MEET. Stewart Cohen

© Stewart Cohen

Meet Dallas based Photographer, Director and APA member, Stewart Cohen.

Who are your top 5 favorites that you’re following on Instagram?
Top 5 out of the 6000 I follow? That is like asking which one is my favorite child. I follow photographers, filmmakers, models, designers, zines, hash tags of places I love. Instagram is the new encyclopedia of pop culture. I love it!! What about @toiletpapermagazineofficial  check that out 

What is your camera of choice?
Canon IDX-Mk2, Phase One, Red Helium and I always have a Fuji X-T3 in my backpack with me.

What do you listen to when you’re shooting?
Varied mixed of Spotify playlists, depending on who the subject is.
Gravitate toward Mash-ups, high energy, fun stuff.

Who were your biggest influencers?
To name a few.
Robert Capa, Eugene Smith, Garry Winogrand, Henri Cartier Bresson, Helmut Newton, Peter Lindbergh, Jay Maisel, Ralph Gibson. Also my step-Dad who was a salesman and taught by example that life is about sales, subtle or not. You are always selling something.

What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out?
It is a journey, not a destination. Some days are better than others but they are all better than hanging sheetrock.

What have been some of the highlights and challenges of your career so far?
Highlights include, getting jobs to shoot on all seven continents. Traveling to places I did not even know existed. But as I type this I realize that the continuing highlight has been all the people I have gotten to meet while doing this. I love interacting with people from all walks of life.  

As for challenges, learning business without going to business school. Doing it the hard knocks way.

Did you learn through experience, school, other?
I studied and got a great basis in University and then worked as a photo assistant for a few years. I loved assisting and learned about the real world of photography by living that lifestyle. I worked for Joe Baraban, Arnold Newman and Helmut Newton.

After being out on my own for a few years, I went back and studied film at USC which started me on a road to creating a career doing combo live action and still shoots.  This was 12 years before digital, we were shooting film so things were a little different.

When were you first introduced to Photography?
My dad tinkered with cameras when I was a kid but I started on my own accord  in high school

What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
I was a guitar playing long haired high school student.

What 3 words describe your photography style?
Honest, quirky, lighthearted

What do you want people to understand about the industry?
You know all that matters is that they like your images and you are fulfilled. The behind the scenes of the industry is probably like any other industry, parts of it are alluring and parts can be a little ugly.

If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
I’d be an Options Trader. (That is my hobby)

What do you do when you get stuck?
Exercise is a great way to get past stuck. I always keep pushing through and know that blue sky will emerge at one point. 

Do you have a favorite podcast?
American Scandal and How I built this.

What is your best marketing advice for your peers?
Be nice, make friends, be out-going, don’t burn bridges and put your money where your mouth is.

I have always bought placement in magazines that I though my market was attune to. I want the world to see what I shoot.

What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years? 20 years?
Don’t listen to the naysayers. Go bigger yet. Don’t be intimidated to do anything. Remember it is not brain surgery, have fun every day.

Check out more work from Stewart Cohen.