David Rossa

Photographer
@drossa

Interview by Charlie Price
Edited by Tiaja Pierre

You do graphic design as well as photography – do you use the same thought patterns when you do both, or do you need to access different creative wells for each? 

Well, I am a problem solver at my core so I approach both as “What is the end result and how do I get there creating it to the best of my ability with the highest standards”. There is of course a process to both, but graphic design is more technical than photography. Graphic design is generally on a flat surface and elements of design usually go in a certain place based on design standards and how design is communicated to the viewer. There are rules in graphic design.

I see photography as much more organic and environmental. I do not get too caught up in the technical aspect of photography. That would take the fun out of it for me. Sure there is lighting, camera settings and so on but I have never touched a light meter in my life. I love going on set, (especially locations are my favorite) knowing the concept, what will be the end result and capturing the model in a particular pose. Just setting up the lights and then moving them around and seeing what can happen is part of what I enjoy. I do love working in both those areas of creative as most of the projects I work on involve both.

What type of lighting is most exciting to you in studio shoots?

Moody shadows is the most exciting type of light for me. Dimension in photography is very important. Light and shadow create that dimension. Lighting is everything. If you over light, it looks flat. If you do not light the subject enough, it looks too harsh. It is a dance. I also love to experiment and play with different lighting and techniques. Shooting through objects and gels are always a good time.

When shooting on location, what is your favorite type of locale?

I love architecture. So I thoroughly enjoy shooting on location with great architecture in the background. It just adds an extra layer of dimension to the image. When I work on shoots with a location, making sure that the fashion plays well with the architecture is so very important. Concrete minimalism is the best for a fabulous black and white photo.

What legendary photographers have influenced you?

Herb Ritts, Steven Meisel, Steven Klein, Nick Night, David LaChapelle and Craig McDean. However, I fell in love with film much earlier that I did with photography when I was very young. Film is photography in motion. I just adore a movie with great direction and beautiful cinematography. Tim Burton, David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, Wes Anderson, Michael Mann, Roger Deakins and Bill Pope are Film Directors and Cinematographers that inspire me.

How would you describe your style of photography? 

I have always and will always believe in shooting everything in camera, while keeping things as real as possible. I do not ever use photoshop as a crutch to make my job easier while I am shooting. One of the biggest reasons I love shooting with Charlie Price is…”Keeping it Real”. I love mood, style and edge. I always like to have my final images feel rich in color and have a high quality finish.

What does being a citizen of The West mean to you?

Denver in the past has been thought of as a cowtown and that there are people riding horses everywhere. Denver is so not that. Yes, Denver is casual but it has vitality. Being a citizen of Denver and The West, I just want to represent myself in Denver as a city with incredible talent.