Series Interview: Peter Schafrick

Peter SchafrickHow many years have you been in the business?  16 years

Are you self-taught or photography school taught? Self taught

pinkrainbow_scarvz_final01When did you take your first photograph? I was 13.

What led you to photography? A pre mid-life crisis.

What professional goals do you still have for yourself? To open a second studio in Europe.

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What part of your work do you find most demanding? The most demanding part is marketing and getting projects to bid on.  Once we are awarded the job, the real fun starts.

Can you tell us about your state of mind when you are shooting/creating? I love being on set. It’s actually what I live for. The buzz of the set, the collaboration working with my team and the agency creative, and working together towards a common goal is both very rewarding and a I get a real buzz from it. It does not feel like work at all, and instead is a real joy in the creative process – and I still get a kick out of hearing the ohhs and ahhs when images pop up on the screen when we are throwing liquids around.

7How do you work best – in teams, with assistants, on location, in studio, etc…? I work exclusively in studio, and I insist on a very collaborative and stress free environment. My team and I are tight, and we love what we do, and as a results have fun. We also understand that we have to deliver. But I’ve always found we are more productive and creative on set with some laughs thrown in. It keeps the mood light, and the camaraderie on set makes us far more effective at our jobs and the task at hand.6

What is your work philosophy? Get it done. Whatever it takes, get it done.

What is the toughest feedback you’ve ever received and how did you handle it? I was out with my portfolio, before I was a photographer full time. I stopped for a coffee and bumped into a fellow who said he was a photographer. He asked to see my book, and I obliged. He was vicious and ruthless in his feedback. Told me not to quit my day job. I was a wreck for a few days, but it made me want to pursue photography as a full time gig. If I saw him again, I would kiss him for saying what he did because of the resolve he inadvertently gave me. Then I would punch him in the face for being so incredibly mean-spirited.

2What’s your advice to handling rejection? It’s still difficult not to take it personally sometime, because my name is on the door and it’s me and my work that’s being judged.  But it doesn’t last very long. No one can win them all, and I just move forward graciously.

5How would you describe your brand? Wet.

 

What are some of your influences? My kids. Their joy at discovering new things and trying new things for the first time with no preconceived notion of how to approach it.

How do you approach your down time?  What’s that?

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