Thursday, May 24, 2018
#elitehotseat: PETER TAMLIN
1. How did you get started in video and photography?
Growing up in the late 80’s and 90’s, I was captivated and intrigued by music videos by David Fincher and Mark Romanek, who directed videos for Madonna, Michael Jackson, Nine Inch Nails, EnVogue, etc. They were dark, aggressive, glamorous, but most of all, inspiring. Without even really knowing or understanding what I was watching, I still knew that it was a world I wanted to be a part of.
When I was 18, I met my first boyfriend. He was an assistant to David LaChapelle and showed me one of David’s books, Hotel LaChapelle. It was the spark that lit my interest and obsession with photography.
After graduating high school, I experimented with many different career paths, fashion marketing, retail, hair dressing, all of which I more or less hated.
Fortunately, though, it was the key for me to learn that I should pursue my passion for photography wholly and completely. At 25, I moved to Montreal and enrolled in the Dawson College Institute of Photography. After completing the program, I moved back to Toronto and began my career as a photographer and video director.
2. What were some of the biggest struggles you had when you first moved to New York?
Being new to NY has many challenges, but the most significant challenge has been deciding on what course of action I should take in order to stand out and get noticed.
The fashion industry in New York City is extremely fast paced and highly competitive. Being based here has forced me to think carefully and be especially strategic about which projects I pursue. In a city with a virtually unlimited amount of models, stylists and hair & makeup artists, not to mention stunning locations, it has been challenging to decide on which concepts to shoot, which magazines to shoot for, which models to shoot and ultimately what I want to say as an artist and photographer. However, this is a welcome challenge.
3. What artists from the past or present have influenced you the most?
David LaChapelle, David Fincher, Steven Klein, Chris Cunningham, Alexander McQueen and Mark Romanek.
4. What would be the most important thing you want potential clients to know about you?
Since the day I started shooting I’ve always tried to be original.
The photos that always attracted the most attention were the ones where I did something completely unexpected, unorthodox and outside the box. Even though not everyone liked or appreciated those photos, they were ones that set me apart from the crowd and helped me stand out.
Even though my work had evolved over the last 10 years, I always try to bring that mentality to every shoot that I do. From my more mainstream commercial projects all the way to my creative editorial projects, I always aim to bring something new and original to the table.
5. What kind of impact do you hope to make in the fashion industry in the next 10 years?
Some of my favourite photos from other photographers were campaigns from the 2000’s for Alexander McQueen, DSquared2 and Dolce and Gabbana by Steven Klein, Steven Meisel and Mert & Marcus.
These campaign shoots were completely original, innovative and had a high level of production. They used multiple models, elaborate sets, extravagant styling, and had strong visual message, but most importantly, they were memorable.
This is what I want to contribute to the fashion industry. I want to create imagery that is bold, intense and captivating, all while having the same impact as these iconic and unforgettable campaigns.
I will always strive to maintain my own distinct creative vision and hope to be known and sought after for a style that is unmistakably mine.