Equipped with a unique sense of street style and a clear signature identifying his body of work enter Ten, owner of 10photos. Imagery always raw and often provocative, Ten has a way of capturing the eye and challenging societal norms. This native Chicago photographer discusses his life and inspirations with Candis Alicia Hickman of DrinkBlackWater. An artist to be reckoned with.. View the full feature after the jump…
You have a very distinct flavor to your art. Can you tell us a little about your background: where are you from and how has this influenced your artistic style?
I grew up on the west side of Chicago. I have no brothers or sisters. I was a “D”, “C” grade student in school; got a lot “F’s” too. I learnt how to draw from tracing pictures out of coloring books when I was about 10 years old because I had nothing else to do; I was an only child. I use to draw a lot of things I saw in magazines and comic books. I also did a little bit of painting too. I went to college for Graphic Design because I figured I could use my drawing skills for that. In Graphic Design they also teach you basic photography too and I just ended up getting more into photography. 90% of things I know about photography I learnt on my own by reading tons of photography magazines, books and blogs, as well as making mistakes and always playing around with my camera. My biggest influence was photographer David LaChapelle; I had no interest in being a photographer until I saw his work.
What are your creative interests? What things inspire, motivate and/ or influence you creatively?
At the moment my creative interest is painting. I have been thinking about getting back into painting soon. I am inspired by things that are not normal, things that you don’t see every day; things that can be seen in art, music and fashion.
Do you generally work with a creative team? How much influence do you like to have in the styling and set up of a photo shoot?
No I don’t work with a creative team; it’s just me and the model that I’m shooting most of the time. I would love to have a creative team. Maybe that will come when I start making tons of money. When it comes to styling for a photo shoot, I always like to shoot with people who have their own sense of style and uniqueness. Sometimes I hate styling a photo shoot and telling people what to wear; then they are not being themself. Whoever I’m shooting I want them to have more fun than anything.
What is your most prized work to date? What is unique and special about your body of work?
I really don’t know how to answer that question because I know my work is really good, but I always feel like my work is just “ok” compared to where I want it to be. What’s so cool about my body of work is that you can see progress in work as time goes on.
What is your biggest dream for 10photos? The sky’s the limit!
To direct an iconic horror movie.
Three words to describe yourself please!
Leader, Selfish, Loyal
View Ten’s work at www.10photos.net