-WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I was born and raised in Northern New Jersey. I went to college in Santa Barbara, California and lived in LA for a year after that. I decided to move back to reality three years ago.
-WHAT DOES YOUR WORK CONSIST OF?
I currently have a body of work that includes both still life as well as portraiture. I have a lot of hip hop artists in my book, and I plan on diversifying this year by shooting more celebrity and fashion influenced portraiture. I also love shooting when I travel, whether it’s street portraits, intimate/personal moments, or just capturing the locale. I’m working on creating a book of all of my travel photography. I’m also working on some other personal projects like my lip tattoo portrait series and a project called FRIENDLY FIRE. FF shows the wide range of my social network from friends who are super straight laced and religious all the way to a friend who’s had a sex change. I feel like personal work is very important because it allows you to truly create something for yourself without having to consider anyone else.
-HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I took a photography class in high school because it seemed interesting, and honestly I just wanted an easy class. I ended up failing it the first time because I went off the beaten path and did my own thing. So I ended up retaking it my senior year and I loved it even more because I had a head start haha. I then decided against my teachers advice to make a career out of it (you were wrong, Mr. G!). I went to Brooks Institute in California and graduated with a BFA in photography.
-WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
Having my own company and doing only what I want to do. That is above all. Being independent is the most important thing in the world to me. I definitely love meeting new people, so that’s a huge benefit of the business. This is especially true because I often meet likeminded people who are creative and constantly inspire me on so many levels. Also, traveling is great. I had to throw that in there!
-WHAT IS THE WORST THING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
The worst thing has got to be that, at this stage in the game, I’m running the whole business myself. It’s all good and fine; I like knowing everything that’s going on, but it honestly just feels like there’s not enough hours in the day a lot of the time. Ideally, I would clone myself and have the clone run the business side so I could just shoot and retouch.
-IF YOU WEREN’T A PHOTOGRAPHER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING?
I really think I would be doing something behind the scenes with music… most likely production.
-WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Life. There’s inspiration in everything. I get a lot of my ideas in the shower… Sometimes from dreams… I just think a lot. Probably way too much.
-WHERE DOES CREATIVITY COME FROM?
That’s a good question. I’m obviously a visual person, but when I see things in my mind, they’re always just wacked out a little bit. Take the Jordans on my website for instance ( which you can see at www.tommedvedich.com ! ) – this was my first editorial job in NYC. I was told to “shoot on white and make them pop”. I loved how Stephen gave me the freedom to do what I wanted. As soon as I started to think about the sneakers, the vision of floating laces popped into my head. It’s great when things just click like that. Shout out to Stephen Schuster by the way!
-WHO’S WORK DO YOU LOOK UP TO? (Either currently or in the past)
If I had to choose only one photographer, it would have to be Avedon. Those midwest portraits he did are just unbelievably amazing to me. I really wish I could’ve met him before he passed just to tell him thank you for the inspiration. I also love Scorsese films. The visuals he provided in so many movies are just so inspirational and powerful. Casino is my favorite movie ever. The scene out in the desert… when tensions get thick? Woooo! Classic!
-WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE FOR YOUR INDUSTRY?
Well, just like any other industry, photography has been hit by the recession. It’s great in a way because it weeds a lot of dead weight out. Also, I’ve noticed that people are more interested in photographers that can shoot a range of subjects, like people AND still life. For a long time, people would always tell me I would never get work with still life and rappers on my site. Last year I ended up doing a 23 country Malibu Rum campaign as well as shooting images for Raekwon’s OB4CL Pt II. It’s great a great situation; I would hate to be pigeon-holed. And as far as budget cuts and all that, things will bounce back. Things come in waves.
-WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM YOU NEXT?
You can expect me shooting big ad jobs soon! Also, you can look for some interesting images of girls in my portfolio soon… I don’t want to give it away, but just keep your eyes peeled. I’m also going to get more into video this year. I really would love to direct some music videos because I have a very deep love for music.
-WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD ASPIRING TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
Do what you love and expect it to take up every second of your day from the moment you wake up until the moment your eyelids collapse on your bloodshot eyeballs.
-ONE DEFINING MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR.
Shooting Spike Lee was a huge moment for me. To have a living legend show me the respect that he did really means a lot to me. Other notable moments for me were my first celebrity cover (Busta Rhymes), and an amazing conversation with Pharrell.
-WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Rick Ross, City and Colour, Kanye (pre 808s), Minus The Bear, and my man H2-O!