JONATHAN CHERRY: What gets you up in the morning?
GAVIN THOMAS: Sometimes what gets me up in the morning are my awesome cats, Milo & Madison, but usually it’s my beautiful fiancé, Kate, leaving for work.
JC: Are there any emerging photographers inspiring you at the moment?
GT: I’m a big fan of Ben Pier, Derek Wood, Chris Shonting, Angela Boatright, Chad Griffith and Stephen K Schuster. I’ve also been keeping an eye on Natalie Zwillinger, Liad Cohen, Thai photographers Wuttichai Nuchsiri and Supaluk Sornbunchong. In addition to those, I find that the Lomography Community is full of some really inspiring and creative individuals. I’m constantly on the website and Flickr, checking out new photographers and techniques.
JC: What is your current project all about?
GT: There’s a lot going on right now. I’m super inspired by a lot of point and shoot street photography so I’ve been shooting tons of 35mm film. I’m constantly shooting double exposure images, combining multiple layers into one photograph using compact 35mm and other toy cameras. I usually shoot 1 or 2 layers of backgrounds or city streets and combine them with portraits from both personal and commercial work.
JC: What has the rest of 2011 got in store for you?
GT: There’s lots of new work coming out. I had a very busy and productive year in 2011 so I’m excited to finish the year out strong and keep the positive vibes going for 2012. I’d like to continue shooting and improving my technique. I had some work recently come out in The Source, YRB and AARP magazines, amongst others. I have a bunch of awesome celebrity-filled work coming out in the next issue of Rap-Up magazine as well.
JC: How do you find juggling personal and commercial work?
GT: Ryan Pfulger said it best. Doing the commercial work pays the bills and allows you to afford shooting the personal stuff. Juggling between the two though is really tough, especially if you’re fortunate enough to constantly be getting work. This past year has been very good to me; probably the busiest I have ever been.
JC: Any advice to recent photography graduates?
GT: Shoot for the stars and stay positive. If you dedicate yourself 110% to your photography, only good things can happen. Surrounding yourself with positive and like-minded people also really helps get you through those tough times when the phone isn’t ringing. Two other quick little tips (and I know a lot of people have said the same things):
Always be shooting, all the time - no exceptions.
Push yourself. Step out of your comfort zone and shoot something totally new and different from what you are used to.
Lastly, it is also very important to decompress. Try and keep yourself on a schedule or a routine so that you can make time for yourself to relax and just get away from it all.
Oh, and also exercise and eat your vegetables. (I’m going to have to listen to my own advice on this one.)
JC: Favourite tree?
GT: Birch. Haha, that’s such a cool name for a tree (although I would prefer seeing some palm trees to photograph.)