Featured Photographer – Blair Bunting

How would you describe your style of photography?

My photography is mostly advertising in nature and consists of portraits of celebrities, athletes and cars. The style is heavy in lighting, which lends its hand to blurring the lines of real and surreal.

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Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?

I was always a big Avedon fan, and would study his images for their lighting. I took a break away from his imagery when I felt that I had obtained sufficient lighting technique. However, now find myself looking back at the same images so often, this time to study emotion… there is much depth to his work and to posses even a fraction of his talent would be an honor.

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What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

I wish I knew when to put the camera down and take in life for life itself. All too often we try so hard to capture the image that we forget to take a break and experience the emotion.

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Where do you see your self as a photographer in 10 years?

No clue. As long as I have my wife my career really doesn’t bug me all that much. If there is one thing that I want to accomplish in the next 10 years, it would be to help teach others how to do this for a living. Legacy > Fame

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What advice can you give an aspiring photographer today?

Don’t strive for money or success, instead, fight to stay passionate about photography. Passion… Humility… and all else will fall into place.

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I read that you where chosen to be the honorary commander of a US Air Force fighter squadron what is that and how did that come about? Is this how you got to take a ride with the Thunderbirds?

In short… I was asked to be the Honorary Commander of the 425th Fighter Squadron (also the Singaporean Air Force) when they saw I had shot the cover of Billboard Magazine (random, I know). I served as the HC for two years. The Thunderbirds flight came about when I asked if I could donate a photoshoot to the US Air Force for their outreach to kids and support of their men and women abroad. I was contacted by the Thunderbirds and we figured out a when and where for the shoot. They proceeded to offer me a ride in one of their jets, which I first turned down. I felt that there were many others that deserved the opportunity more than I did. However, they believed that flying me would help their outreach to the photo community. The rest is history…

Where is the most interesting place you have had a shoot?

I shot on a small island in the Aleutian Island chain called Dutch Harbor. The shoot was for Discovery Channel’s show, The Deadliest Catch. During some down time we went hiking up one of the mountains nearby only to find what we though was a large irrigation pipe. Upon closer inspection we found a very thick door to what was a very old artillery bunker. The hike got even stranger as we stumbled onto turrets and eventually machine gun boxes overlooking one of the most beautiful coastlines I have ever seen. The images we shot were breathtaking and the experience is one I will always treasure fondly.

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What is the most challenging shoot you’ve been on?

There have been many, from technically challenging to life threatening. I did a shoot for the television show River Monsters where we had to shoot quickly at night in the ocean with lights without electrocuting the crew, the subject and myself…. oh, and there were sharks. (I wrote that one as a run on sentence so you could understand how freaked out I was about that one).

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If you were not a photographer what would you be doing for work?

Good question. The business side of me wants to say something in the marketing or advertising realm. However, I also would love to be doing something to help animals, like a non-profit dog rescue. As much as I would love to say that I would be flying fighter jets for a living, I just don’t have what it takes to do that.

If you would like to see more of Blair’s work you can visit his website blairbunting.com

June 20, 2014