Behind The Lens with Adam Elmakias

We recently got a chance to do an interview with photographer Adam Elmakias and discussed tips, shoots, and usage of photos by others. Become more familiar with the guy behind many fantastic pictures that you see often!

How did you get to where you got today?

I started off in Wisconsin just shooting at local shows and started networking from there. Started reading about shows, working with different PR agents to get passes to shows and things like that. I kind of eventually set myself with a “manager”, just someone who helped me out in the industry and he sorta got me in and introduced me to a lot of people. Then everything just started snowballing and getting bigger from there. Now wherever I am that’s how I got there.

Would you say that knowing people is one of the biggest parts in it?
Yeah, that’s probably the only part. That’s pretty much all it is, I always tell people to sort of network now and learn whatever it is they want to do along the way. The networking is the part that takes a while and you can’t always speed it up or slow it down.

Who are your biggest inspirations photography wise?
My school guidance counsellor who got me started in photography. My friend Matt who helped me out a lot. Just people that I talk to mostly that help me everyday. It’s not like I look up to something, I don’t really follow anybody.

What inspirations did you have behind the lens bracelets?
The first one, the 50mm was straight from the lens but the rest was like a bracelet mushed down into a little area that represents it. I sort of just wanted something to wear, and other people started liking it as well and it just kicked off from there. I didn’t really expect it to, but it’s cool.

Who has been your shoot so far?

The favourite shoot I’ve done, I can’t even release the photos of, but I did a press shoot with Tesito which I love the photos from, but I can’t even release them. We sat in a desert in vegas for like eight hours and it was really fun.

Do you have a favourite lens to shoot with?

I mean I shoot with my 17-40mm the most, but I don’t really have a favourite lens just because I haven’t used very many of them. I don’t really invest much money into my lenses so I’m not too sure what my favourite is. But maybe the 35 f/1.4, I like that a whole lot.

What is your favourite part about your job?

I like to be able to hang out with people, and sort of do my own thing. I have just really grown to love photography, when I first started out I liked it, but I’d laugh at people when they said they put emotion in it but now I get it. At first I was like, it’s all business but now I just want to shoot the best.

What tips do you have for young photographers who want to follow in your footsteps?
Start now, even though it’s only been four years since I’ve started, the industry has changed so much that it’s probably still rapid, like over saturated. I mean photography is huge right now, because everyone wants to do it, and they can do it so easily. I guess it’s a little harder for us. Most people want to do it so they can be friends with bands. I’d say start networking now

There has been a “controversy” about tumblr, and people posting photos credited still stepping on infringement. How do you feel about people using your photos, editing them and posting them online or somewhere else without permission?
I don’t care, I wish everyone would do that with my photos, do whatever they want. I mean I put them out, I do what I want with them, and I feel like if somebody else wants to do that, then cool. I have no problems with it and I don’t really mind them not being credited, I feel like if somebody doesn’t put a watermark on it or put something on it to prevent that you can’t get mad at people for doing that. It’s definitely on the artist to protect themselves. You can’t expect thousands of people to listen to your rules, that just doesn’t really make sense. I like when people post my photos online.

Will you be doing any more workshops in the future?

The next DVD that I’m putting out is going to be a combination between a workshop and a DVD, not only in content but also in how it is viewed. I’ve been trying to actually work with the people who have asked rather than just giving it to them and that just being the end of the work. So it would be like online stuff that they can do with me hopefully. They want to work with me ideally if they like my work so it’s hard to do workshops everywhere. Hopefully I can do one down the line and everybody can come.

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