Interview with 6:12 Photography by Author Jacqueline Anne
From the Blog of Author Jacqueline Anne, posted September 2014.
I am so excited to have the talented photographer, Eric McKinney of 6:12 Photography, featured today. I have been following his work for awhile now. His creative eye and artistic diversity is absolutely amazing! Be sure to check out his interview, work, and links below!
JA – Q: How long have you been taking photos?
Eric – A: I’ve basically had a camera in my hands since a very young age. Even in Elementary School, over the summers visiting my grandparents or going over to friends’ houses, I would take a little wind-up disposable camera to snap photos that I could keep for memories.
JA – Q: What made you decide to become a photographer? Tell me about that journey.
Eric – A: During college at Carson-Newman University, I spent my summers abroad traveling around Europe, China, Japan, Egypt and Southern Africa, and travel photography became a serious interest. I would return home from my trips with thousands of photos, print them out, and put them in albums, and then share them with my family, friends and coworkers. They would always say things like “Eric, you are so good at taking photos, you should do this for a living,” but at that time, I always smiled and laughed. I never really thought of photography as a full-time career, just a hobby. After college, while working full-time in the fields of marketing and psychology, I started doing photography on the weekends, as some extra income. I started out shooting things like senior portraits, engagement sessions, and weddings. Eventually, I found myself with an opportunity to shoot the runway at the local Fashion Week in 2013, which introduced me to the world of fashion designers and models. Since that time, photography has become by full-time career.
JA – Q: What inspires you?
Eric – A: The things that inspire me most would be people, music, and words. The support of friends, family and clients has been a huge motivation in allowing photography to become more than just a hobby. And the inspiration behind my photography ideas and concepts typically comes from music and words. I make a new playlist for almost every shoot, and my goal with each shoot is to create photos that tell a story.
JA – Q: Tell us about a typical photo shoot.
Eric – A: A typical shoot begins way before the actual day of the shoot. I like to do a lot of preparation. I think that the more we prepare the stronger the photos will be that we create. Typically, even weeks before a shoot, I’m bouncing around ideas for concepts and outfits with the model. If it’s a shoot with a designer, then we would normally begin prepping for shoot months in advance. When the day of the shoot arrives, I usually focus on three to five looks for the model. Sometimes I shoot inside the studio, sometimes outdoor using natural light, but most often, it’s a mix of both. I try to provide as much direction as the model wants, giving tips on posing, expression, angles, and most importantly the eyes.
JA – Q: What is the strangest scenario you have ever been in during a photo shoot?
Eric – A: Ummm… the strangest would probably be last Halloween. I did a collaboration with a talented local makeup artist Missy Young, and I arrived early to mix up about 4 gallons of fake blood using corn syrup, cocoa, and red food coloring. The results were literally a “blood bath” of amazing photos. I’ve always been pretty squeamish at the sight of blood, so that shoot was one of my strangest.
JA – Q: What is the best part of your job?
Eric – A: I think the best part of my job would be working with the models, especially the models who have never stepped foot in front of a camera lens before. It’s really a rewarding experience to work with someone for the first time, provide some instruction and direction, and then show them the photos and see their excitement. When someone can walk away from a shoot with me feeling attractive and beautiful (or handsome/hot) in their own skin, then that’s what I call success.
JA – Q: I’m sure you get asked this a lot, but where do you find your models?
Eric – A: It’s a combination of ways really. Obviously, social media plays a huge part in finding and coming into contact with models. If I see someone who has a look that interests me or that I feel is a “strong” look, then I’ve gotten pretty bold about just shooting them a private message and asking if they would have any interest in doing a shoot. Sometimes, the models find me through social media, word of mouth, or mutual friends. I’ve made some friends and connections with local agencies and also an agency in NYC. And then I guess one other way that I’ve met models is just from encountering them out in public – at a restaurant, walking around downtown, or out at a bar.
JA – Q: So it sounds like you’re not afraid to approach a stranger about modeling?
Eric – A: Well, I have to admit that when I spot someone out in public that I think would make a nice model, I’m usually pretty timid and shy about just walking up and asking. So if I’m out with my friends, they usually end up being the guinea pig or the messenger to approach some of the models. I can sometimes be the person who knows exactly what I’m going to say when I approach someone, but the moment I’m standing in front of them and have their attention, I forget all of it and start rambling. So that’s why I usually make my friends do the dirty work of approaching new models in public.
JA – Q: What accomplishment are you the most proud of so far?
Eric – A: I think honestly what I’m the most proud of is that people are finally noticing my work. I’ve always been one of those “it’s the little things that count” kind of people, so just the compliments and kind words that I’ve been receiving lately about my photos have really given me something to be proud of. And hearing people comment or talk about “6:12″ really makes my face light up, because that means that people are starting to recognize my work and know that it’s “a 6:12 photo.”
JA – Q: That brings me to my last question, what’s the story behind 6:12. Where did that name come from?
Eric – A: Short answer, it’s my birthday, June 12th. I wanted a name for my business that would stand out as different and unique, and I also wanted it’s meaning to be important to me. So even aside from being my birthday, the number 612 has always been special to me, kind of like a good luck charm. I’ve stopped for breakfast on the way to work before, and the total comes to $6.12, or I’ll happen to notice the time 6:12 on the clock while I’m driving. So I wanted to make that number a part of my photography business.
JA – Q: So, if someone wants to check out your photography, where can they find it online?
Also, if there are any authors reading this who are looking for cover models or cover artwork for upcoming publications, I have a special group on Facebook called “Cover’d by 6:12″ which they can join and take advantage of some discounts and special offers on cover images.