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I am a beauty & fashion photographer based in Washington, D.C. I take ugly duckling images and turn them into swans. The retouching part of the job is my favorite part of the job. Do you know how people get carried away with popping bubble wrap? Or how Khloe Kardashian obsesses over organising her cookie jars? That's me with retouching. I'm super detailed and like to get all the ducks in a row.
Robert, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as Photographer?
Fun fact: I've only ever taken one introductory photography course and HATED it. I barely passed the class with a D. I just felt suffocated by the rules and lack of creative freedom. Other than that, I am completely self-taught. Everything I can do now is all because I have a passion for art and I genuinely love the process of building something from scratch and turning dreams to reality.
Who is your inspiration in life Robert? How do you stay inspired as a Photographer?
My inspiration comes from within. I suppose it's like the ugly duckling concept mentioned earlier, but with my life overall. With a dream and hard work, I can truly will things into existence. Anyone can. And I want to push myself to be the best I can be.
We all make mistakes Robert; we wish we could take back. What was the mistake you made in the past that you wish you can take back?
I'm recently "returning" from a three-year photography hiatus that I wish I never took. I stopped because I had a lot of tough personal things going on that I thought I needed to focus on, but I recently realised that photography is actually what got me through some of the toughest times of my life. So I'm back and better than ever.
Robert, How do you describe yourself in terms of working with clients?
I'm incredibly personable and very big on open, HONEST communication. If you're not happy, neither am I.
Please tell us, Robert, how do you prioritise work, social life, friends, and family?
Work first, always. Most of my friends come from work, so it's a bit easier. Unfortunately, social life and family are often put on the back burner. But I've found that a lot of young, hard-working individuals have the same mindset of work now, play later. So that makes me feel a little better.
Robert, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
I'd rather not focus on one particular instance, but instead, take this opportunity to express how much I value open communication and constructive criticism. If an idea or look needs some tweaking before the shoot, it's imperative that I speak up. And If a client doesn't like the way I edited their images, I take the time to revise and give them something to be proud of.
Robert, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer.
One of my proudest moments was when Black Moon Cosmetics reached out for me to shoot for their launch. I had so much fun with that project.
Robert, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I'm typically always allowed to be creative with my work, but once again, the Black Moon Cosmetics campaign I shot was really exciting for me. I was given no direction other than to have fun, and I was able to create visuals that communicated their message loud and clear.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
Do what you like. Even if you're taking paid gigs that aren't necessarily "you." Make time for yourself and what fuels your engine because otherwise, you're going to burn out. It is as simple as following your dreams.
Photographer: Robert Alston @alsto_imaging Model: Shea Winpigler @youvereachedshea Stylist: Shea Winpigler @youvereachedshea