Each month we feature a DT customer who’s doing exciting and interesting work in the world of photography to answer 12 questions and give us a peak into their world. This month we’re excited to feature Marshall Troy.
Recognized for his strikingly imaginative imagery and bold use of color, Marshall walks through his inspiration and tips.
Describe your approach to photography— What makes your work unique? What makes a good image?
I think a lot of my work is heavily influenced from a technical perspective. I enjoy the creativity involved in executing an idea. The idea can be either something my client or myself envisioned, but what is most important to me is the care and precision involved in what I do. I want the viewer to appreciate the object captured as much as I did while I was creating the image. Details matter, and paying attention to those small things in photography are really what make an image good.
What inspires you? Who are your influences?
What inspires me is Fear. I fear the idea of giving up. It’s so easy as an artist to give up and think your ideas or vision won’t work for one to even get started. I hate to waste time, so if you’re going to do something, do it right. I find that this fear makes me uncomfortable at times, and continues to never let me be content. Because of that I continuously push myself beyond my comfort zone. This fear and competitive drive in me is what makes it fun to go to work every day. It’s not a job for me. It’s a way of life. I’m influenced by my professional competitors, peers, and creatives in other industries. I also study trends, and techniques that are not necessarily photography related but inspirational, and try to implement them into my own work.
What was your first camera?
Can you think of the first time you realized the camera you owned was holding you back?
I don’t recall the first time, but in the digital age, I remember the mega-pixel race. I remember that I always needed better resolution for what I was doing.
What’s a photography-related purchasing decision or experience that you regret?
I don’t have any regrets. I think that trying new things and realizing you love it or hate it is a good way of figuring out what works best for you. Experimenting with new technology and equipment is helpful in determining what type of photographer I am and will become in the future. If I buy or rent something that isn’t for me, I find a way to sell it or make use of it in another way.
How did you make the transition to professional photography, and how did making a living from photography impact your style of shooting?
I always wanted to do something that involved creating imagery from a very young age. Growing up amazed by paintings, looking at pictures, and watching movies, I would get lost into the emotional connections as well as loved learning about the process of expressing those captured moments. I would pick up a video camera or film camera and just play with them for fun with friends. It was when I hit college, I really buckled down and took the hobby to the next level. For me it really happened when I hit the NYC scene and my career as a photographer came together. The digital age has definitely impacted my photography. This incredible technology allows me to capture details now that I always imagined. There are definitely jobs I do as a photographer to make a living, and others that I do because it’s a creative outlet. I do my best though to make sure that I only take on the jobs that make sense for me and ones I am passionate about. If it’s not a good fit, I won’t be shy to turn down work.
What was your most difficult project?
I can’t recall one to stick out. Each project has its own set of challenges and don’t find them difficult because it’s the difficultly of the challenge I enjoy. But what I would say that is difficult, was learning the business. Yeah, being an artist is great but they don’t teach you business in art school. It’s something I had to learn myself.
If you had to do a project using the bare minimum of equipment, what would you bring?
Depends on the project, but obviously a camera with extra batteries, tripod, one light and a reflective card would be the absolute bare minimum.
What’s the most interesting/surprising/invaluable thing you keep in your equipment bag?
I would say gaffers tape. I find myself always needing tape.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started out?
People. I’ve learned knowing and working with the right people can make a big difference. Like pairing a glass of wine with a meal is just as important as finding people that complement each other’s art style and work ethic.
Do you have a “Passion Project” that you enjoy working on in your free time?
Currently my passion project are my kids. They are very young and I spend most of my free time with my family. It is my best escape that grounds me back to this world.
What’s your favorite book/movie/album that you’ve experienced recently?
I recently watched Creed II, I won’t say its my favorite movie, but I really enjoy the Balboa stories and journey. The overall message of having a burning desire that needs to be fulfilled really resonates with me.