Featured WV Photographer: Tyler Maxwell

June 3, 2021by quentinjmurphy0

The older I get the more I realize how precious certain relationships can be. As a photographer we tell stories and sometimes we forget about the other artists we work along with.

These are their stories, ENJOY!

Tell us a little about you…

What type of photography do you do most? And what do you enjoy most and why?

I truly don’t fall into any one niche. There are so many different objectives to every job, I like the challenge of one day shooting someone’s wedding and the next day I’m on an oil & gas well site shooting lifestyle shots for a magazine. I would say that I get the most enjoyment out of shooting things that matter. I’m not saying that everything doesn’t matter, but capturing someone who hits a game winning shot to win the Championship, or a father daughter dance at a wedding. Those moments are different. They have a whole other meaning that is hard to put into words, but those photos tell the story of the joy, compassion and excitement that happened in that moment. Getting to capture things like that as a photographer and a genuine people person are the most fulfilling to me. 

What is the most challenging part about being a photographer for you?

Consistency. Some days I get frustrated because I just don’t feel creative. I don’t feel like coming up with social media content, I don’t feel like editing the 2,000 wedding photos I culled the night before. When it is not creative block, it’s the consistency to staying busy. Raising a family isn’t cheap and building a business isn’t easy. Being able to book consistent work, getting a consistent funnel of new leads, and a consistent workflow is no easy task. Being a photographer or a creative in general is a lot more difficult than people think. 

Describe your photographic style? How did you develop your style?

I think my style is a bit bold yet natural. I like bold colors that really stand out in a photo, with natural skin tones and color pallets. I don’t veer off the beaten path much when it comes to editing, I like to show the moment like I saw it. This really developed through shooting media work. There are a lot of restrictions when it comes to editing when you are shooting for publications, so I really like to stay within those general guidelines to keep me staying true to the moment.  

Describe a typical day in the life of you…

My typical day has been starting around 5-5:30am and getting my kids ready for school, man I’m glad that’s over for a couple months. Now I’m more like 8:00am wake up, coffee before much else. If I have a shoot, I will make sure all my gear is charged or charging. Clean my lenses and pack. Then I’ll go through my email and make sure I have responded to everyone from the previous day that inquired or asked questions. Then pending if my wife worked the night before (she works midnights), I’ll either be caring for my kids during the day, or I’ll be putting in some office time editing a previous shoot most likely. Break for lunch. Then back at it for a couple hours. Sometimes I am staging flat lays/products or just shooting content around my house. In the evenings I try to spend the best hours with my family. One thing my wife and I really are trying to focus on is family dinner. With two of the kids typically involved in some sort of sport or something we stay on the go with take out or drive through and life has a way of seeming so disorganized when that happens.

We love the idea of every one sitting down together and talking about the day or the week ahead. We are all on the go so much anymore, that these meals have become less and less common but we are trying to create that atmosphere so hopefully our children choose to want that too when they have their own families. After evening life, and bedtime routine, that’s when I typically clock in and try and figure out who I want to email or DM and try to follow leads or just really focus on editing. I work much more consistently during the hours of 11:00PM – 2:00AM when I can be the most focused without distractions. Then back up to do it all again the next day. 

What is your best photography tip?

The best photography tip I could ever give to someone is shoot things that bring you joy. I have shot a lot of things just for the money and I think we all do when starting out. When you finally get to the point where you can say no, I don’t want to shoot that because I’m not passionate about it, or that’s not the kind of work I want to be doing. It completely changes the way you approach the things you are interested in shooting. It gives you a different kind of feeling when you are able to focus in on the subjects or jobs you want to be known for. 

What was your scariest moment as a photographer?

I’m not sure I’ve had a scariest moment. Honestly I have been incredibly blessed with the gift of patience and I don’t let much bother me. I would say if I had to pinpoint any moment that I felt fear was when I had a hard drive crash. It was less scary and more just utter disappointment. I did lose an undelivered wedding on that drive, and never was able to retrieve it. I have since changed my backup routine, but I still always have that in the back of my mind. I can’t believe that happened to me. 

Favorite photographer to follow right now and why?

My favorite mainstream photographer to follow right now is Peter McKinnon, @Petermckinnon across the social platforms. Peter took the creative space by storm a few years ago and just showed us how much fun someone could have being a photo/video creator. He mixes life experiences, with teaching some tutorials, and really just pulls you in to his vibe.  

My favorite non-mainstream photographer to follow is actually my friend Jared Tadlock, @tadlocka on the social platforms. Jared is the main content creator for Fairmont State University in the heart of Fairmont, WV and produces some killer photo/video work that has helped him amass a following of over 46k. His work is a mix of sports, portraits, landscape and products. He is working with brands like Hart tools on his van build out and YouTube channel content. He is definitely worth a follow, if you aren’t already! 

Place you want to shoot on your photography bucket list and why?

First off, I have a huge photography bucket list. But one of the top ones is, I really want to go sit on the river bank next to a small set of falls in an area where bear are commonly seen and try to capture a bear catching a fish out of the stream in West Virginia. I’ve seen quite a few versions of this photo taken in Alaska and there are some real easy spots where you can go and its nothing to see a couple dozen bears fishing and click. But I want to take the photo here. Our state is filled with so many beautiful spots I have yet to explore or take the time to just relax at. I’ll travel to bigger destinations later, but for now my top shots will all be here. 

How can readers find you?

You can find me on all the major socials Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, @Losttrailstudio Feel free to follow and reach out just to say Hey, or that you read this interview, or to collab. I’m always down to talk Photos, Tech/Gear, or anything West Virginia. 

And if you are reading this, you already probably follow Quentin and his insane work but spread the word of this dude and the community of creators he is building. Top Notch! Thanks for having me brother, I can’t wait to see where this goes. God Bless!

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