1. Introduce yourself and the style of photography you think best represents your work (fashion, conceptual, fine art, dark art, new born, etc.)
My name is Tyler Rayburn and I’m a conceptual/fine art portrait photographer.
|"Home At Last"|
When I started photography in 2012, I did a lot of urban exploring and I liked taking pictures of old decrepit buildings because I thought them beautiful. Around that time, I was starting to discover conceptual photographers such as Bryan Durushia and Joel Robison. I saw Bryan’s work for the first time and I was completely inspired because he would take pictures of people in decrepit scenes and old buildings, so I thought I would try shooting people too, and I have been ever since!
My teachers in high school also got me into photography. In 2012 I took an advanced photography class and my teachers would help me advance my portfolio and put my work through art shows. They really helped kick-start my passion for photography.
3. What inspires your photographs?
The wonderful thing about inspiration is that it can be found in anything if you learn to take from it and harness it. I am most often inspired by nature and its unpredictably beautiful patterns. Traveling to gorgeous scenes is when I thrive the most in my creativity.
Well... In Minnesota, I really enjoy taking day trips up to the ‘North Shore’ of lake superior, especially in fall when the scenery is of every color you can imagine. Other spots I like to shoot at in Minnesota include Taylors falls, Minnehaha falls, and the abandoned house down the street. I like shooting at any places that are heavy with nature like, hills, rivers, lakes, overlooks, or forests.
What I love even more than shooting in Minnesota is traveling to the west and shooting in and near mountains, deserts, the ocean, etc. The landscapes are impeccable out there and I plan on moving there someday - hopefully soon.
5. Do you like to photograph other things, or just your main work?
I mainly like to shoot conceptual work because I feel like it’s more interesting and expressive, but I also enjoy shooting standard portraits, weddings, and occasionally I will snap a beautiful landscape.
6. What is your favorite photo you've taken and why?
I really like a lot of the pieces I've created but my favorite so far has to be my photo titled: “Dripping out of the abyss, Adam collapsed”.
This photo is the essence of my work and a clear definition of my mission statement as a photographer, not just the composition of it but the idea too. I try to base my concepts around themes of beauty and fragility. In each image I strive to tell the story of a broken soul engulfed in the beauty of their surroundings, simulating that there is hope in the world, and beauty can be found in our darkest moments. I think this image illustrates that idea very well. Not to mention that this image was taken my trip to California. I was in one of the most beautiful places in the world, with some of the best people in the world.
More about this image and my trip to California are on my blog if interested www.tylerrayburn.com/blog
|“Dripping out of the abyss, Adam collapsed”|
Well I’m sort of going to repeat myself a bit here from my last statement above. In each image I strive to tell the story of a broken soul engulfed in the beauty of their surroundings, simulating that there is hope in the world, and love in the darkness. The reason for that is that just prior to getting into photography I was pretty depressed to the point where I wanted to kill myself, and I like to think photography played a big part in getting me out of that. I don’t want anyone to have to feel even close to how I felt. I think as humans we go through tough times or have negative thoughts now and again so I try to create images that give the viewer hope and dreams in any circumstance or no matter what level of emotion they are at. With that whole idea in mind, I really want viewers to pursue their dreams and what make them truly happy. Pursuing my dream has done that for me, maybe it can for them too.
8. What gear do you use? What's your most used lens and why?
I currently use a Canon 5D Mark II, and I also have a Canon 5D as a backup camera. My primary lens is a Canon 50mm 1.4 and I have been using it pretty much since I started photography. It is an excellent portrait lens and yields great depth of field at 1.4 for that luscious bokeh (especially with a full-frame camera!). That’s pretty much my main set-up, sometimes I’ll try out a different lens or use some studio lights but I don’t think you need the very best equipment or a lot of it to create something beautiful.
9. Who would you say is your favorite photographer? Why?
|"The House Shook"|
My ‘favorite’ photographer changes all the time, haha! Currently it is Oleg Oprisco. His work is so stunning! The models he chooses, the tones of each image, and the creative ideas on top of all of it are very inspiring to say the least.
10. Have you dealt with any negativity as a photographer, if so, how did you overcome it?
Thankfully I don’t have to deal with much negativity, but when I do I try to take it as constructive criticism and a way to better myself. Everyone has their opinions and I know that not everyone in the world is going to like my art. Nonetheless; I am extremely thankful to have people from all around the world express their opinion on my work, even if it’s something I don’t agree with because at least I’m getting a reaction from them?
11. Do you plan on doing anything with your photography or do you shoot just for fun? (If you are planning a future with your work, please explain where you want to go with with)
I plan on doing everything and anything I can with my photography. I’m actually going to be quitting my steady job in a couple weeks to pursue it full-time. When I do go full-time, I plan on starting a 365-project and doing as much client work as I can on top of it. I want to put 100% into something I’m passionate about and love instead of doing 2 jobs 50-50. I know it will be extremely difficult to take such a risk but I’m ready to head straight into the great unknown with nothing but the clothes on my back. My long terms goals are to teach workshops nationally and internationally, travel, collaborate, shoot weddings and album covers, live on the edge, and inspire others to pursue their passion.
12. Do you have a favorite inspirational quote? If so, what is it and why is it your favorite?
“It’s better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way” -Alan Watts
I love this quote because I feel like so many people go on in there lives concerned about money instead of being concerned with what actually matters, happiness, passion and following your dreams.
There's a very inspirational video on this idea. Check it out if interested! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSyHWMdH9gk
|"The Fisherman's Son"|
In California when we covered Vinny Balbo in seaweed for a concept, he was laying on a rock covered in muscle clams, he had a starfish right next to his face, and the waves were splashing on him. I make my models do crazy things and I love them for it. I really enjoyed my time in California, the whole purpose of the trip was to create art, make friends and collaborate!
14. What would be the best advice you could give to a new photographer?
Follow your dreams. Practice, practice, practice. Never give up; Persevere. Observe what photographers you look up to are doing. Put yourself out there. Ask questions. Be humble. Stay inspired. Master your craft. Conduct a business plan and a name for yourself. Did I mention practice?
Thank you so much Tyler for being a part of my little blog series! I truly admire your work and I hope you continue your dreams and get to do all the things you want to! Good luck with going into photography 100% and I sincerely hope that you achieve your dreams! I see great things from you as long as you keep on keeping! :)