Photographers capture the essence of everyday life, document history, often times turning simple moments into art. Lawrence Kerr is one of those photographers with the knack
of working with clients to produce the best images possible, showcasing the beauty in us all. We had an opportunity to speak with him about his new studio, and what it takes to make it as a photographer.
When did you decide you wanted to be a photographer?
I always liked to take pictures. When I was about 8 years old, I took my parents camera and used an entire roll taking pictures of any and everything that was happening around me. They didn’t come out too bad, as I got older I started playing around with the camera some more and realized that I had more than a casual interest in photography. I started out taking pictures in clubs at some of Ian Espinets events; you could say I cut my teeth in the business taking pictures in clubs. (laughs) Once I started focusing on photography some more, somehow the art side of me took over.
What was the trigger to do photography full time?
It was the time I did the photo shoot for Jay Martin’s Fab 5 of Comedy Show and was thinking about the creative things I wished I could do, and sets I wanted to build, etc.
Soon after that, I started to make more money at Photography than I was doing at my 9-5 job. Once I realized I could make a living from my passion it was such an amazing feeling, that I made the move.
How long have you been a photographer?
5 years this November 2014.
Who are some of your mentors in the field?
Steve Carty, a Toronto based photographer is a person who I have deep respect for. I clipped, some of his pieces, and later found out that he is the one that took those pictures. I was in awe at some of the things he has been able to do creatively.
A lot of people helped me out along the way, but I want to single out people like Neddy Nyce for being a mentor when I need some guidance, and also Kirk Taylor of Taylor Made Productions.
To me it’s more than just having the skill, it's being able to do it and maintain the consistency of the quality over time.
What are some of your favourite subjects to shoot?
I like working on portraits, especially where they have an idea, and I can bring their personalities out, and capture that moment.
I also love connecting with people in a way that can bring out their vision of their life. It’s about capturing raw emotion on film.
Kind of like when I shot the 3 The Hard Way poster, they wanted people to see that they are the “it” comedians. They have even used the image to market the event by doing T-shirts.
When did you decide you needed a studio?
The type of things I like to do is difficult. To do things that are unique, you need your own space. Renting somewhere and having to bringing materials, loading up your car every time with your stuff all the time was not practical, or efficient.
Truthfully it’s been in the back of mind for a while, but it was a friend of mine Al St. Louis that helped me find a space to make it become a reality. He is someone in the community that likes to help people fulfill their dream, being a motivational speaker and all.
The studio is located 7 Ardglen Road, Brampton, and is by appointment only.
Tell us a bit about what is happening on Saturday, March 8?
I’m celebrating the opening of the photo studio at the event Tribute To a King. The event features performances by Ray Robinson, Patricia Shirley, comedian Jay Martin and Crisco Caliente, all hosted by Al St. Louis inside 227 Nightclub. It’s going to be a fun night.
What would you recommend to someone coming into the business?
Do it because you love it, the money does not come quick. You have to have a passion for doing it, whether it’s portraits, stills or events. There is constant learning of new equipment and techniques, and it can be expensive to stay on top of the trade.
What is the best way for people to get in touch with you?
The website will be up this week LawrenceKerrPhotography.com, and will contain my portfolio, info on rates, and how to book appointments. PepperBrooks from The Writology has been instrumental in helping me with marketing and social media management.
You can also follow me @lkcamera on Twitter, @lawrencekerrphotography on Instagram and like me on www.facebook.com/lawrencekerrphotography.