It was with great pleasure I had the opportunity to interview a colleague and GlamModelz Magazine Staff Photographer, Dean, of Dean Fast Photography. He is one of the most innovative individuals in the modeling industry today. We have shared several technical e-mails and Dean gladly offers his expertise to those wishing to achieve a new – higher level . Dean’s kickback – laid back attitude always leaves one feeling enthused and excited, even passionate about photography. His crisp unique style is evident on every image that he produces. What is equally as unique is his degree of professionalism and rapport with the team with which he works. His reputation and work ethics are beyond compare.
GlamModelz Magazine: Let’s get started Dean! Tell me about your background. How did you get started in Photography?Dean: I’ve been a life-long lover of photography but up until a few years ago, never thought that it could ever become something that I could become so passionate about. As a schoolteacher of now 26 years, I have had the wonderful luxury of time in the summers to pursue my various hobbies. About 8 years ago, I made the decision to get serious about photography, with the sole intent of becoming a portrait photographer of senior high students and their senior portfolios. What I thought would be a perfect part-time summer job turned into something much different. I felt I needed to hone my skills and joined One Model Place with the intent of shooting with new models and killing two birds with one stone…gaining a style and improving my technique. What I didn’t expect was that in a short time, I’d develop a style that people liked and take me in a whole different direction than what I initially planned out for myself.
GlamModelz Magazine:What or who inspires you as a photographer? Dean:What inspires me the most is the challenge of coming up with interesting and creative locations to shoot at. I love poking around an alley or walking the streets of an urban area, searching for something unique that the subject I’m working with can interact with. The other thing that motivates me is the other professional photographers whose work challenges me to be better at my craft. There’s some amazing talent in this industry.
GlamModelz Magazine:What challenges do you face in this industry? What would you change about it, if you could?Dean: My biggest challenge is a personal one. I sometimes feel l get too comfortable with my style. Don’t get me wrong…I love the style I’ve developed, but I also believe that one should never become so comfortable that they don’t stretch and grow. I’d like to see myself take a few more risks and see what happens as a result.
GlamModelz Magazine:What equipment is essential for you as a photographer, to capture your “best shot”? Dean:Of course…my Nikon camera and lenses are my lifeline. I’ve been a lifelong Nikon shooter, but didn’t really start getting my best images until I decided to invest in quality glass. I rented a high-end lens for a wedding I shot, and never put my old lens on the camera again after that day. Having a portable power source has been another step up with regard to equipment. I rarely shoot in studio, so having a way to use studio lights on location has been great.
GlamModelz Magazine:Paid vs. TF* shoots – What are your views and preferences? Dean:TFP/CD shoots are a great way to build portfolios and gain experience. I’ve appreciated all the fantastic models that shot TF with me over the years; I couldn’t have developed my style without them. At some point where one’s work is in demand, I believe that TFP/CD has to be very selective and should naturally switch to paid work. There are a few special models I’ve built a relationship over the years with whom I will always shoot TF; at least until they get sick and tired of me. I do find models from time to time that I’m really motivated to shoot with and TFP/CD is always an option with them.
GlamModelz Magazine:You have a unique posing style, do you find ideas from magazines, or pose the model per location as needed? Dean: I really don’t look for ideas, but do pay attention when I see something I like. I spend more time than I should on Model Mayhem and see some extremely talented people doing some amazing things. I’m definitely not beneath stealing ideas from them. My personal style is that I prefer asymmetrical lines and angles…angles…angles. And, as I stated earlier, finding a location that the model can interact with helps a lot with posing ideas too.
GlamModelz Magazine: How would you best describe your personal style? Dean: I’m very laid back and enjoy the interaction with my subject as much as or more than the photography itself. I’m not opposed to hanging off a ledge or getting down on my oversized belly to get a perspective or angle that’s different. I love vibrant color and always strive to match wardrobe to location. And, being a life-long lover of long legs…I’m forever looking for ways to accentuate and flatter that part of the female form.
GlamModelz Magazine:What are your goals for your photography? Dean:At this point, my goal is to continue to grow and build a style that others in the industry can respect. Personally, I’d like to see myself experiment with some new techniques and continue to be a student of the craft.
GlamModelz Magazine:We had the opportunity to examine your work closely and I really must complement you on the large production High Fashion work. Can you briefly describe what is involved with a large production shoot such as this? Dean:I’ve been blessed to work with some stunning models and wonderful makeup and hair stylists. Putting in the time to scout locations and investigating new techniques has also added a lot to what happens when I shoot fashion.
GlamModelz Magazine:What qualities should Models/MUA’s/Stylists, etc have to work with you? Dean:A willingness to be a part of a team effort is vital. I love having people around me who aren’t afraid to throw out ideas and give input towards what’s happening in front of the lens. I like working with picky people who know what it takes to get the killer shot; having a critical set of eyes looking for problem areas is always appreciated.
GlamModelz Magazine:Tell us about your biggest accomplishment to date or what makes you most proud.Dean:I wish I could tell you all about the many publications I’ve been featured in, but that isn’t the case. I’ve really not pursued major accomplishments, as the time it would take to put myself in that position isn’t really there right now. When I do retire and make photography my sole occupation, we’ll see if the drive and interest is there to investigate a more aggressive line with my photography. Personally, my most satisfying accomplishments have been the wonderful people I’ve met over the years doing what I love to do. Some of them have become life-long…best friends.
GlamModelz Magazine: What advice do you have for new/amateur photographers who want to shoot Urban Fashion? Dean:The same advise I got from my mentor which was, put in the time to shoot as much as you can…be happy with ten percent of what you do…and learn from the ninety percent that isn’t so good.
GlamModelz Magazine: Any advice for new models or those wishing to brake to the business? Dean:I guess…don’t be afraid to try something new. There’s a ton of models that look pretty and have a great body or face; it’s that one unique and different quality that catches people’s eyes. I would also have to say that a model that moves, poses creatively, and changes up their facial expressions without direction are golden to a photographer like me.
GlamModelz Magazine: In addition to photography, do you have other skills/interests/talents in which you excel? Dean:I’m a fantastic grandfather to my one and only granddaughter, Addison ?
GlamModelz Magazine: What other interesting facts would you like GlamModelz readers to know about you? Dean: I guess the only other thing that comes to mind is that I believe I possess a strong desire to get the ‘shot.’ Inheriting my father’s perfectionist personality definitely drives me to work as hard as I can to provide my clients with the images they’ll be happy with.
GlamModelz Magazine: Where can we see more of your work? How can models who wish to shoot with you contact you? Examples of more of my work can be found at my Model Mayhem profile: ModelMayhem.com/deanfast My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and I’m available via phone at 503-380-2456. Model Mayhem is also a great way to get a message to me; I check it everyday ?
GlamModelz Magazine: Thanks again, Dean , for taking time to share with our readers about your passion!
Beauty Editor GlamModelz Magazine.