We're excited to introduce everyone to a very talented photographer residing in Atlanta, Georgia, Greg DuPree. Going through his website, you're instantly strike by how vibrant his photos are (also instantly want to munch on those waffle fries and dim sum). Check out our interview with Greg after the jump. Find out what made him decide to become a photographer and what inspires him as an artist.
Q. Can you tell me what you're trying to capture when you take your photos? I just want to create images that speak to SOMEONE. Just like any art-form not everyone is going to like your style, subject matter ect, but I am always trying to convey a sense of place and emote a response weather it be a portrait of a chef or farmer or still life of ingredients. It could be the symmetrical simplicity or the controlled chaos that draws you in...the emotional expression in a portrait or the imperfections in the food styling that make it feel real and inviting....the emptiness of the negative space or the deepness of the shadows that bring up memories of a particular time in the season. If I can make someone stare at my images in a gallery or stop on a page in a magazine then I think I've accomplished what I've intended to.
Q. What made you decide to become a photographer? It sort of came along with a natural progression. As a kid, I had a love for Comic books...I think my mom bought one for me just about every time we went out. I was constantly drawing the characters thinking one day thats what I'd be was an illustrator. Once my teachers found out I could draw I became the one allowed to get out of class early to work on a mural, school t-shirt design, ect. From High School into my early college years my appreciation for art history and theory helped refine my painting skills. My influence and style quickly changed from early realism to a very Robert Rauschenberg expressionistic, pop art feeling. It was then I learned about combine painting and began incorporating illustrations and photographs into the pieces. I started realizing the similarities between painting and photography using the same elements of color and tone, light and composition. There was something about developing your own film and printing your own images that each piece started becoming more photo and less painting.
Q. What inspires you? Inspiration can come from anything, travel, history, design, family, movies, ect. I'll sometimes find myself missing a movie plot all together because I'm fixated on the cinematography or the way a scene is lit and trying to figure out how I can recreate that northern winter light or color temperature in a dark studio. I enjoy surrounding myself with inspiring people...artisans or individuals that have taken there craft or passion, fought through the hardship and enjoy doing what it is they are doing.....while making a living at it.
Q. Any food photography heroes? If not any photography heroes? I keep up with and follow many types of photographers.....all of which are very different and many not very well known. But all have a vision that I can appreciate. As far as food photographers...I am often finding myself on the websites of Mikkel Vang and John Cullen. Each have a beautiful way of telling a story. Rene Riis also has a still life approach that I identify with. I've always been a fan of portrait photographers Mark Seliger and Matthew Rolston and what artist isn't inspired by Gregory Crewdson?
Q. Best meal so far in 2012? Atlanta is quickly becoming more and more of a foodie city. As many great restaurants as there are in the south, still without fail my favorite place to go is a local spot right around the corner from me called Muss & Turners. My wife and I frequent there almost weekly....so much so we attended a charity auction and the main thing we were relentless in bidding on was the chefs table at Muss & Turners. Although there were eight delicious courses throughout the night one thing stands out..the pork belly with truffle grits. An extremely southern dish done in a very refined way. We instantly befriended exec chef David Sturgis when he sat with us and asked how we felt about "brinner". He wanted to cook completely off the menu and serve what he would want for his last meal.....and it did not disappoint.
All photos courtesy of Greg DuPree