Adam Ward

Adam Ward is a New-York based photographer, art director, and digital marketing specialist, graduating from Emerson College in 2018 with degrees in Marketing Communications and Photography. Features writer Jack Mackey asked Ward about his creative process and how he has been able to get his work out into the industry.

ROCKET: Your portfolio consists of a wide variety of subject matter, from still-life objects to models in active motion. What is your process like in choosing your subject(s) and to what extent does that influence your style or technique?

ADAM WARD: When I first embarked on my creative journey/career, I was in full control of my subject matter with instagram, friends, and family being my primary audience. This allowed for a great deal of experimentation that would later hone in my approach to creating work. I have in recent years had the privilege to shoot as a profession, so sometimes the subject matter is out of control, but my methods in approaching creating work have not wavered. When shooting for work, the clients needs and expectations are always at the forefront of mind, but my guiding principle is to always create content that is consumable, yet layered with idiosyncrasies that make the images stand out. When shooting human subjects I am against standard posing and find that the best images come from the candid and spontaneous moments in between poses.  The best direction sometimes can be no direction when you really want to capture the essence of the subject. Still life is an opportunity for me to be more calculated and measured due to more prep time and ability to alter the subject to my exact vision and specifications.

R: Similarly, what kind of role does fashion play in your photography?

A: For me fashion has never been anything more than a vessel for self expression. When I say “never been anything” it isn’t to downplay the importance, but to stress that any artist is more powerful when understanding that fashion is a unique and personal tool in creating art. It not only allows the subject to portray themselves in a more strong and visually captivating way, but is a collaborative tool to allow me to best create an honest, beautiful visual dialog between my subject and I. Even when the fashion or clothing is the focus of the shoot, I heavily rely on the mood and disposition of the model to find those next level fashion moments.

R: If you could choose anyone or anything in the world to do a shoot with right now, who/what would it be and why?

AW: I am always drawn to the intersections of artistic mediums. My dream would be to bring an artist together with their inspiration to create a clear dialog to create and experience for both the subject [between the two]. Examples of this could be photographing music artist Matty Healy in a James Turrell installation, or something like Van Gogh in a field of sunflowers. It sounds a bit straightforward, but it’s these sort of cross-medium relationships that excite me. I chase the duality of art and reality.  

R: What kind of advice would you give to college students and other young photographers trying to get their work out in the world and find footing in the industry?

AW: Shoot, shoot some more, and then shoot MORE. Never stop. Every time I have taken a pause in creating photo work in favor of a more traditional professional pursuit (I ride the line between marketing and content creation for fashion brands) my creativity throughout all aspects of my life is hindered. Even if it means taking a disposable camera and taking a walk in the park, just shoot. If you have a camera, great. If not, use your iPhone! If you have a model great! If not, use your roommate. I can never stress enough that the more you shoot and create, the conceptualization or professionalisation of your work will follow, and so will the money! Get out there.

Also…. I met all my most creatively transformative friends on Instagram. Slide into someone’s DMs that you want to work with and make it happen! Don’t be shy.  You never know what could come of it!

Image courtesy of Adam Ward.

Originally published in ROCKET Volume IX, Issue 2.

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