#BuildingWith: MSF

PHOTOGRAPHER

EARTHSTRONG: 22
REPPIN: Oakland CA
IG: @___msf___
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How long have you been taking pictures and what got you into it? Can you remember the first photo that made you say “this is what I’m meant to do”?
I’ve been taking photos seriously for about the past 2 years but I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures. When I was living in San Francisco for a while after dropping out of my first college experience I got a job at a coffee shop where I eventually made enough money to buy my Canon Rebel T3. I remember shooting a friend for his EP, it was something simple in his park Merced apartment but I really loved how they turned out. Even then I was playing with depth, focus, etc… just having fun learning my camera. Soon after that shoot I signed up for school at academy of art and two years later I’m a couple semesters out from getting my AA.

Can you describe your style?
My style is sort of a mix between fine art and documentary. Recently I’ve been trying to do less shooting for shootings sake and been going more towards the conceptual side with my work but on occasion I do get inspired by random street scenes, people, etc.
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Who inspired you locally and world wide?
I think the biggest local inspirations to my work have really been my school peers as well as instructors honestly. Although sometimes I wonder if school for photography is necessary I can admit I’ve grown lightyears there and I’ve been able to be exposed to many different perspectives.

World wide some of my favorite photography inspirations are Lorna Simpson, Robert Mapplethorpe, Stephen shore, Katy Grannan, Vivian Maier, Andy Warhol, a handful of magnum photographers, National Geographic, Streetetiquette, and more.
What do you shoot with now and if you had the option to shoot with any camera out there which camera and why?
Currently I’m shooting with a Canon 7d. My dream situation is to be able to shoot medium format. The process that goes with shooting that type of film intrigues me and the look it achieves is crazy detailed/of course has that film look. I’d like to do a portrait series with a medium format camera at some point if possible.
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Name some lyrics from a that will stick with you forever.
“Our emotions have a vibratory frequency to them. There are only two  emotions that humankind experience; fear & love. While other emotions branch either directly or indirectly from these two emotions. Fear has a long and slow frequency to it, while love has a rapid and high frequency.” – Erykah badu- “Love”
Who is your favorite thinker, and what is a quote from them that you resonate with right now?
Maya Angelou said: “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
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What is your favorite lens and why?
My favorite lens is my 50mm. I like the crisp look it gives me in most situations and I already have a pretty tightly cropped style so the fact that it’s fixed actually works well for me.

What is one of your favorite foods or dishes?
In the past year I’ve grown a pretty strong love for Pad Thai. My friend actually told me recently, “every time I talk to you you’re eating leftover Thai food.” 

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#BuildingWith is a series of interviews where we politik with artists of color around the country and document their unique and nuanced experiences and perspectives on life, love, and creation.