"Capturing My Moment" with Simon Little | For the Dreamers Series
Capturing My Moment
An Interview with Simon Little, Photographer
by Austin Jordan
"GEEZ IT'S HOT OUT HERE!"
My outburst does little to alter the temperature, but it beckons a smirk on the face of my associate. WIth surgeon-like attentiveness he adjusts the settings on his Canon and then reacquaints the viewfinder with his eye as he sends the shutter into a maniacal frenzy. After reviewing the flurry of snaps, he looks up, ready to move locations.
It's a seasonally warm Florida afternoon (read: sweltering and unbearable) and I'm wearing black joggers (read: idiotic). I've joined Simon Little, a self-taught photographer; tech geek; cartoon junkie; all-around good guy (and ironically he's also my cousin) on a tour of Malabar Scrub Sanctuary in my hometown of Palm Bay, FL in search of compelling nature imagery to photograph.
The Space Coast native and former high school letterman has a story to tell and since a picture is worth a thousand words--his tale is a tad verbose. The 20-year-old shutterbug talked to me about his passion for photography and how he hopes that passion will eventually translate to new opportunities for him outside of the local scene in Palm Bay/Melbourne. When describing his experiences taking photographs, he speaks in reverential tones as if it's almost spiritual. Like many of his peers, the immensity of the future can seem overwhelming when juxtaposed with the immediacy of new responsibilities associated with coming-of-age.
Read my full interview below.
What sparked your love of photography?
I have incredible personal drive. Whether it was sports when I was younger or even school I've always been incredibly motivated. Photography is just another dream and it's driving me to better myself and be productive doing the right things. It's a fun thing to do and also helps me build camaraderie with the community. I love the fact that photography is about perspective and I enjoy taking candid shots of people being themselves. Whether it's people, or nature or other things, you really are capturing God's beauty.
Your photography seems to tap into a more emotional and expressive side of you. Why does photography elicit such an emotional response?
Photography is such a joy for me. When you take a picture of someone and you get to show them how the look and they respond with "Wow!" and you capture all the details in the shot it really is joy. I like making people happy and photography takes it to a whole new level.
Are you doing photography full-time?
No. And honestly I haven't given it much thought. Photography is fun for me right now. I mean, you never know but right now I feel like whatever happens is fine by me. If I have an opportunity to do it full time--great. But, for now I'm enjoying the flexibility of learning my craft, meeting new people and doing something I love. I'll never stop taking pictures regardless.
How has your pursuit of photography impacted the community around you?
It's definitely been well received by the people around me and that's partially due to me just being who I am. Most people heard about me doing photography and they're like "Oh, that's cool." I've been able to rekindle some old connections by people stumbling across my Instagram feed and seeing my pictures as well. I've even got some mentorship from another local photographer Ray Byrd. To be honest, I want to be even more involved with the community. I've shot some community events and done stuff for friends, but I want to be even more connected to the world around me. But, it's definitely been great.
Is there a parallel between your pursuit of photography and your development as a person?
So, yeah. Another reason I'm drawn to photography is that it gives me a space to sit there and think about things. You know, life is about decisions: from what you're going to eat for breakfast to what you'll wear. With the photography, it allows me to explore my environment, focus on something, and bring out the best that I can. And that's how it is with my life. It's about focusing on what's good in life and what you can build on.
How would you describe your preferred style of photography?
[chuckles] Unorthodox. I don't have the necessary equipment for studio photography and I'm not really a street photographer. I enjoy a lot of landscape shots of nature or various environments. For my process, I really just grab the camera and keep my eyes open for things that I find compelling. I've noticed it's always the simple things that we overlook all the time during our normal day that make you go "Wow!" when you're able to bring it to life behind the lens. You may pass a certain flower everyday, but when you get into the essence of it with your camera and magnify it--it's just beautiful. We take so much for granted. When you're able to stop, zoom in, and snap you just have a different perspective.
So what's next for you and your photography?
So I'm setting up a Facebook page and I'm accepting new clients. I want to work on promoting myself and get setup so people can book me through the Facebook page. I'll also be working on creating a small studio space so I can do more portrait photography. I still have a full-time job and I'm in school full-time so I'm not trying to go crazy with it. I'm taking it step-by-step.
Where can we find your work?
I'm on Instagram (@lilpetephotography) and I'll also have the Facebook page coming soon.