STARR PROFILE // Wayne Washington
Wayne Washington is a new photographer on the scene. He came by Starr Street this year for his first studio shoot: a portfolio creation for a makeup artist. A native of Guyana, and a Navy vet, he’s ready to make his mark in the NYC art scene and is excited to return to Starr for his second shoot soon. He lives at @w.wphotographs on Instagram and his shots can be found at waynewashingtonphotography.com.
We spoke with Wayne to get some background on his experiences shooting with us and to hear what makes this Anglo-Caribbean photographer tick.
— Joey @ Starr
Tell us a little about yourself and your work. What's your background? What's your artistic vision and what drives you creatively?
I grew up on the coast of Guyana, the only English-speaking country in the South American continent, leaning mainly to an Anglo-Caribbean culture. I’m also in the United States Navy. Growing up I’ve always been fascinated with electronics: cars, cameras, radios, anything with a battery and circuit wire. I would take apart broken stuff and made my own inventions. When I was about nine years old (roughly around 2005) I remember my aunt sending a disposable kodak camera with a bunch of refill films. The very first film that was developed were so horrible they were blurry and not exposed enough and I thought to myself, “How can make this better?”
At the time internet wasn’t a thing widely used in Guyana. I had to experiment by making mistakes and correcting them, couldn’t look up “how to take good pictures on a kodak.” I later realized that the sun or light plays a major role in it. I remember directing my family on how to pose and how to stand in which brightly lit areas. As technology developed, my passion for photography faded a bit. A few years later, I moved to New York. My senior year of high school was the first time I used a digital camera. I was asked to be a part of my school’s yearbook committee because of my contribution to a precious project throughout my school known as “Operation Skittles.” This project was to curate my schools’ hallways with magnificent art from around the world. Over one hundred artists associated with five points left their artistic DNA on our walls.
After seeing the work I did for my yearbook, I realized that photography would never leave; the ability to be artistic can’t be learned— it has to already be there and all you can do is develop that craft. I like to think of a photograph as a story I couldn’t write on paper, a story that needed to be frozen in time and recorded locked away in a time capsule we can revisit anytime we want. After graduating high school I bought my first DSLR camera and began my journey of becoming a professional photographer.
What was the focus of your Starr Street shoot? And how did Starr Street help facilitate it? How did it come out?
The focus of my Starr Street shoot was to develop a portfolio for an upcoming makeup artist in New York City. This shoot was my first studio shoot! With the help of Starr Street, it was easy. With the ready-to-use equipment, I was able to accomplish my goal with no problem. I had a wide variety of backdrops to choose from, great lighting equipment and even an internet connection in case I needed to load a program or to play music to get into the mood or to even shoot a quick text to the models arriving.
What's next for you and your work?
My goal for 2019 is to market my business on a larger platform reaching more new clients for studio shoots, and also to further develop my craft. There is always room for improvement and more knowledge waiting to be grasped.
Thanks for stopping by, Wayne.
We can’t wait to see you back at Starr Street soon!