There’s an impressionable maturity when you go through the portfolio of photographer Collin Hughes. The Minnesota native has been a full-time photographer for just about three years now, but the brevity of his work extends well beyond his age of “young 20-something.” After starting his career as an in demand wedding photographer, Collin made the jump to NYC in 2011 and is now calling Brooklyn his home; despite not getting to spend nearly enough time there in between his world travels. With a client roster that already includes World #1 Golfer Rory Mcilroy, Wantful, Cavalier Essentials, Squarespace & Visual Supply Co., we can definitely foresee big things for him in the future.
Also, he’s really friendly. If you cross paths, he’ll probably ask you to get a meal with him.
Collin carries the Union Street Messenger Bag in Smoke.
ONA: How did you get into photography?
CH: I grew up in a really, really small town of about 6,000 people on a lake in central Minnesota. I was a little unsure of where I wanted to go in life, but I remember wanting to be a photographer when I was in middle school. In high school, I did a foreign exchange program to Germany. While I was there, I took a lot of photos with a point and shoot just to tell my story of being there because it was so new to me. I continued to take pictures and I started shooting more using my mom’s film camera when I returned from Germany. We had a darkroom at school and I spent a lot of time in there developing film until I got in trouble a couple times for using all the school’s materials (laughing).
By the time I went to college, I was taking photos incessantly. Minneapolis has a really great music scene and I went to a lot of shows and took pictures. A pretty popular band asked me to take photos of them for promo stuff; I did it and it blew up and pushed me out into this network of musicians. I shot bands for a while after that, which gave me exposure to labels because some of the bands went on to bigger and better things. In addition to photography, I was studying architecture in college and I worked at Apple to pay the bills. I didn’t sleep much during those years.
ONA: What camera do you shoot with? What is your “go to” lens of choice?
CH: I shoot with mostly canon 5d mark 2/3s and a 1v for film. I love shooting the 35mm focal length. Something about it makes you feel so “a part” of the subject you’re shooting.
CH: I am constantly inspired by (and shooting for) smaller brands that are needing a small shoot to push the idea or concept of their product. I’m mostly inspired by people that just love life and have a passion for something they pursue daily. My dream project is more wholistic: I want to shoot with people who respect what I do and are constantly excited about doing something they love and more over, simply just want to do something new. I want to collaborate with friends that I love and involve new ones constantly.
CH: Running a business. All we ever want to do is shoot and be artsy, but in the end we have to always make ends meet. Balancing the creative and the practical is a never-ending endeavor.
CH: My style is very natural and effortless. I try to tell good stories. I want the viewer to feel a part of what they see.
ONA: In one sentence, what advice would you give to a photographer just starting out?
CH: “Always be curious”
CH: Through a friend. They had a bag from them and I was really stoked on how well it blended the look of a day bag but functioned so well as a shooting bag.