:: Photographer Spotlight :: From Beautiful Venice, California
Forget city life, he loves the outdoors, he loves working with models, he loves Buffalo Chicken. He found his new home in Venice California where the culture is divine and his skills can be put to work. A true rocker at heart who loves a board under his feet. Meet 28 year old fashion photographer Dave Fitzgerald. Blazing his own trail and not looking back.
From Venice, California.
1) Where are you from? Born and raised? Where is your family? How old are you?
I was born in a small town in Connecticut called Cheshire. My entire family still lives back there, I’m the only one on the west coast. And I’m 28 years old.
2) Where do you live now?
After college I did a quick trip to Los Angeles to see if there were any job prospects out here and the day after I got back to CT I got a call asking if I was available to work so I packed up my car and drove west the next day. Needless to say my parents and friends were pretty shocked. But it’s definitely worked out for the best.
When I got to Cali I found a place on the west side and immediately fell in love with the Venice culture. I don’t think I could live anywhere else in LA.
3) What got you started in photography? Or how? When and where?
I’ve always enjoyed cameras. Ever since I was a kid I was always hogging the family video camera on trips or stealing my Dad’s old film camera so I could take pics of my friends. In college I ended up switching paths and going for a film degree but I still loved taking photos on the side. When I came out to LA was when I really grew into my photography. It started out as mostly landscape and surfing pics as I kept taking adventures with my friends but I wanted to challenge myself and really focus on lighting. Thankfully there is so much opportunity for anyone starting out in LA.
After networking through a few group shoots I ended up meeting some really talented models, photographers and Makeup Artists. They’ve been a tremendous resource since we are always helping each other Network with other talented people in the industry.
4) More about that- obviously you are a fashion photographer. What do you love most about it?
The best part about fashion photography is the people. I have met some truly wonderful and talented people on these shoots that I consider great friends. Majority of the time were laughing and goofing off it doesn’t even feel like work.
Second to that it’s the freedom to be as creative as you want. There are so many different styles of fashion out there that you always are able to try something new. Granted some of it can be WAY out there but that’s half the fun.
5) How long have you been shooting apparel/fashion models? What is your camera equipment of choice?
I’ve been shooting models for the past 3 or 4 years. When it comes to equipment there are some photographers out there that can talk your ear off about every technical niche or why one camera is better than another. But to me it’s all the same. I shoot with a Canon 5d mii which is two models old but I love that camera. I take it everywhere. Hell its with me in Japan right now.
6) What are your other hobbies, interests or activities? Please elaborate.
I’m all about the outdoors. Growing up my first job was as a snowboard instructor, lol. I love traveling (if you couldn’t guess), backpacking, scuba diving, camping, skateboarding and of course surfing! Anything that lets me get outdoors and forget about city life!
7) What inspires you most to keep going after it each and every shoot?
As cliche as it might sound, I don’t view my photography as work. To me each and every photo shoot is a creative outlet. A chance for me to try something new. That originality of it keeps it fresh and exciting.
8) Who has been an inspiration for you? Who has been a supporter for you?
When I first started I was lucky to meet a couple other photographers that I really clicked with. We constantly support each other but also challenge one another to try new things and get better. Without them I don’t think I would be half as good, let alone have worked alongside as many amazing models and make up artists that I met through them.
9) What do you find most challenging about photography and why?
For me the most challenging thing about photography is the pure magnitude of images constantly being churned out every day. But that’s also what makes our industry so great. Especially with Instagram and social media everyone is able to have a voice and showcase their images. It’s made it possible for people like myself to have their work seen, however it’s also that much harder to stand out.
10) What has been your proudest moment or accomplishment and why?
Honestly my proudest moment is anytime I show off a picture I’m excited about and see that reaction on the other persons face. When they light up and get as excited about it as I am there isn’t a better feeling!
11) What awards, acknowledgements or published exposure have your received?
I’ve won a few people’s choice photography awards on social media and been featured with a ton of different brands and designers but I’m still waiting on that trophy lol.
12) How often do you work on your photography each week?
It varies depending on whether or not I’m on set producing for a show. But even then I always try and shoot at least two days a week and then edit my photos for an hour or two in the morning before I head off to work.
13) Where do you hope to be in 5 years?
I don’t need fame or fortune but I hope 5 years from now I’m able to work on bigger and better projects where companies are sending me on trips to shoot beautiful destinations. I think Chris Burkard has it figured out. He is able to do what he loves and make a profit doing it.
14) When you are not shooting models, where can we find you and what are you doing?
If I’m not out shooting models I’m probably surfing El Porto or on a trip somewhere. I’m not good at sitting still. I need to be active and get outside even if it’s just walking to my local cafe.
15) What is your favorite movie and why? What is your favorite kind of music or favorite band?
What a tough one! My favorite movie would probably be Shaun Of The Dead. My friends and I have watched that time and time again and it will always be funny to us. My music taste leans towards rock like Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC, Zepplin or classics like Sublime, Blink182, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now that I think about it, I’m probably stuck in the 90’s.
16) What is your favorite type of food and why?
Anything Buffalo Chicken. Buff Chick Pizza with Blue Cheese is THE best but I cannot for the life of me find a place in LA that makes it. It broke my heart when I first moved out here.
17)What is one thing about yourself that nobody may know? This can be anything such as you love the smell of fresh cut grass, you wish you were an astronaut or you love a certain brand of shoe. It can be anything.
One thing nobody may know about me is that if I were to have a mortal enemy it would be stairs. I have gotten hurt countless times while on stairs. Everything from breaking a foot to smashing my head open and needing stitches to putting my hand through a window pain of glass slicing my wrist open. I hate stairs! Ouch!
18) What connects you to Find Your Coast?
As soon as I found Find Your Coast & Venture Pro I knew I wanted to work with you guys. Not only do I love the style and look but also your attitude in life. I constantly feel connected to the ocean through surfing and diving. It really is not just a hobby but a way of life. And as you guys say “Riding and exploring are passions that set us free”. Never do I feel more alive then when I have a board under my feet!