Role: Commercial Judge
Instead of your usual BIO…. I decided to have a few of my friends and colleagues send me random questions and I would choose a few to answer.
What was your best shoot of 2015?
That’s a good question and difficult to answer. I would say the shoot in Los Angeles with Keltie Knight would be at the top of the list. We shot her in six different dresses in a day. From CBS Studios to the Hollywood Sign. It was a lot of fun.
Do you like to shoot anything specific?
I like it all. Shooting a variety of different subjects helps keeps things fresh for me. I have ADD and Dyslexia so I tend to get bored quickly. Shooting various disciplines of photography has allowed me to keep my ADD in check.
Any advice for young photographers?
Don’t read too much into what other photographers are doing. Focus on yourself. Seriously it can get depressing for a young photographer seeing “how awesome” all these other pros are. Shit seems so much cooler online. As I am answering this question you may think I am in a loft studio or surrounded by models…but in reality, I am in my home office, wearing fleece pajama pants and have a Neo Citrin in hand — trust me on this; focus on your own work and not what others are doing.
You shoot a lot of foreign travel. Where has been your favorite place to shoot?
I did from 2003-2011. Including living and shooting in Taiwan and Paris in those years. However, from 2011-2014 I focused a little more on home. This year however though my representation over at Getty Images – Global Assignments at my request I have lined up a few more travel jobs for me in 2015. So that should be a lot of fun.
Who was the most interesting subject you have ever photographed since you started?
I have been at this for 15 years. So I have a few. Hugh Heffner was cool, so was NHL goaltender Martin Brodeur and Black Eyed Peas band member apel.de.ap. This year I was the last guy to photograph Jian Ghomeshi before his scandal broke and my image was supposed to be used as his book cover. It was interesting to shoot someone at the height of his fame and see how quickly things can fall apart.
Comeau, I have much more important things to do other than think of some random question to ask you. But ok. Here goes. Why do you keep using that shitty phone with that archaic slide out keyboard?
Because I can write emails much quicker with a slide keyboard. Touch screen keyboards suck.
Are there any upcoming projects in 2015 that you can talk about?
I have a few things in the works. One that is confirmed is a journey to Northern Ghana to photograph an exhibit on Ghana Medical Help. Its extremely rural and will be a difficult project to shoot. The principal photography is set for June this year. With the first exhibit being released in Toronto in early November and then in Edmonton and Calgary following the Toronto opening.
Tell me something people don’t know about you.
I collect graphic novels, minerals and fossils. Mainly dinosaur bones. Holding something that lived between 65 – 300 million years ago is humbling.
Tuna or Salmon Sashimi. From anywhere. I don’t care if it’s from a suburbia mall or at Urasawa in LA.
How have you grown in photography over the past 15 years
I don’t over shoot anymore. When I have “the shot” I know it. (as long as my AD is happy)… So I don’t need to keep shooting. I am also very fast when I work. My best shots are often the first 5-10 frames of a shoot. When working with famous or pro athletes my shoots are often 30 mins all in. Sometimes people are startled at how quick I am when I work.
Have you ever won an award?
Awards are a curious thing…. When I win I am like – “Oh man this is awesome, what fantastic judges”….. When I lose I am like “Meh… This contest is total bullshit… It’s totally rigged…” So I don’t really enter my work in awards anymore. Some of my clients enter on my behalf. Last year I won an AMPA for Best Magazine photo in Alberta Venture. I also won an Ontario IABC Excel award for best photography for Defense Construction Canada. I also came with AMPA in SECOND PLACE for best cover… “but that was obviously totally rigged…..” Recently my friend The Wrangler nominated me for the Top 40 under 40 and I was selected. That was huge honor for me because there were some great people on that list.
Who inspires you?
My MOM. We call her Mama Comeau. She holds people accountable for their actions and calls you out if you’re acting like an ass. She has a way of humbling you and keeping your ego in check. Money or a successful career does not impress her. A few years back at family dinner she asked me in front of everyone “When are you going to get a real job? You aren’t even a very good photographer son…I saw your pictures in READERS DIGEST and you cut the subjects arm off.” – How do you even respond to that?
Do you have social media?
I use Instagram. It’s fun and kind of gives people insight into what we do. My handle is @curtiscomeauphoto.