Photographer Spotlight Monday: Elijah Dominique
Preferred Name? Elijah Dominique
Where are you from? Silver Springs, Maryland
Current Area of Residence? New York, NY
TOAN: Do you have a focus on one specific area of photography, i.e.: fashion, landscape, portraiture, events, etc? If so, which?
Elijah Dominique: I don’t have a specific focus on one area of photography. I really like to shoot any and everything. But If I had to choose it would be either Fashion or Event photography.
TOAN: What are your thoughts on saturation in the photography industry due to social media?
ED: My thoughts on saturation in photography due social media is mixed. It’s weird, cause I use my social media to promote my photography, being that social media is a universal tool I think that it’s in every artist interest to use it to their advantage. I also feel that social media tends to breed more and more individuals who just pick up a craft because it’s “cool” or a “trend”. In this case, you’ll have a lot of people that are out there doing the same thing your doing, therefore a lot of the real talent gets overlooked because of that.
TOAN: Because of its origin and some specific knowledge of settings, numbers and so forth, do you consider photography an art, science, or skill/talent?
ED: I consider photography to be all three. It’s an art because it’s an outlet of expression. It’s a science because of all the components that goes into making a great photograph and even a great camera: camera body, camera sensor, lens, exposure, lighting, shadows, editing and developing. I’m not going to go to deep into that but, I would consider it a science because of all the experimentation that goes into the craft. It’s a skill/talent because you have to have an ‘eye’ for things. Seeing things in a certain way that people with a naked eye can’t see. I feel like that’s what makes a photographer, a great photographer because of their perspective and vision on whatever they’re capturing, and on the contrary draws people to be like “wow, that’s an amazing image” or “man, this image speaks volume.” You have to make people feel the photograph, and that takes a lot of skill, talent and dedication to embody.
TOAN: How did you decide on photography as something to commit your time to?
ED: What made me decide to commit to photography was the fact that I was always taking pictures. I was always snapping photos on my cell phone of the trees, and just certain things that caught my attention. I didn’t have the money to buy my own camera when I was in high school so I took a photography course from my sophomore- senior year in high school to get hands on experience with a camera. And from there I was drawn to the craft. Once I graduated I was stuck, still trying to figure out what I wanted to study in college. I looked up some schools in LA and didn’t find any that interest me. I then moved to New York with my grandmother and started working in retail during the summer of 2012. This is the time where I still was taking photos on my iPhone until I brought my first digital camera and really started taking photos. I researched photographers and filmmakers and found Spike Lee and Gordon Parks, who both really inspired me. I was so interested in photos and videos that I enrolled into school for filmmaking, and started doing freelance photography at the same time. That’s when I wanted to make the craft my profession.
TOAN: What do you imagine to be doing with photography in 6 months? 5 years?
ED: In 6 months, I really want to have a solid list of clientele to work with. I want to have at least 2-3 galleries under my belt. That’s something I have yet to do. In 5 years, oh man! I want to be with the top dawgs. I like working with music artist, and since I love music I want to be on multiple tours. I want to shoot editorials for like vogue and other fashion magazines, and just travel the world. I really want to get that full experience of making a living off of the thing that I love doing while inspiring those to do the same along the way.