It’s time to take a step back from the beautiful faces we see in front of the camera and take a look at the talent that spends their time behind it.
Who am I referring to, you may ask? Well, none other than an extremely talented artist himself, Christopher DeLorenzo. Yes, this photographer hails from the Garden State, Basking Ridge, New Jersey to be more exact, but has recently made the haul out to Los Angeles, California to pursue his passion on a much larger scale. When asked how he plans on studying his craft, his answer was simple, “I’m shooting till my hands hurt.” Well, giving his hands a break, I was given the opportunity to question Mr. DeLorenzo on his passion, his life, and his ability to capture the perfect moment with a single click.
So, when did his talent surface? “Hmm…well, I started getting into photography when I was in elementary/middle school. I used to draw a lot before photography, and all I could remember was that I wanted to create. I could create what was in my head a lot better through photography than drawing. I basically stole my moms camera at 10 or 11 years old and got hooked.”
And what famous artist hasn’t had some petty misdemeanor in their portfolio? He’ll be among the Greats in no time. Well, I’m sure his skills will contribute to that as well. So, when did he first reveal his skills? “I think my first job was at 15, shooting for my brother’s fire company. It was an event and I was so stoked on the fact that I actually saved the first 5 dollars I made from it.”
5 whole dollars? Wow, the beginning of it all. With all that money, it’s no wonder why his site looks so fantastic. How did it come about? “I started messing with sites when I was in eighth grade and then I made a Facebook fanpage in High School. The Facebook page was probably the biggest help for me to be identified as a photographer. I think overall I have had five or six different platforms. It’s really an ever evolving thing, and just like your portfolio, there can always be improvements with sites.”
Well, with that site, it is hard to imagine any improvements that can be made. It highlights the most unbelievable photos, which poses the question: out of all the fantastic shots he produces, what is his favorite image to capture? “That’s tough. I’m really split between shooting surf or fashion/portrait work. Theres so much culture and lifestyle that goes along with the action of surf. From the shaper who creates a board, to the athlete who rides it, there’s a broad spectrum to be captured. I also love to use slow shutter speeds when shooting surf to blur the motion and create a painterly feel to the images.
I am really intrigued by interesting people as well. Capturing that building emotion on an intriguing face is really inspiring to me. I always say the coolest part about being a photographer is the people you meet. I’ve met models from all over, California, Texas, New York and even this small country called Slovenia. Aside from meeting models, you really get an inside view on so many things being a photographer. You are let into smaller worlds that are closed to most outsiders.”
California must be the perfect spot for his inspiration in surf scenes and exotic people, am I right? “Being in LA has been amazing for my career and I really have only been here a few months. I think I have taken 21,000 photos here since March, and most of my portfolio now is photos from the past few months.
In terms of actual shoots, I have been to some pretty cool places within the US. I have found some cool places in California that locals haven’t really been to; sand dunes, sea caves, various deserts. I am more intrigued by finding the extraordinary in the “ordinary.” I think growing up in NJ, which doesn’t exactly have mind blowing locations, has helped me appreciate anywhere I go a lot more.”
So he has the vision, he has the scenery, but does he have the brands? “I have done a few jobs here and there for companies, such as the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals), but honestly, I am so focused right now on building my portfolio and refining my style. I will do test shoots to try to imitate a shoot such as a Ralph Lauren or Dolce & Gabanna campaign. If I want to get hired by companies like this, my images and style should relate to their companies.
In terms of models, I have worked with a lot of agency models. Ford, NEXT, Nous, la models and Fusion are some of the agencies I have worked with. It’s really good to build up your portfolio this way, but honestly you don’t need “professional” models to build a great book. One of my favorite girls to work with is Alessa Pomerantz, an unsigned model from NJ. She’s not signed yet probably because of her height, but that really means nothing when you are looking to capture some stunning imagery and emotion.”
Well, we are very familiar with and aware of the talents Ms. Pomerantz possesses. And if he is common with Alessa Pomerantz, then he must know his way around this business. With all he knows about this business, he must be pretty set on his aspirations. “I love shooting surf, but I think it’s really just a means to an end for me. I’m really striving to shoot commercially for clothing companies. I want to build a style of photography that is super recognizable. A unique style is part of branding yourself and I think its a huge component of success. I think like everyone, I have dream clients. Red Bull, Nike, Nixon, Oakley, D&G, Ralph Lauren…It’s a pretty spread out list, but I don’t really want to pigeonhole myself. “
With the talent Christopher DeLorenzo possesses, I’m sure that these aspirations are, not only certainly attainable, but are in the very near future. So, the next time you are in California, pay Mr. DeLorenzo a visit, who plans to make his mark there for a very long time. For me, I know that if Christopher DeLorenzo is behind the camera, my photos will look fantastic, as does his future.