10 minutes with David Yellen
When did you first know that you wanted to be a photographer?
I first knew I wanted to be a photographer the first time I picked up a camera. I was already 21 and been through 7 colleges and been a musician and a clothing designer. I was bored with were I was and what I was doing and at a crossroads in what already seemed like a long road at the time. My Girlfriend at the time suggested that I give photography a try to get my mind off of the rut I felt I was in. And From the first roll I was hooked. I would go out all night and shoot my friends that were in bands, did full series of shot with friend and family members and anyone I thought was interesting. since I have not looked back, always trying to evolve in to something interesting visually.
What is your daily routine (when you’re not at a shoot)?
It really depends on what’s going on and the time of year..
If it is in the winter and the wind id calm, I will always be out at montauk,ny fishing. Been fishing since I was 6 and if I ever retire that’s all I plan on doing.
But if I am home in Brooklyn..
Get out of bed, check the stock market..because I am a bit obsessed with retiring…
Have some oatmeal and start checking in with clients, Its my goal to work everyday. The more I work the more exciting chance I have at making interesting images.
I will do this for a few hours…then start thinking about what I am going to cook for dinner, I am a bit obsessed with cooking especially fish that I catch.
then around 3 or 4 I pick up my daughter from preschool and become Mr. mom….which after years of producing high pressure photo shoot it is kind of cool to just hang out in a playground with a bunch of 4 year olds..no pressure..unless its my turn at tag.
I love when editor express what they are expecting from the shoot. I think the more information I have the better though the flipside of this is total freedom, I did a shoot in the last week were I was not told anything ….and I just decided to make pictures that I thought were interesting. I did have a safety shoot but the rest of the shoot was really done on a creative whim and it id my favorite shoot of the year by far. I guess I am saying I like a lot of involvement or almost none…In the middle there can be some grey area and that’s when thing can go wrong..I like to stay really far from that place.
Are you currently working on any projects?
I was currently in the middle of a project on the gowanus canal. Last summer a friend and I joined the canoe club and started exploring the canal and shooting some really interesting landscape from the canoe…the project is currently on hold because canoe is banned during the canal clean up that has begun….
Any words of wisdom for the up and coming photographers?
Stay Gold…..If you are true to what you love to do and find interesting the jobs will come to you..But don’t be lazy about putting your work out there…
(see more of David’s work, here)