10 minutes with Bryce Duffy

Interviews with Photographers January 30, 2012 12:43 pm

When did you first know that you wanted to be a photographer?

I’ve been seriously into photography since I was about 16 years old.  I spent the better part of my last two years in high school (to the chagrin of some of my teachers) printing in the darkroom and I loved everything about shooting and printing images.  I was inspired mostly by documentary work at the time and the images I’d seen in Life Magazine growing up in the 70’s and 80’s.  I didn’t seriously think about pursuing photography as a career until I had graduated from high school and just by a coincidental turn of events had started working in a camera store in Vancouver and met a writer from a local newspaper who had come in to buy a camera.  He told me that the paper was starting to make him take his own photographs and wanted to know what kind of camera to buy.  I told him I’d take the pictures for him (for free) and after a few weeks that led to a job at the paper.  That’s when I really decided that this was what I would devote my life to.

 

Bryce Duffy

Bryce Duffy

Bryce Duffy

Bryce Duffy

 

Do you remember your first camera? Who gave it to you?

 

My first camera was a Pentax K-1000.  It was given to me by my parents.  I’m pretty sure it was my mom’s camera.  She took a lot of pictures and I remember she always had really great cameras.  My mom would shoot kodachrome slide film and whenever guests came over for dinner there would be slide shows in the livingroom of my parents trips or our time at the cottage.  Watching those slides in the darkened livingroom really made an impression on me and I can still visualize the color palette of that film projected on the screen.  When I think about it – it’s actually hard to decipher my memories of my childhood from those images of it.

 

Bryce Duffy

Bryce Duffy

Bryce Duffy

Bryce Duffy

 

What is your daily routine like, when you are not on assignment?

 

 

These days it starts with spending a couple hours with my family, going through our morning routine with two young kids, making breakfast, etc., and getting everyone ready for the day.  It’s busy.  At around 9am I head to my office (which is separate from our living space) and make a cappucino on my 20 year old espresso machine that was salvaged from a cafe in Toronto.  Then I scan the 2 or 3 papers that I read every morning and check for any urgent emails.  The bulk of most of my days when I’m not shooting is spent either editing shoots and delivering images to clients or dealing with the massive amount of administration involved in being a photographer.  I make a point of trying to get out of the office most days for some exercise – usually either a surf or a hike – but it’s been pretty tough to pull that off since the birth of our son in November.

 

Bryce Duffy

Bryce Duffy

Bryce Duffy

 

If you could go back 10 years and give yourself advice, what would it be?

 

 

Shoot what you love.  Shoot more for yourself.  Don’t pay attention to the trends and focus on the long term.  Constantly try to surprise yourself.

Bryce Duffy

Bryce Duffy

Bryce Duffy

 

Any words of wisdom for the up and comers?

See above.  Oh, and keep your overhead low. 

 

(Bryce is based in Los Angeles. See more of his work, here.)

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