Interview of Christopher Frank Beitz
For this interview we’re featuring Christopher Frank Beitz, a young photographer based in Buffalo, NY who is taking the first step in his photographic career. He kindly accepted to answer some questions about himself and his projects.
I have been impressed by his enthusiasm for photography and by his quest for new ideas and challenges, so I decided I wanted to know more.
Hi Chris, I’ve been watching your photos for a while, but I’ve never known where your resolution to become a photographer came from and how long have you been in love with photography.
Well at first I took a few photography courses in high school and hated it, my teachers weren’t the best so that impacted how I perceived it. But after joining tumblr I got inspired by all of the images flowing through my dashboard daily and I began to develop a passion for photography. I realized I wanted to take part and create photos for myself. I’ve been shooting for around a year and a half so I am relatively new to the art and I plan on continuing to shoot for many years to come!
Do you think photography impacted on your life, if so how? What was your most valuable experience so far?
I would say so, yes. It really changed how I view things I see everyday and almost gave me a heightened awareness to the things most of us just glance at and continue on with our lives. The main focus of this idea for me would be nature, I always used to just walk by on a path in some woods, but then when I picked up a camera I started to notice how there was so much more than what can be seen at first glance, how everything in a forest is interconnected in some way. I really love how photography changed my pre-conceived perceptions of my reality.
Your work spans from more introspective and contemplative moments (I think of all the photos in the woods) to street photography representing the hectic life of the city. What is your favorite gear? How does it change according to the different circumstances you’re working with?
I just started shooting using film cameras, so right now shooting film is something I find really enjoyable for most of my ideas. In regards to different circumstances I would say I use all of my cameras for the most part. Digital is easier because I can see what I took and if needed compensate, so I get the best resulting image whereas with film you are hopeful that the photos will turn out alright. With this aside, my favorite camera at the moment would likely be my Medium format Camera (Yashica Mat-124) because of how comfortable it is to use; it was a really great camera to use while on my trip to New York City or even where I live walking around in the woods.
Where does your inspiration come from? Do you have any favorite photographer at the moment?
I would say my inspiration comes from nowhere in a sense, I probably sound really ambiguous but I get my ideas quite randomly. I spend a lot of my time thinking, on my way to school, working out, sleeping, just all of the time really. I wouldn’t say I have a favorite photographer, I enjoy many photographers work and I think to myself “oh I love the idea for that” so I just have a simple way of interpreting what I enjoy in a photo.
If you were given the chance to spend one day at work with a photographer to mentor you, who would you choose?
Well if I could go back in time a few years I would love to work with Sam Haskins, I love how he creates images in the darkroom doing things that seem impossible, but he yet finds a way to accomplish his idea, I just love that. As for photographers who are big today, I would have to choose the photographer known as Billy Kidd, I really enjoy his portrait work and how he goes about portraying his ideas simply and elegantly.
You are still at the beginning of your career, what are your dreams and ambitions? Is there any exciting project coming up that you want to share or something that you would like to realize one day?
I feel as though I am at a crossroads, as I wanted to be a landscape photographer for a big Magazine such as National Geographic, but then I thought to myself how vague landscape is really, there isn’t a whole lot to the photo besides a sense of “Oh I wish I could be there and witness that”. I want my photos to be something that can have multiple interpretations and viewed in different ways. I might get into fashion photography but then I would have to move to a big city like New York or something similar and I’m not sure if that’s where I wish to go just yet. As for current projects I have a few in the works, a few ideas for double exposures, some more unique ideas as well. I won’t get into too much detail but from what I have in my head I think it will turn out good!
Since this interview will be published on a “photography” network, could you please share with us one or two photos that convey your photography?
I gave you three photographs because it was hard to choose. The first is a double exposure , the second is a shot I took with my 35 mm camera while I was on a carriage, and the third is a reflection in a puddle .
Thanks a lot for your time Chris! I wish you all the best with your future projects!
To find Chris’s work you can follow these links:
Society 6: http://society6.com/ChristopherFrankBeitz
An interview by Sara Tomiolo