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TF: What motivates you to create images?
EG: In the most general sense, it’s simply about contributing to the greater human dialog. Something that says something about me, or you, or all of us.
In the day-to-day, I really enjoy exploring and seeing new things. I love thinking about how to execute an idea. I love seeing new images that didn’t exist before. It’s empowering and thrilling.
TF: I read that prior to working as a photographer you worked at an ad agency and hated it. What’s the journey been like going from the 9 – 5 world to the world of a working photographer?
EG: It took a few years, but it all worked out in the end. If anything, those years “lost” in the corporate world made me hungrier than the other kids who had Photography already. To me, Photography was a liberation and I couldn’t be stopped.
Those corporate years also taught me the language and protocols of corporate meeting rooms. It’s paid dividends over the years. But I still hate that time of my life, don’t get me wrong. It still helps fuel the fire to do Photography.
TF: One of my favorite things about your work is that you take a very straightforward and honest-feeling approach to image making. You’ve done an excellent job at not getting pigeon-holed into one particular genre of photography and almost effortlessly seem to shift between creating documentary, editorial and lifestyle images – while at the same time holding true to a particular aesthetic that is your own. Could you elaborate on some of the choices or decisions you’ve made previously in your career that have helped you stray away from being pigeon-holed into shooting only one specific genre of photography?
EG: It always comes naturally. I don’t think I’ve consciously tried to make work that spans across genres. If anything, I’ve tried to narrow down what I do because it’s hard to “sell” myself if I can’t tell people that I am a portrait photographer, or documentary photography, etc. People have looked through my work and said, “I love your work, but what do I hire you for?” I get it. It’s hard to reconcile. But it’s like, I speak four languages. You can’t ask me to forget three of them.
TF: Your work has taken you around the globe, what’s you favorite commission/assignment to date?
EG: I shot Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) earlier this year. I love his music. Like, A LOT. And he was a dream to photograph.
Shooting a cruise to the Bahamas for a travel magazine was pretty great. I shot some images for them, and then some for me. That became Thank God That’s Over.
Manual for Speed is sort of an assignment? MFS was definitely where I flexed the most amount of creative muscle in my career. It will probably go down as my greatest single “thing” I did.