The most beautiful of moments are usually crept upon by accident – and such is the story behind our best selling Lake print by US photographer Davidson Lentz.
“The image came about purely by accident,” he concedes. “I was traveling back to camp after a day in Yellowstone park and happened to pass by the location at a time when the sky provided a beautiful golden glow. Naturally I had to stop and capture it.”
Here, we have a chat about what makes Davidson tick and the career milestones that built upon that tranquil snapshot that translates so beautifully to our briefs.
Tell us a bit about your background, where you grew up…
“I grew up in Nashville TN, colloquially known as “Music City USA”, however country music is definitely the most prominent genre that the city is known for. My father was in the music industry during the 60s-80s, working alongside famous names such as George Jones and Johnny Cash. As a result of this I grew up with a large appreciation for art and the artists that create them, albeit a different type of art than what I would later pursue.
Nashville is a very artist friendly place, while not as large as New York or LA, Nashville has a high concentration of artists who reside here. My father was also an avid photo hobbyist since the 1950s, so by the time I was born his collection of cameras and equipment has amounted large enough that there was never a time in my life where I didn’t have access to one.”
Were you always an artist? How did your career begin?
I had a camera in my hands since I could walk, but I didn’t pursue it as a career until High School when I kind of fell into it by accidentally discovering that I could make some money doing what I loved shooting for stock websites, magazines, assisting commercial photographers. During college I kept pushing myself to learn more and more, and work more and more whenever I could, using the extra cash I earned to enjoy those years in school and later to support myself once I was out.
What do you love most about what you do?
That no matter how much you learn there is always more waiting to be learned right around the corner.
How would you describe your style or aesthetic?
Clean perfectionism. Nothing bothers me more than the small things that most observers would never notice. Whether its a telephone pole, crack in the concrete, or random by-standard. I will wait, crouch, crawl, jump, or squat for however long it takes to get the same shot without that minor distraction to the composition.
What are some misconceptions people have about the artist life?
That working doing what you love is always fun, work is work.
What is your daily routine like?
For the past 3 years most of my time has been spent shooting jewellery in a large commercial studio. So my typical day consists of fiddling with my set and lights to fight reflections in metals and to give the products a perfect looking appearance.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I have typically found that my favourite shots are the ones I just let happen, without over thinking lighting or composition. So while I am inspired by ideas constantly, I try to just throw myself into it and see what I come up with, nine times out of ten I like what I end up with more than the shots that I planned.
What is a career highlight to date and why?
Flipping channels on TV and seeing one of my images on a major network’s show. The surprise of unexpectedly finding one of my images never gets old, but that one was particularly special. Runner up would be having my image featured as the cover shot for one of the “Dummies” books on Digital Photography.
How did your stonemen collaboration come about?
I was contacted by Marc from stonemen through my website.
I thought it was a neat idea and something memorable that I could add to my portfolio to show future clients. After investigating the concept more and seeing the focus on the artists and not just the product, it was a no brainer.
What do you enjoy most about the Stonemen brand?
That there is a respect and accreditation to each and every artists who has their work displayed, so the customers really know what went into each product.
What’s next for you?
Back to work!
*All images courtesy of lentzphotography.com