WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PICK UP A CAMERA?
When I was younger I always wanted to have my picture taken, but I also loved to take the pictures. I remember having my little 110 film camera and my Polaroid just shooting my friends and family. I loved film photography thru high school and my first year of community college. It wasn't until I picked up my first floppy disk Sony Digital Mavica camera that I realized how much more creative and exciting the process could be if I wasn't restricted by the medium in my camera. Digital allowed me to make my mistakes, adjust and then get as close to a perfect product (at that time) for myself. It was a done deal when I got my first DSLR in 2004.
WHAT PARTICULAR CHALLENGES DO YOU FACE WITH EROTIC PHOTOGRAPHY AS OPPOSED TO OTHER GENRES?
This biggest challenge right now is trying to find my place in the photography world. I love nothing more that to shoot landscapes and nature, but I also love to shoot erotic, implied, pin-up and full nudes as they allow the creativity in my head to manifest into something tangible. Tattooed female models hold a very special place in my mind and heart.
I am actually compiling tattoo photos for a coffee table book..
I feel that my job as a photographer is to ensure the models feel comfortable and safe so they do their best work, but also to share my vision so that we can produce some amazing images and art together. Once they are on location we have usually already talked and have an idea of for what I am looking, and we just go from there. Dealing with the marketing (catering to who will see these images, in what form, determining the best way to "advertise") may be the hardest part about the whole process.
DO YOU PREFER TO SHOOT WITH FILM OR DIGITAL?
Digital for sure. It's a little bit more forgiving than traditional film was and now that you can shoot in RAW and use programs to do your edits and treatments it makes it fun. Of course, the challenge and fun is to make your image as natural as possible. Fixing a little bit of lighting and shadows are done by everyone, but keeping the integrity of the image and not making it look like you shoot HDR all of the time is what, in my opinion, makes the difference between a good image and great one.
WHAT KIND OF SHOOTS WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK ON IN THE FUTURE?
I have had two shoots in my head for the last 5-10 years that I have not accomplished yet and I think this will be the year I do them. One is a sexy well-lit version of the scene in Eyes Wide Shut with a lot of ladies in masks and lingerie in a big mansion style setting. The other, well, just won't share with anyone until I find the right model!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR ANYONE JUST STARTING OUT IN THE INDUSTRY?
I have been shooting for over 10 years, moving from semi professional to a working professional and what I have learned from all of this is that you can't stop doing what you love. Don't let anyone decide what is best for you, and continue to learn new techniques and styles every day. There was a point when I used to carry my camera all of the time to every event, party or whatever. Then for a time I only shot for paid gigs or on my travels, and would use my high res phone for any spontaneous shooting. I soon learned that those would not satisfy. I lost my passion and traded it for monetary purposes and ambitions.
In the last year that all changed when I traveled to New Orleans. I was shooting in a cemetery, with jazz in the background and something overcame me as I realized I was capturing a place that had so much life in a place that had so much death. It was like something told me to go back and do what I love. I always have my cameras and lenses with me at all times now.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER CREATIVE MEDIUMS YOU WORK IN?
I loved to paint when I was younger. It led me to my original calling which was graphic design. That is still a strong second in my life, but photography controls my soul.
WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE?
Wow, this one is always hard. I used to always say, "Anything, but country please.", but as I have gotten older my music style has changed. I love jazz and that whole rollin 20's 'Boardwalk Empire' vibe to Alternative KROQ type music to Dubstep and Hip Hop. I like almost all types of music to be honest.
Just depends on what I am doing at the time. I do however need music on at all times. Sometimes it's even on while the TV is also on.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO FOR FUN?
I love to hang out with my family and friends, play some golf and travel. I am a sports whore and usually am a part of anything to do with that. I am also working on a National Park book and nothing pleases me more than to be outdoors with my wife, daughters and brother exploring and shooting the magnificence of our beautiful landscape.
See more of Dan Pineda, Photographer For The Spare Media Group:
Inked Little Doll, Kelly Gunn, Kataholic, Lamb, oXwhitegirlXo, Krysta Kaos, Ashley, Sophia Zagari, and Heather Watson