Almost weekly, we feature one of our favorite FP Me girls here on the blog. And it’s often the photography that catches our eye, leaving us curious for more. This week, we’re going behind the lens, and talking to the man who’s responsible for capturing a few of these beauties: Zoelaz, Tezzamb, Madagascar…ring a bell? Allow me to introduce you to photographer and blogger, Tyson French.
Where do you roam? Do you see yourself living here for a while, or do you a have a plan to migrate elsewhere?
I currently reside in Salt Lake City, Utah! I sure hope I am not here for a while. Utah is beautiful and all, but my soul doesn’t belong here. I hope to migrate to Los Angeles or the Big Apple in the next six months! Stay tuned.
When did your journey with photography begin?
I used to HATE pictures…ask any of my six siblings. But something just clicked with me when I got to high school. I wanted to start shooting to document my life and my experiences that I knew came with this age. My first high school football game, first prom, those types of memories. It quickly turned into a love for documenting other people’s lives and experiences. I am a lover of moments -I love looking back at old pictures and that rush of all the memories that come with it, and I love giving that to others, the comfort of having special times in your lives forever documented in a photograph.
Do you remember the first photo you took that made you realize you could take pictures for a living?
I took this portrait of my friend Heather Goodman (below), right before I moved to Richmond, VA my senior year, about 2 1/2 years ago. Heather is one of my biggest inspirations in life; to me, she is the definition of a free spirit. So adventurous, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without her. She was about to go on a 1 1/2year mission trip and I was moving across the country, so we went on one last photo adventure. This beautiful piece of art was the outcome of that adventure. I don’t know why really, but this is one of my all-time favorite photographs. This photo lit a fire in me that is still burning.
What do you shoot with?
I have a Canon 6d camera body. LOVE IT. I have the following lenses: 50 mm 1.4, 85 mm 1.2, TS 45mm, and a 28 mm 1.8. Love them all.
What are three essential lenses you think every photographer should invest in?
I think every photographer NEEDS a 50 mm – it gives such good depth and life to a photograph. I also have an 85 mm 1.2 and, damn, if you shoot in the city a lot, you need this. Of course, to me, every photographer NEEDS a wide-angle lens. I love my 28 mm 1.8 – it has a large aperture so you can use it in low-light situations.
What do you think makes a “good” photograph?
A “good” photograph, to me, is more than just the technical side of a photo, it is more than ISO or aperture and shutter speed. To me, a “good” photograph has to have a story that any stranger can look at and title or explain.
You photograph a lot of our FP Me girls. Did you guys know each other beforehand? How were these relationships birthed?
I have been best friends with many of these FP Me girls for a while. Maddie Greenhalgh and I have been BEST friends for almost 7 years…we met in junior high school. Zoe Lazerson and I have been really good friends for about 4 years – we actually met via Instagram, and same with Tessa Barton.
What’s the most amazing place you’ve ever travelled? The most amazing place you’ve ever had the chance to shoot?
I was so blessed to be able to go to Costa Rica last November for an engagement shoot. At first, I was so scared – it was my first time leaving the country by myself. I was staying in Montezuma, which is TINY, and not touristy at all. I was in a three-story jungle hut, by myself, for a week. If you know me at all, you would see how that is HILARIOUS. (I am more of a glamper than a camper). There was nothing glam about that jungle hut, lol! But after being there for a week, with no communication with the outside world, alone, I really learned a lot about myself and pushed my limits. I got to go zip-lining through the beautiful jungle with the couple who flew me there, and it was such a surreal experience. I hope to go back someday, maybe this time with a friend or two!
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is much like my photography style – forever changing. One day, I want to dress like Harry Styles…all black, gold ankle boots (aka my life). And other days I dress super boho with a leather fringe jacket and combat boots. That is why I started my fashion and lifestyle blog, tyfrench.life/fashion, because, as a guy, it is so hard to find inspiration on what to wear and different looks for different occasions. I think it is almost cruel to label yourself as one style. Don’t lock yourself down! Wear what you want to wear, when you want to wear it. Fashion is meant to express yourself – it’s supposed to be FUN.
I’m curious, what’s the male perspective of Free People like?
I LOVE Free People, and nothing in the world would make me happier than if Free People developed a men’s assortment. Maybe you could call it “Free Man”? LOL, just a suggestion ;).But really, for men, it is so hard to find clothing with the same perspective and style.
What does being “free” mean to you?
It means that I am blessed to be on this beautiful earth,I learn to be more free. Being free, to me, means that you have to let go of the things that hold you back. Don’t let ANYTHING or ANYONE stop you from doing whatever your heart wants. If you want something, go for it, and if things don’t work out as planned, learn from it, keep moving forward. If you know me at all, you know that I struggle with this every single day, but who doesn’t struggle? We all do. It’s those that can overcome it, and come out of any situation with a smile on their face, that are TRULY free.