He's a self taught published photographer and videographer with the passion to tell a story through his lens. More than a year ago we discovered his photos on YouPic and decided to ask him for an interview.
It took a while until we finally managed to get it done. But now we are able and happy to introduce you to Texas based photographer Cy Davison with his company Beyond Reach Media and to show you several of his amazing photos
Hello, my name is Cy Davison and I am 41 years old. I was born in a small Texas town called Van Alstyne. But now, I currently live in Lancaster Texas which is approximately 15 minutes south of downtown Dallas, depending on how fast I drive. My profession I would say is actually just media in general. Not only do I create with photography, but I am a film maker, graphic designer, and film composer which is my 1st passion. I have been doing this business since 2013 when I first picked up a camera.
Have you been involved in the arts in some form other than photography?
Absolutely! I am a musician and composer. I have been playing guitar for over 20 years and was a music major in college. I also may occasionally do some acting and screen writing in the midst of my film making.
Seeing your remarkable work, I am curious where your creativity comes from?
I would say my creativity comes from life. I love telling a story whenever possible. A lot of my peers say that I am more of a photojournalist that anything else. I am the one that will capture the dynamic moment of the lady dancing in the back corner that no one else saw that night. I enjoy watching the reaction of people when they see their captured moment. We as photographers sometimes don’t realize how much of the soul of somebody we capture versus the outward appearance.
Could you share with us how you first became interested in photography?
To be honest I originally bought a camera to make movies or learn the film making process. The year I bought my first camera, I wrote, directed, filmed, and scored a super short film for the Ron Howard film festival. So naturally I took my know how from video to photography developed my style of still images from that.
I am currently using the Nikon D810 as my primary with a Nikon D610 as my secondary. My first camera was the Nikon D3200. My favorite lens right now has to be the Nikkor 50mm 1.8. It is my workhorse! I think it’s because while I’m doing a shoot, I will change modes and start filming behind the scenes footage. The 50mm gives me a great deal of flexibility.
The first thing is…I never approach the location or studio with a preconceived idea on what the photos need to look like. I don’t start bringing out the strobes when the ambient lighting is doing something for me. Im not a colors or shapes guy, so I’m always looking for where light and shadow have a relationship with the particular scene. After that, I try putting the subject(s) in certain poses or situations that compliments the scene and create a story. I don’t take a lot of snaps because, I just don’t point and click. I literally compose the elements in the scene and how they relate to the subject. Once I get home, I immediately upload what I grabbed and start to flag the ones that jump out at me on first glance. Once I pick one or two I then start the processes of retouching and other techniques to make the photos pop.
Do you see a particular influence, be it a photographer or school on your work? Any subject that attracts you?
I don’t have an influence per say, but I do like Chase Jarvis, Annie Leibowitz, and Joel Grimes. Each have their “thing” that they do. But what I am influenced by is a school of thought and that is, I LOVE MOTION! Anybody that knows how to capture motion well and convey the dynamics and emotion of the subject has my vote all day long. Whomever my subject is, I always try to motivate them to do motion of some type from the smallest flick of the hair to leaping in the air with 6 inch heels. My satisfaction comes when somebody sees a photograph and they say “nice Photoshop skills”. I then reply, “that’s not photo shopped, they actually did that”.
What would you say characterizes your work in comparison to other photographers?
I think it would be my story telling. Even with one frame, I should have expressed to you a beginning, body, and an end. This plays into my love of light and shadow relationships, setting the mood and letting the imagination take over.
Among your works, which is your favorite and why?
For many reasons, my favorite piece is what I like to call “Time”. It was my first photo session using strobes, so it was definitely time of pure experimentation. I literally changed my way of thinking about lighting overnight. But with that, it would be the photo that I think would define my style and voice as an artist.
Tell us your funniest or most awkward photography story.
Well I wouldn’t say that it was funny…but I showed up at a location to do actor headshots with all dishes, soft boxes, and stands ready to go. Then I went to go reach for the strobes out of the bag and found that they weren’t there. Needless to say, I had to be very creative that day.
Learn all the technical aspects of shooting, just so that you can break the rules. I think all photographers say this, but I agree with it and have proven it to myself many times…the camera doesn’t make the photograph, the person behind the lens does. It doesn’t matter if you have a Nikon D3300 or a $70k Hasselblad, you don’t need a high dollar gear that puts you in debt if you can’t create art that speaks to someone with the gear that you have. Chase Jarvis published a book only using his iPhone as the camera. It’s called “The Best Camera is the One You Have with You”. I think this is a good starting point.