Hi. My name is Rennie,
I currently live in Los Angeles and work as a freelance photographer. Before I get into how I became a photographer and why, my disclaimer is this: I may ramble, I may misspell, I’ve drank far too much coffee already and I’ll probably have another cup or two before the end of this brief story. Coffee is sort of my fifth element, it’s a much needed everyday survival ritual (that I completely abuse). Lets go back to the late 90’s when I was making way better skate films than I was kickflips and that isn’t really saying a whole lot. Though my talent didn’t lie on the skateboard, I found myself on it everyday, just with an old video8 camera in one hand and a Nikon fm in the other.
I was always into still photography but loved the old Hitchcock and Fellini films...
Total nerd. After a short stint at the Academy of Art college in SF I continued my career as a professional waiter and toured in a band while I wrapped my head around the “next move”. Unfortunately, very little was documented on film that time, I didn’t really pick up a camera for a few years until I was given a hand me down and started shooting live shows and band portraits around the Bay Area. This led me to Brooks in Santa Barbara where I was slightly educated in photography and heavily in beer and surfing. I moved to NYC to get a taste of the BIG APPLE and gain assisting experience. I had a great mentor and learned more than any school could ever offer. I also learned how to function off of three hours sleep everyday and hustle (for those two years I became a true New Yorker).
After that blur it was time to move back west and soak up that one delightful season La has to offer, the season that is 365 days a year. No, its not summer, winter, fall or spring. Its spoiled. And I enjoy it. I’ve been in LA for about 4 years now, the first two was getting to know my new city and assisting, the last two have been portfolio building and pounding the pavement. In two years, I built a portfolio that has taken me all over the world, introduced me to amazing friends and bonded a nice relationship with the amazing girls at Pinkstaff who represent my work.
I was always into still photography but loved the old Hitchcock and Fellini films, for a long time when I was first shooting photos with a production I took my cinema schooling and incorporated the lighting and composition that still translate in my images today. Though I tend to lean towards less lights and more natural light these days, lighting techniques still play a big roll in my photography. A couple of my big influences early on (and to this day) are Gregory Crewdson and Zach Gold. Cinematic, theatrical and downright amazing talent. I do dig around the fashion world for influences which I'm really into the work of Mert & Marcus and Luis Sanchis (my fav). I certainly enjoy the fashion work but tend to be more influenced by fashion photographers who can translate the fashion work into lifestyle. Even though I'm influenced by so many different types of photography (even music and motion film) I definitely lean towards a "lifestyle portraiture" genre of photography. And its much more commercial these days, which I like, I love to team up and create ads, its a super fun and creative process. The beauty of what I shoot is it lends itself commercially, hanging out shooting friends and surroundings. I guess you could say I have commercialized my backyard in a way. Its nothing completely intentional but I really enjoy taking photos of my own lifestyle and whom I associate myself with. I’ve just learned to translate it commercially. It's definitely an insider's perspective.
These days I've been playing around with motion quite a bit, there seems to be more artists doing both. There has always been a crossover between film and still but the equipment and technology out these days have made it that much more accessible. Its pretty amazing how far digital has come in the past 10 years, incredible. I'll eventually be posting a reel on my site, nothing too soon but the camera is definitely rolling these days. You can check my work out here renniesolis.com.