Andrew Sea James

Where are you from/based now?

Born in Michigan in 1979 and moved to Las Vegas in 2006 where I currently live, work and love my beautiful wife and two daughters.

What is your background in photography? What got you started?

I've had no schooling or technical training in photography.
I've loved photos ever since I began retaining memories. My Father bought me a Fuji Discovery 975 Zoom 35mm camera for Christmas when I was about 8 or 10 years old. I remember it snowing very hard over night shortly after getting the camera and going out in the morning and burning up about 6 rolls of film on just snow covered branches. Dad was pissed when we got the prints back from the lab.After that I didn't really shoot anymore photos until moving to Las Vegas. When we moved here our oldest daughter was about 3 or 4 and I wanted to be able to document her growing up so I bought a Nikon P5000 digital point and shoot. The obsession ensued. The camera never left my side. I photographed everything within a 360 degree angle from my head. All the time. Very annoying for people close to me. As time went on I began refining my technique. I also picked up a love for shooting film along the way.
I've now been freelance for about a year and a half. I shoot for numerous publications here in Vegas. It's been tough, but getting better.

What equipment do you use?

My two favorites are my Pentax 6x7 and Olympus XA2. I use a Nikon D7000 for most of editorial work as time is an issue for most assignments.
I also usa a Nikon FA, Olympus Stylus Epic (mjuii), Diana F+, Yashica FX-2, Yashica Electro 35 GSN, Minolta X700, instax 200, polaroid 600 and polaroid 300(such cute little pola's)

What are your feelings on film vs digital?

I've taken a few images on digital that I'd say that I can't live without. ie. Shots of my daughters. Self portraits of my wife and I together. These are shots that I have a real emotional connection to. I love these images. They are the shots that will live on forever for me.
Now, I do believe that the images that I've shot on film have more of a magical quality. More of a tangible feeling I guess. If I'm photographing someone for an assignment I feel like shooting them on film gives us more of a connection. I'm moving slower and explaining more of what I'm going to be doing with the subject. A lot of the time I'm on a tripod with very slow shutter speeds. I feel like the subject and I breath slower together and become more relaxed. Not at all like the manic 250 shots with 3 flash heads popping every second when shooting with digital (Which I also really enjoy)
Film slows me down and that's a good thing.

What is your creative process? What do you look for when making pictures?

I feel like these questions imply that I can only do something one specific way. It's not concrete. It's always different. I try to not have expectations of what a subject or the space they're in looks like. I try to keep ideas to a minimum so that i'm not scrambling to reconfigure a photo shoot. As far as my landscapes go, those are just shots I took in passing.

What do I look for when making pictures? Pictures of course.

Who or what inspires you?

I'm usually most inspired by what I'm looking at at that moment,
other photographers and Putting On The Ritz by Taco.

Are you working on a project at the moment?

Yes, It's too early to give an accurate description. I've been trying to find a subject that I haven't seen covered much. I think I found it.
It will be a portrait project of a religious and spiritual nature. That's all I care to say.

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