STUART WINECOFF: I'M NEVER REALLY HAPPY WITH MY WORK

"One thing I tell myself in the morning if I'm feeling anxious about going to set, is that I know it's worth going to, and I know there are lessons to be learned there. Because if I am not anxious, it usually means I've done it before."

By Balthazar Malevolent

STUART WINECOFF: I'M NEVER REALLY HAPPY WITH MY WORK

I don't necessarily think of myself as a fashion photographer, but I do operate in that sphere. Because of that, I've always been interested in photographs that tell a broader story, capture and observe the moment without having imposed too much of themselves on the moment. Because of that, I've always been drawn to artists like René Burri or Alex Webb, who've mastered street photography in that way.

The nice thing about a wide-angle lens is often subjects who are on the edge of the frame don't realize that they are. So, you get these moments in that space you would've never expected; they make things feel more genuine. It's tricky for me because I have to find a balance, where my work is clearly not street photography in that same way. The scenes that I construct are often lit artificially, even when you can't really tell.

As a photographer, I'm acting as a director in a sense because at the start, subjects don't always understand what I'm trying to do. And sometimes that's okay; it leads them to do things that are unexpected or feel awkward, and you can capture those moments on the edge of the frame.

The thing about being a cinematographer is that I'm often challenged by directors to come up with lighting setups that I would've never had the opportunity to shoot as a photographer, just because the budgets aren't necessarily the same. You’re thrown into scenarios like shooting a subway container in a studio and making it look like it's moving, and then passing through a tunnel with light. The other challenge is helping other artists make their vision come to life. It’s almost a creative exercise in that way.

One thing I tell myself in the morning if I'm feeling anxious about going to set, is that I know it's worth going to, and I know there are lessons to be learned there. Because if I am not anxious, it usually means I've done it before or it'll be a walk in the park, you know?

While I do feel a lot of pride in my work, like every artist would tell you, I'm also never really happy with it. But I'll come up with a better answer. There was so much fear around the idea of showing the world that I could be a still photographer and an artist in my own right. It was holding me back for years. I had gained a small level of success as a cinematographer, and I was afraid that if I showed myself as a photographer, the stakes would be so high that I would have to live up to a certain standard. I was so afraid of that standard I was holding myself to, that I held myself back. The most proud I've ever been is when I decided to not let fear stop me.

Stuart Winecoff

In other news, Rick Owens Fall 2021 Men's. “I’m always conscious of my own aggression. And the older that I get, I feel like I should have reached a level of serenity that I just haven’t; I get impatient, I get itchy, I snap at people sometimes… Aggression is something that I’m fascinated with because I’m constantly conscious of wrestling with it, personally. And I think that that’s true of every man.”

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