Seagram Pearce is a full time freelance, self-taught photographer, based in Cape Town, South Africa focused on automotive, fashion & other genres. The international photographer takes readers on a revealing visual journey trough his splendid captures of luxury, high speed automotive.
We managed to get an exclusive interview with Seagram, so we invite you to check it out below, among the selection of cars pictures.
Tell us about something about Seagram Pearce Photography?
I'm a totally self taught photographer. I live in Cape Town, South Africa. Most of my editorial clients are here in Cape Town, but I travel quite a bit all over the country as most of my larger clients are all based in Johannesburg. I'm fairly young in my industry, but I certainly don't feel it sometimes! I absolutely live, eat & breathe photography in all forms. I'm somewhat of a nerd when it comes to technology & new gadgets, computers. Although that information I often keep under wraps!
How did you get into Automotive Photography?
What guy doesn't love cars? Even more so, what guy doesn't love getting to be around nice cars! Many years ago I was involved with a lot of car clubs & often found myself spending more time taking random snap shots of cars than socialising. Over time my somewhat perfectionist streak in me made me want to do 'more'. I always wanted 'more'. I was no longer happy with just taking snap shots. I wanted to setup shots how I thought they would look good.
This combination of wanting to get better & working hard at techniques over the years led me into automotive photography that I do today. I'm learning all the time & am so humbled by seeing the kinds of shoots that other photographers are able to put together. I think we always have a long way to go, doesn't matter what point you are in your career.
How do you keep yourself motivated and your photography creative, inspiring and fresh?
I'm literally obsessed with advertising photography. I spend far too much time trying to reverse engineer advert campaigns, or mould new ideas from existing ideas I see in advertising. The advertising sector is where I'm heading with my career & still working as hard as possible to get there. It has definitely not been an overnight affair. But for inspiration, wow, the world is just bursting with mind-blowing creative talent! The internet has made it possible to bring that all together & so easily accessible.
Personally for my own creative 'mojo' I need to travel. I'm a bit of a gypsy. I can't stay in one place for too long. I get depressed & need new environments to get me excited. So travel is my secret weapon if I ever feel I'm running low on creative mojo. I recently just returned from a month long trip to Europe. I bought a Eurorail pass & went from Heathrow to Aberdeen (Scotland) via train. I would get off in the smallest of towns & go explore. In fact, after a month of that the creative inspiration was a bit of an overload! But I came back to Cape Town refreshed & ready to tackle the world.
What is typically in your camera bag?
*grins* This is one of those things that photographers often get judged on. I have to say I'm definitely one of those photographers who believes any camera can do the job. It's what you do WITH the camera. That means what you're putting in front of your lens & the amount of production value you put into your shoot. A badly put together team/production shoot will look just as bad whether you're shooting with a Hasselblad or point-n-shoot. The gear I own & the gear I shoot with are 2 different things. I've always spent all my money on my lighting gear instead of camera gear. Due to this, I shoot with a very moderate Canon system at the moment. The near future has a few opportunities & I'm still waiting to hear about that.
How has your shooting style and work ethic changed in time?
I think photography especially is something that matures as does oneself. An older photographer will tend to shoot in a more mature way because that is how he/she sees the world. Life experience impacts heavily on shooting style & taste. With myself, I have definitely noticed a progression of small changes in the maturity of my work. The biggest development has been how I go about producing a shoot. I put a lot more time & effort into pre-production than I did years ago. One learns the value of pre-production when you start demanding more from yourself (not to mention more demanding clients).
I still have a lifetime ahead of me to develop & I know for a fact my shooting style will change over time. Sometimes meeting another photographer who shares a certain insight on how they see the world can have a profound impact on one's own shooting style. The beauty of photography! It is as diverse as life experiences.
What are some tips you could give to people that really like your work?
Never be content with mediocrity. Even if you've just done the best shoot of your career, always push to do better next time. Assess what is lacking, be it pre-production, locations, your team, lack of team, post production & try improve on that.
Can you name some photographers that inspires you with their works and why?
In the automotive field, the big boys of advertising have been a huge inspiration. Purely by the absolute top-bar level of work they produce. It gives me something to work towards for many (many!) years to come. Bill Cash, Nigel Harniman, Riply & Riply, Carl Lyttle. Then there are guys I've come to know online that I chat with often: Easton Chang, Andy Wee, Sean Klingelhoefer, Nate Hassler, Steve Demmitt to name just a few. All such great guys who are amazing at what they do. All of them have a different style to their photography... something that makes it almost immediately identifiable. Just the way they might shoot a scene or position themselves or lighting style provides constant inspiration to keep trying new things myself. Some of these guys have affected my growth as a photographer significantly.
Dear Mr. Seagram Pearce, collaborating with you was a great pleasure for us. This interview represents a new photography lesson in the automotive field. By checking in details each of your pictures we found lots of details, interesting shapes, shades and colors that usually we couldn't see. Congratulations for capturing the essence of power at such level and thanks sharing this wonderful experience with all of us.