the notions of going with the vibe we’ve created takes over completely. I’m a big believer in making a mental connection and comfort level with the model as fast as possible so talking while shooting is a part of what I do … I share my stories the model shares her stories and through this I hope we create a new shared story for others to interpret.
Is there an end goal you’re trying to achieve with your images, be it an aesthetic or story?
Eighty percent of the time my primary objective is to tell a story, evoke an emotion or create an opportunity for the mind to wander. My other goal is to try to capture the essence of the models’ unique feminine beauty and the essence of who she is at this point in her life. I’m always amazed at what a camera can capture of who we really are.
Do you have any influences you can share? Such a great question that has so many possibilities! I’m blown away by the many incredibly gifted, creative people on this planet with and the varied ways in which they see the world. I’m a globalist so I immerse myself in what others do from their part of the world to observe and learn. Their use of light, location and how they create beauty is what influences me always.
What inspires you? Perhaps a bit of a different direction with this question but what inspires me is the beautiful connections and creativity that happens when model and photographer come together. This connection of people coming together in a harmony can be magical and I’ve been so lucky to experience this kind of inspiration almost always.
Is there such a thing as a bad photograph? My belief is that the only bad photograph are those used to harm others or to create narratives that create negative division. So inherently I don’t think there is a bad photograph but how they are used is key for me.
Are you looking for a career in photography or are you just having fun?
I’ve been in corporate work for a very long time in the financial services sector, so photography is a very different and much need creative outlet for me. I’m hopeful photography can be a bigger part of my next work life and I’m making plans for the transition now but no matter how it ends it always about developing a bond with another creative person.
Which social media platforms do you use and why? As it’s turned out Instagram is my platform of choice as there are just so many ways to learn, connect and create via this platform for me. I’m on Facebook, website, Twitter and Flickr but none compare to IG for the inspiration and connections that can happen.
Which photographers do you mainly follow on social media? Far too many to mention here but few top of mind are Jessica Drossin, Carlos Ruiz Monroy, Ofresia, and Emiliy Soto always catch my attention. Each has a very unique styling but at the heart of their work is simplicity and the ability to capture ‘moments of essence’.
What are your thoughts on mobile photography versus DSLR / mirrorless? I’m device agnostic. It makes zero difference to me what people use to create with and I find that espousing the virtues of one over another creates a divide in the photography world especially for those wanting to get into photography. It inhibits entry to the amazing experience of photography.
What’s your main go to camera, lenses and how did you make that choice? My camera is a Canon 5D Mark III which I do love I do admit! Go to lenses are 50mm 1.8, 85mm 1.8mm, 24 – 70mm, f2.8 and 70 – 200mm f2.8. I’d been using crop frame Canon cameras and moving into portrait work encouraged me to go to a full frame.
What is your dream location to shoot at? I’d love to go the style capitals of the world so NYC, Paris, Milan, London, and Los Angeles to shoot.
Describe your favourite picture and how you captured it? Every shoot I do creates my new favourite image, so I find this question infinitely difficult but if asked what pictures mean the most to it’s those of my family.
In three words how would you describe your photography? Photographs that talk
How do you feel about higher quality cameras being put into smart phones? In simplest terms, I love the vast array of photography genres, styles and devices being used to create imagery today. Since phones are the entry point to so many for photography I’m always hopeful for better quality cameras. I’ve an iPhone 7 and I’m always amazed the images I can pull off with it.
What are your thoughts on expensive cameras? Do you think they create better images? As any photographer knows I believe, the camera is 20% of the equation and the other 80% is the photographer and model creating the story.