Are you familiar with the name Tyler Shields? I have to admit I wasn’t either until a few days ago. Like often on the Internet, I got distracted from reading my email. I was on AOL and a picture grabbed my eye. It was of Danny Trejo the main character of the movie Machete looking kind of crazy with blood spattered on the wall behind him. The story wasn’t about the movie Machete, but rather a photographer who blew up big in 2010. His name is Tyler Shields and my guess is that he will be a household name at some point in 2011. I was lucky enough to get a Q&A session with him…and he was gracious enough to let me post some of his work on my blog. I figured I would make this first post of the year, both entertaining and inspirational.
[Here is a picture of Tyler Shields in a car with Haley Bennett.]
An Interview With Tyler Shields:
Rusty: Tyler…first of all, I dig your work. I think a link to a news story about you popped up on AOL News. This lead to watching one of your videos…and getting blown away. The video was set to Radiohead’s “All I Need”…which made it that much cooler. At that point, I knew it would a great idea to feature you on my site.
So I did some research online and found out you have no formal training. How the heck did you break into being a celebrity photographer?
Tyler: First of all thank you! Secondly, I got my start directing music videos then moved into photography. Then one day, actors just started asking me to shoot them and it was a snow ball effect from there!
Rusty: When reading a bit of your background online it kind of reminded me of “The Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”…not that you are nutty like Hunter S. Thompson. I just get this picture of you running around LA non-stop, staying up for days at a time, living and breathing your work…intermixed with the occasional party. How accurate is that picture?
Tyler: Hahaha. No drugs & no drinks for me…but the crazy is right there on par. This is certainly my life and everyday gets more and more crazy.
Rusty: I’m fascinated by people who are creative and push the edge. What I love about your stuff is I’m sure that it offends some people…and others are huge fans. What are some of the most interesting reactions that people have to your work?
Tyler: A girl I was dating showed her father a photo I did of her. His response was “that is degrading and disturbing”…but she loved the photo and I thought his comment was amazing.
Rusty: Who are some of the other creative people (artists, musicians, actors, etc.) that inspire you?
Tyler: I am big into music but I listen to songs on repeat hundreds of times in a day. As far as inspiration goes, I find it all in my life.
Rusty: Is video or photography your medium of choice?
Tyler: To me they are all one in the same. A shoot is a shoot or video…still we are creating something together.
Rusty: You seem to work with the big names in young Hollywood. Justin Long, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Lindsay Lohan, Gary Busey (not young…but cool as hell), etc. Any particularly interesting ones that stand out above the rest?
Tyler: I have had adventures with all of them: Gary was so fun, Lindsay is amazing and Kellan punched something until his hand began to bleed for me. There is certainly a story that goes along with everyone i shoot. Sometimes people hear about it. Most of the time they don’t!
Rusty: You have some great stuff in your portfolio. Rain Wilson’s character Dwight on The Office has made me laugh hundreds of times…loved that video on your site when he attacks you. Do you ever get star struck working with some of these guys you have seen numerous times on TV or in the movies?
Tyler: No I have never been that type of person. We are just 2 people who happen to be doing something random. Rain said he wanted to do something crazy…and I said “why don’t you beat me up”? Everyone laughed except for him. I kicked them out, then he beat me up. We will always have that story…connected through the chaos.
Rusty: Incredible choice of tunes in your videos. Have you ever thought of doing photo shoots with musicians?
Tyler: I have shot a few my Chemical Romance, Serj Tankian, Peaches and more…but its very different from actors. I suppose I will do more down the road.
Rusty: So tell me about your upcoming book “The Dirty Side of Glamour“.
Tyler: I have been working on it for years . I’m so excited for the day to come when I’m able to say “Here is the book”…because if people think they have seen my crazy photos they are in for a treat. I have been saving the best for the book!
Rusty: I will make sure and put a link to your book here as soon as it is released. Until then, what are some of the best ways for people to follow your work?
<----------End of Interview---------->
The videos above are outstanding and I know he has received a ton of great feedback on them.
He gives regular updates on his photo shoots over on Twitter as well.
Tyler…thanks for again for letting me use some of your art on my site. I’m a big fan!
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Thanks for reading all these years!