Photographer Feature: Ginni Reiter
Our featured photographer for today is Ginni Reiter, who represents and resides in Detroit, Michigan. Ginni sees the world as an endless and immaculate art piece. She loves to travel, explore the world, and capture everything that she sees. Most importantly, Ginni loves to photograph people. Ginni believes that people are the only beings that are capable of changing the world, and she hopes to change the world, through her subjects and her body of work. Through Ginni's work, one will feel empowered and influenced to do good for someone/something. We asked Ginni to fill us in on some of her secrets along with her background on photography. To see more of her work visit her website www.ginnirae.com
What initially got you interested in photography?
When I was in third grade I had a photographer visit my class. I just remember staring at each picture for such a long time, or what seemed like a long time then, while all the other kids kept pushing past me to hurry and look at everything. I knew then and there I wanted to be a photographer.
Do you have formal training? Self taught? Mixture of both?
A mixture of both, I grew up with a camera in my hand, shooting everything. I never received formal training until college when I attended the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. CCS definitely helped me become a better artist, in fact before I attended, I never considered myself an artist at all.
What gear do you have in your camera bag? What equipment do you favor most?
I predominantly shoot Canon. Lately I’ve been going old school with a Canon Ae-1 35mm camera. I love shooting film; there’s something magic about the way the images turn out and the whole process of it. I always bring an assortment of lenses with me, as well as a tripod since I generally prefer natural lighting. Oh, and a ton of film.
What are your favorite seasons/subjects to shoot?
I absolutely love photographing people. I think people are completely fascinating, and I love hearing their stories. I prefer to do documentary photography/photojournalism, so I don’t necessarily have a favorite season to shoot. However, I don’t enjoy the cold, so I suppose winter would be my least favorite.
Describe your style in 3 words. How has your style evolved over your time as a photographer?
Natural, real, emotional. I try to form a connection between the audience and the subject to better tell the stories of the subject. When I first began shooting seriously, I was more interested in editorial and fashion-y type work. I would create elaborate ideas and costumes and lighting and give my models great direction. I still enjoy doing those shoots sometimes, but I much prefer photographing people I run into and find interesting, or people who I feel have a story that needs to be told. I rarely light my scenes now, and I don’t give much direction to my models because I want the image to appear as natural and comfortable as possible.
What's your most memorable or funniest "on the job" moment?
It was my first time assisting on a shoot, and I was so nervous and so excited that I kept dropping everything and tripping over myself, and saying such stupid things that I knew were stupid as soon as they left my mouth. Then the photographer asked me to move the cars in the background of the shot, and of course his car was a stick shift which I’d never even seen before, and I started the car and couldn’t figure out how to even get it to inch forward. I had to go get the photographer who had to stop shooting to come and move the car while I stood there awkwardly making small talk with the models.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Everywhere. I have certain artists I absolutely admire (shout out to Steve McCurry) who’s work I study and that gives me ideas. I also dream a lot, and as weird as it may sound, ideas come to me in my dreams. I oftentimes just get ideas based on things going on in my life; new things I’ve learned about and I want to continue learning about. Most of my images are based off of curiosities I have.
Best editing tip?
Don’t over edit! The more natural looking the image is the better, unless you’re trying for a surreal look.
How has photography helped shape how you see the world?
As clichéd as it may sound, photography has really opened up my eyes to how beautiful the world is. I’m constantly thinking, “this would make a great shot” and looking at the lighting, the shadows, subjects, etc. It makes you look at everything around you like a piece of art.
Give us your best photography related tip!
Take too many pictures. Whether you’re shooting for a job, or just hanging out with your family. You’ll never regret having too many angles, or too many images, you’ll only regret the ones you didn’t take.
Thanks, Ginni! Check out the rest of Ginni's work at ginnirae.com!