Chris Suspect was the winner of my "What's your favorite vacation photo?" contest on Facebook in the color category. Chris takes very funny pictures but it's not just about the funny. His photographs are about society. He does a sort of visual social commentary that obviously expresses his opinion of the world, but also honestly reflects how his subjects present themselves. I present to you Chris's words and photos. Enjoy...
I love photography that tells me something about the photographer. What do you think your work tells the world about you?
David, this is a really, really tough question, probably best answered by a psychiatrist, psychologist or possibly even a profiler for the FBI. I can tell you what I want the world to think about me from my photographs, but it's probably best left to the behavioral specialists out there who will have an unbiased and critical view. Seriously though, my images prove that I am a compassionate, honest, loyal, humorous, caring, intelligent and handsome gentleman who likes long walks on the beach at sunset with the woman I love (Her name is Aimee by the way).
What were you like in High School? What kind of kid?
I was naive, especially since I didn't go to any grade schools in the States. I got picked on a lot and was seriously hazed by the jocks and cool kids. I eventually discovered skateboarding and punk rock which was really empowering at the time. I learned how to fight back and stand my ground. I also learned a lot about the DIY ethic and how to hustle for your own art/music.
Name three things that are very popular in today's culture that you cant stand and tell me why.
Well, that's another tough question. I am not even sure what is popular culture these days. You are speaking to someone who doesn't watch TV, go to the movies, subscribe to cable, read newspapers or magazines, listen to the radio or buy popular music. Like most people I know, I get all my news and information off of the Internet, which, as I am sure you are aware, is self-selecting in nature. This means I am subconsciously reinforcing my own views and opinions through my searches and sites I frequently visit. Are reality shows and HDR photography still popular? I have no idea. I tuned that noise out long ago.
I will say I am not a fan of the "Like" button. It's too easy and categorizes people's opinions into a for or indifferent mentality. Pollsters, marketers and PR flaks love this stuff, but I think it is chipping away at our intelligence and humanity. I believe it's getting harder for individuals to have a real voice, despite what the Panglossian technorati over in Silicon Valley will tell you in their 140 character tweets.
We are almost at the point where one has to seriously ask if a photo doesn't get any likes did it ever really happen?
If your eyes just glossed over, there is a great animated gif of a kitten at the end of this interview! Go like it.
I love taking pictures in remote locations. What are your favorite places to photograph?
I too love taking pictures in remote places. However, sometimes the best images are right in front of our noses. This is why I carry a real camera, not an iPhone, everywhere I go. So my favorite places to shoot are wherever I am. I do get to travel a bit, which I like, but sometimes it just feels too quick and I don't have enough time to really capture the character of the location and the people. I have been focusing more on revisiting places and events close to home, like the communities along the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Perhaps I'll have a decent series or set to share soon.
Thanks for the questions David and if anyone else out there made it this far, I am sorry to disappoint you with the old bait n' switch trick. I don't have an animated gif of a kitten to share. You can however see more of my work at www.stratacollective.com.