Ed Fox's passion for photographing any kind of subject can be seen in his wide range of print ads for which he won many awards. He is a regular Taschen collaborator, and his work can be seen in a variety of their publications including the first two collections of his solo work.
How has photography transformed you as a human being?
I'm not sure if photography, or the Art Center College of Design brought this out of me, but I'm constantly critiquing everything: seeing flaws, composing, and thinking in my head how things could BE better. This could be anything from how a line is formed at a coffee shop, to how food could taste. I feel like the subject matter I chose to photograph pretty much ruined my life though.
Do you have a favorite picture? If yes, which is it?
I don't. When I first started as a photographer I used to think there was such a thing as THE perfect photo that everyone in the world would like, and I was kind of determined to make it. At the time I thought that this perfect photo might include a nude woman. It took me a long time to realize that not everyone was interested in seeing that. And then it took me even longer to realize that most people would actually look down at that.
Which photographers or artists influenced you during your whole career?
Before I decided to become a photographer it was definitely Ansel Adams. My life was changed the day I walked into a small bookstore to flip through a special edition Playboy magazine. It’s the moment I decided to be a photographer - nothing had been clearer in my life. This magazine included the photography of Arny Freytag and other 80’s photographers. A little into my studies at the Art Center College of Design I discovered Andrew Blake films - that really opened my eyes as to what was possible. All of the above were very in tune with subtleties and details.
How do you get the person that is in front of your lens just the way you want?
I'm pretty friendly and outgoing so I think that helps. Most of the time I give a very little direction, and right after I start shooting I begin to mold the photo or person by posing, facial expressions, light, etc.
Do you still take pictures? If yes, what motivates you to continue to do it?
I hardly shoot photos because I’m too busy making money shooting and editing video. Before I had a family, and for the longest time, I used to say, “ I would rather be famous than rich.” If I could I would live off of compliments from shooting photos. It's the greatest feeling when someone excitedly writes to tell me about why they liked what I created - especially when they mention a small detail that was personal. Unfortunately, compliments don’t pay my bills, and since everyone is a "photographer", that profession really got watered down. Sadly, right now, there isn’t anything that motivates me to shoot stills. If I won the lottery, I would keep myself busy shooting sexy fashion, portraits and making videos.
Currently, you are into video editing. How your photography background influenced the way you shoot / edit videos?
I shoot video with the same style of my photos I believe, I just have more tools now. I like how shooting and editing video gives me an endless amount of ways to create stories, but it doesn’t leave much for the imagination of the viewer compared to a single image where the viewer can interpret it in his or her own way. I have always been interested in shooting video, and can’t believe it too me this long to make the switch. I remember about 10 years ago saying, “My favorite program is Final Cut Pro”
What is next for you?
I have sadly put my subject matter of choice to rest because it's not acceptable to my family, community, and prospective employers. I’d like to pursue editing and directing.
Any words that you would like to share with us?
If the 51-year-old 'me' went back in time to tell the 20-year-old 'me' to not become a photographer, I wouldn’t have listened. If I could go back in time though, I would tell myself to be a film major instead, and I most likely would have taken that advice.
You can see Ed Fox's work at his most recent publication Taschen Ed Fox II.