Featured Photographer: Craig Minielly Part Two

Craig Minielly • Part Two

Photographer / Nikon Ambassador / Industry Consultant
Yousuf Karsh Lifetime Award / International Commercial Photographer of the Year

 Vancouver, Canada
AuraPhotographics.com Instagram  

Give us some insights to you, your process and your art?

Insights to me? I've never been one to play by the rules, or colour in the lines, I'm usually the one that gets into trouble for breaking out on my own, or breaking away from the rest of the group… So I'm always open to new possibilities, new techniques, new ways of looking at things creatively, as well as overcoming my own boredom, to inspire myself to a new level of possibilities and fresh alternatives.

What other artists, photographers etc have influenced your work? and how did they?

I would say I've been influenced by the images created by George Hurrell, the Playboy creations of Pompeo Posar, Arny Freytag and other playboy shooters… again all to do with exquisite lighting and subjects that are just beautifully captured and styled in their location. Also, cinematic imagery through movies and the amazing worlds they create… how they are dramatically, intensely or aesthetically presented to the viewer… all of those are visual stimulation's that have influenced me and inspired me to different styles & creations.

How do you feel about “everyone being a photographer” these days? how is this new landscape effecting you?

It can be a bit frustrating, however I've been in the business long enough that there been many revolutions of technology with jobs that have changed and with workflows that no longer exist. However, there are new possibilities, new techniques, new creative options and ultimately by being aware of technical possibilities and industry trends, I like to think that I'm always growing and keeping ahead of the pack because I choose to do my work - my own way, for my clients and for myself.

Social media… a god send or the spawn of satin, explain!

Oh God, I would say both however leaning towards Demon Spawn for sure. It seems that 80% of the day can be taken up trying to encapsulate a small paragraph or a thought to toss out into the winds of the Internet, hoping that someone might read it, and then discovering that no one ever did.

What websites do you visit regularly for inspiration?

I actually tend to avoid other websites, groups image boards, and forums, as I find them to quickly become trendy and a dog pile of mimicked styles. Some Facebook groups I enjoy hanging out with, but right now I mostly enjoy going through Instagram and just using it like mental bubblegum for my creative brain as I wander through all sorts of different directions, randomly and with no thought to where I want to go, just following the creative images and other photographers work. I enjoy that.

Where are you heading with your photography? any particular goals?

Toss the images to the wind, see where it goes, and that's where you may find me… lol.  I love the variety, I love how styles change, and I love how I'm inspired to do different things almost on a daily basis - Who really knows where I may end up!

Who would be the top three models on your to shoot list?

Well, there was no timelines on this… So if I had my three choices, I would go with Rita Hayworth, because redheads really are outrageous and can be way too much fun… I think she would be a blast. Also Elle McPherson, a beautiful classy lady who looks spectacular in camera… and I guess a little more recent, Kate Upton could be a true pleasure to spend time with on a photo set.

As a photographer are you a make them perfect in post kinda guy or they are human and have a few flaws kinda guy?

I like the images to be real. Everyone is beautiful, deserves to be seen that way, and yet the camera can be rather unforgiving at times. What I see as the final image is a blend of the real and photographic techniques, to allow everyone to see their beauty as it should be seen. Maybe that makes me a bit of both, but I would definitely lean towards people being real and not fake it for the final image.

Preferences: Craig Minielly

Natural light or Artificial light

I love natural light, and adding to it in a manner that it still retains the natural feel but with the styled & intense qualities that can come with studio lighting.

Create the image or Capture it

I capture moments as I see them, and create opportunities onwards from there… HA!

Direct the model a lot or give them freedom

I work off of the model, and her personality. Generally that means they can have a range and do what they want, as we work with each other in the clues we provide to each other and as we create the images.

Love critique or just do your own thing and leave me alone

Critiques don't bother me, I already have a solid sense of what I like or don't like, in my own mind.

Location or Studio

I'm definitely a location guy, I love how a new location opens up new possibilities, every time. I get inspired by making it up as I go along, it almost always goes somewhere unexpected, and the uniqueness of the location is a cool unknown I love to play with.

Ice in your bourbon or neat

Neat. Definitely

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