Sam Coran shoots professionally – in the desert landscape of Dubai – in Thailand – where ever his work takes him. Photography for me, is more than art and passion, it’s my life. I am nothing without it , he says. What makes Sam tick? How did he get into photography? How does he set up a shot? Read on and learn more about Sam Coran in Phottix’s Photog Friday Interview Feature.
Name: Sam Coran
Country of residence: Dubai
Before becoming a Photographer, he didn’t know what to do with his life. He took up BA Social Sciences at the University of the Philippines Baguio but needed to quit during his third year due to financial reasons. Sam did a number of jobs then, from being a service crew in a restaurant, a tour guide, a salesman, a call center agent, even a receptionist for a fitness center. In 2008, by saving several months worth of salary, he acquired his first DSLR and fell in love with the craft. Sam enrolled in a self-paced study program by The New York Institute of Photography in order to know the fundamentals. After a year, he needed to quit his day job to accommodate a growing number of clients.
How did you first get interested in photography?
I’ve always wanted to keep photos of people I meet in this journey called life.
What do you like to shoot?
What’s your approach to photography, your philosophy? What do you look for? How do you set-up a shot?
Work with what you have. i have a minimalistic approach.
For each photo I take, there must be a subject. I always make sure to put the subject of the story ahead of myself. This isn’t about me, though my voice will be heard by the way I see it. I let the story speak through me. I give the subject everything I have in terms of sensibility and heart. This is what I believe photography should be.
What is the best photo you have taken? Why? Background and details, please…
The photo of Philippine Entertainers known as MOCHA GIRLS shot in the desert of DUBAI.
Shot taken around 4-5pm. Used my Nikon d700 with a Nikkor 24-70 2.8 at 24 mm f/11 Shutter speed at 1/60th to let more of the ambient in and ISO 200.
Used 2 AB1600 with 20 and 10 deg honeycomb grid respectively. (Had to drag the 5-7 KG of weight from the old VAGABOND 2 out in the desert. I have considered this one of the hardest carrying task I’ve done in my photography career. Good thing technology evolves like the PPL 400 and its lightweight battery pack)
After 30 minutes of shooting, cops showed up and asked for our location permit. We didn’t have any, as this is more of an impromptu shoot rather than a prepared one. In short we were kicked out of location. We decided to pack our things and call it a day. Good thing I got what i wanted before the cops showed up.
What gear are you using? What else do you want to buy?
Nikon d700. I’m currently happy with my D700 it does the job done and it also pay the bills. But if someone will give me an M9 id gladly accept that.
Which area of photography would you like to explore further (macro, landscapes, portraits)?
I tried Macro, even won an award for Landscape but my heart is with portraits.
Where do you see your photography 5 years from now?
Still shooting portraits.
What’s the best advice you would give to fellow photographers?
Dedicate 10,000 hours to your craft; it is only then that you’ll start to become proficient at it. Being successful comes down to opportunity, 10,000 hours of practice time, hard work, and talent.