Today we’d like to introduce you to Spencer Selover.
Spencer, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was introduced to photography when I started as a freshman in high school. My Aunt bought me my first camera; a four megapixel Sony Cybershot. I was so excited to take pictures, I had my camera with me wherever I went. It wasn’t very long until I realized my favorite subjects were people.
Once my passion for photography was ignited there was no stopping my curiosity. I tried new things every day and studied great portrait photographers such as my favorite, Steve McCurry. His photography influenced my work very early on. I saved for a few months after getting my first job at 16 and invested in my first DSLR; a Canon Rebel XTi.
Once I graduated from high school, I attended college to further my photography career. It was here I met a man by the name, Sean Stencil. He was the co-owner and director of Cornerstone Studios. He was impressed with my work and dedication and took me on as an intern in his studio. Here I learned everything I could about the process of filmmaking.
Once I graduated from college I floated along, taking portraits and working as a Director/ Director of Photography when I could, until I finally decided to take the plunge and move to LA to pursue my passion as a photographer and filmmaker.
I’m currently going back to school to further my education and networking and hoping to transfer to USC, UCLA or Chapman to pursue my Masters in film with an emphasis on Directing.
My style is a reflection of the influences in my life. The ultra realistic naturalism of Steve McCurry and the lighting techniques learned from my favorite films all influenced who I am today. I hope my style will continue to evolve and remain uniquely me.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has been everything but a smooth road for me.
Right when my passion for photography was kicking off, my family was forced to move. I ended up moving to Tracy. A town far away from all my passions. It was very hard to make good networking connections, and my passion for photography was lucky to survive.
For years I had to spend a large majority of my life working as a server to pay for bills. I was stuck in a rut… working a job I disliked just to pay for things I needed. I tried to shoot whenever I could, but couldn’t support myself with photography alone.
Once I hit my 26th birthday something inside me just said: “it’s now or never.” I knew being behind a camera is where I need to be, so I made a huge transition. I left all my friends and family behind to move to LA.
After going back to school and trying to juggle photography and film on the side, I was let go from my job, and I’m sure everyone knows, LA is everything but cheap. Every day I struggle to pay my bills, stay in school and continue pursuing film and photography, Money is very tight, and without the support of my family, I wouldn’t be able to be where I am right now.
Film and Photography are more than a passions or professions for me now. It’s a part of my life. If I were to do anything else, it would be betraying who I am as a person.
Who, or what, deserves a lot of credit for where you are today?
The most influential people in my life would have to be both my parents and my grandparents. They taught me how to work hard, pursue my passions and be reliable. They all instilled great morals in me at a very young age.
Sean Stencil, for taking me into his studio in Modesto (Cornerstone Studios) so that I could learn the ins and outs of film. If it wasn’t for him I might not have pursued my love for film and photography.
And of course some of my idols. Great artists such as photographer Steve McCurry, Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and Directors such as Stanley Kubrick, Martin McDonagh, and Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Do you have a favorite type of client or project?
People intrigue me. Every person is different. Their imperfections make them perfectly unique. It would be a dream come true to travel the world and to take pictures of all different types of people from unique places around the world.
On the film side, I’m currently working on multiple screenplays. One of which I plan to make into a short film very soon.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were just starting out?
I would have moved to LA sooner. I wouldn’t have waited to continue my education. I wouldn’t have doubted myself like I did in the past. I held back because I thought it would be too hard to support myself. I felt I needed a stable career, but the funny thing is, you can do what you hate, and still fail, so why not do what you love?
- $250: Base Package – one hour session ~ 10-20 corrected pics
- Website: www.spencerselover.com
- Phone: 909-262-1648
- Instagram: cerlov