This Photograph Inspired My Entire Career: 4 Professional Photographers Weigh In

Posted on July 29, 2015

At Studio 3 we have a number of talented professional photographers ready to take gorgeous, arresting images for any client need. But all photographers, even those at the pinnacle of their careers, got started somewhere. Often it was a single, iconic image that ignited the creative passion. For example:

Jim Felt, Photographer and Co-Founder of Studio 3, Inc.

strange days album photograph  — Studio 3, Inc.

For Studio 3, Inc. co-founder Jim Felt, the iconic photograph that inspired his love of the FUN side of photography was the album cover photo from The Doors’ Strange Days. Shot by Photographer Joel Brodsky (with much of it put together on the fly with minimal budget), this photo spoke to Jim’s love of the absurdity of life. Up until he saw this photo, Jim says that he shot mostly in black & white and didn’t like color photography that much, but this photo spoke to him with its moody monochromatic palette. As a photographer he was drawn to the idea of directing any scenario imaginable and shooting it, and thought it so much fun to see the details throughout the image that wrapped all the way around to the back of the CD (where the band’s portraits were relegated!) (Interesting story behind the photo here.) Radical for its time in that it was album cover art that didn’t depict the band, this photo captured Jim’s attitude to photography in genera;: that we shouldn’t take it so darn seriously because it’s so incredibly FUN.

Jim Felt specializes in portrait, large vehicle, and lifestyle photography. His photos often depict a lot of things happening that draw you into a picture with fun and interest.
14734 59CadModelCar  — Studio 3, Inc.Lifestyle photography by Jim Felt.

Henry Ngan, Photographer and Co-Founder of Studio 3, Inc.

henri cartier bresson tower jump  — Studio 3, Inc.

For Henry Ngan, the other co-founder of Studio 3, the French master of candid photography Henri Cartier-Bresson proved most inspirational. This particular photograph, he notes, shows Cartier-Bresson’s ability to capture the moment as it happens. The photographer carried a small 35mm Leica camera in an age when the professional camera was huge – and he did this in order to be able to shoot spontaneity unobtrusively.

Of Cartier-Bresson, Henry says: “He inspired me to capture the decisive moment.”

No matter how big or complex the project, Henry embraces all challenges and always makes the cutting-edge look its very best. A master of texture, he specializes in product, large vehicle, and technology photography.

cat equipment vehicles large product photography henry ngan studio 3  — Studio 3, Inc.

Vehicle photography by Henry Ngan. (Shot while sitting inside a large Caterpillar shovel and hoisted aloft to get an aerial view!)

Craig Wagner, Photographer

omega blank and white photograph shadrick williams  — Studio 3, Inc. Craig Wagner originally started as a Photography Assistant at Studio 3 many years ago. For Craig the photograph that inspired him the most at the beginning of his career was Omega by Shedrick Williames (above, from Craig’s personal collection). After hearing a talk by Williames in his college class, Craig sought him out to apprentice for him. Williams (or “Shad” as he was known to friends) took young Craig under his wing and taught him high standards for black-and-white photography and his exacting methods for quality prints.

Craig says, “I still enjoy this image of his, the sense of isolation: a new beginning for Man. I feel that even today the statement he may have been making is still current.”

Craig’s photography exhibits a depth of tonal ranges, bright colors, and stellar lighting. He is known for large product, vehicle, beverage, and indoor/outdoor photography.

red kenworth truck on black craig wagner  — Studio 3, Inc.

Vehicle photography by Craig Wagner.

David Bell, Photographer

driest of the dry smirnoff vodka 1955 iconic photo bert stern  — Studio 3, Inc.

Photographer David Bell has been with Studio 3 for over 10 years, and cites Bert Stern and his great pyramid shot for a Smirnoff ad as his inspiration. Shot on location and the pyramid reversed in the martini glass, all of his work at that time was very inspiring to the young photographer and provided a window into the world of advertising photography. The original bad boy photographer, Stern’s images redefined art and fashion in the 1950’s and 60’s. David was particularly drawn to the bold and graphic nature of this shot, one that changed the advertising world in its simplicity.

David says about this photo: “The light. Waiting for the right light. Beautiful.”

David Bell is known for his dedication to creating delectable food and beverage images and makes each item pop with his expert lighting. He specializes in product, food, drink, and vehicle photography.

Strawberry Honey Shrimp food photography studio 3  — Studio 3, Inc.

Food photography by David Bell.

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