INTERVIEW WITH IAN POOL
Tell us a little about your origins.
I’ve grown up in Canada my whole life. I picked up a camera when I was in my teens so that I could shoot skateboarding photos with my friends. I was the only one who had access to a decent camera, my mom’s, so I became the default photographer. That whole scene didn’t pan out, but it did get me toting a camera around places and trying new things with it
Where did you learn your art?
Mostly on my own. I got my first introduction, really, in high school. It was mostly just darkroom access and free film processing and the freedom to shoot as much as I wanted to. I ended up in college for photography, but it was a photoshop class more than anything. The rest I had to pick up on my own, with some help from assisting some very talented folks in Toronto.
What is your photography style all about and how do you come up with your awesome concepts?
My style is primarily based on mixing a good idea with good technical application. Shoot something with some thought behind it and make it pretty. I saw way too many pretty pictures coming up so I made it my mission to try and shoot anything so long as it has substance to back it up. The pretty part takes care of itself.
Your superhero series has gotten a lot of attention, where did that idea spring from?
It came from me walking down the street thinking about superheroes. Wondering where the best place would be to go to the bathroom incognito. Hence the Spider-Man shot. From there other ideas started to pop up and the ball was rolling.
Spider-Man can’t swing around town on a full bladder
Can you take us a little behind the scenes on how you accomplished those photos?
Locations were shot first. I hunted around to find suitable locations that would fit what was going to take place. I lit most of it rather naturally, adding a strobe here and there just to accentuate certain light sources, but for the most part I was only packing 1 extra light when I went out.
From there it was back to the studio to shoot action figures. The more tricky part. I had to align angles and recreate the lighting from the location shots and match everything up. From there everything falls into place rather easily. Just close cut and drop them in.
Are you a comic fan at all, and if so what comics do you prefer?
I’ve been a comic fan since I was little. In fact I had more comics when I was little. Nowadays I follow them as best I can, but I’m by no means a collector. I walk into shops and start reading until I have to be somewhere else, is the blunt of it. As a result, I have no particular dedications anymore. I used to read Wolverine, X-Men, Batman, etc. and so on; watched a lot of the old Spider-Man cartoons too. A lot of superhero stuff mostly. I’ve got a stack of older comics stashed away from when I was a boy, and a small amount of manga on my shelf, but that’s about as far as it goes when it comes to personal possession. I’m not retiring on them, that’s for sure.
Tell us about some artists that excite you.
Here’s the part where I explain I’m terrible with names. The result of that being that I like being able to see all kinds of work from all kinds of people and not have to worry if it’s somebody famous or well thought of in the «scene». The internet helps with that, but overall I’m just constantly having my eyes open, checking out whatever crosses my path, from ads to gallery windows to paintings tossed out on the street. I run into a lot of inspiration in my day to day life without even trying.
What kind of websites do you follow for inspiration?
I enjoy notcot, just because there’s always something new there. Fubiz is kinda good for that too. Add in a bunch of articles and such picked up from friends on my few trips over to facebook and some colourful emails that end up in my inbox and I’ve got a decent basis for hunting about the web. I can end up any number of places after that.
What kind of gear do you use?
Equipment varies. I shoot Canon for most of my own work, Hasselblad for commercial jobs a lot of the time. I’m not overly picky about lighting, so brands and packs and such often change depending on what i’m shooting. Heck, sometimes I just use good ol’ Mr. Sun.
How do you see your work advancing in the future?
A lot of growth. I’m still a relatively new shooter, with about a year or so behind my belt, so I’m focusing a lot of getting out into the world and making myself be seen. From there it’s work to make money to fund my own shooting. It’s a lovely turn around, doing what I want to do in order to do what I want to do.
I’ve got a long list of concepts to shoot, and so long as I keep myself busy I’m sure I’l be forking out more works. It’s all I can hope for, at least.