At just 21, photographer Alex Hinson has already so much to say with his work. The self-taught photographer pours a lot of himself into the frames he's capturing and the results are nothing short of magnificent. As good as he is with the technical side of photography, it's really the soul behind the shots that really make them stand out.
The outdoors became both a home and school to Alex. In it, he feels grounded and that translates into the honesty of his work. There is no false pretense in his photographs - just the welcoming beauty of nature with colors so vivid and vibrant.
Hello, Alex, and welcome to the Magazine! How did you get started on your photographic journey?
Hey, thanks for having me! My journey as a photographer started back in 2014 when I was 15. I'm 21 now. I would go around outside with my iPhone 4 and take photos of the flowers and things like that. At the beginning of 2015, my friend Caleb let me borrow his parents' Canon Powershot. This was my first experience ever using a real camera. One thing led to another and here we are today.
What's your favorite thing about photography?
My favorite thing about photography is having the ability to go back and look at all the memories I have made. There are so many memories and feelings that we forget about and seeing an image from a certain time can bring those feelings and memories back. It allows me to go back and relive that time again in my head. I love that feeling.
Why choose film?
As cliche as it sounds, it makes me slow down and really thinks about what I'm shooting. It's so easy to shoot hundreds of photos on digital before you even realize it. However, when you're shooting film you only get 36 exposures per roll so this really makes me value every shot I have.
How did you get into landscapes?
I think I got into landscapes because of where I live. People travel from all over the world to visit the Pacific Northwest and I have been lucky enough to live here my entire life. As a kid, I didn't go camping much but I have had an interest in the outdoors my whole life. Photography has given me the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful things this little part of the world has to offer and I'm extremely thankful for that.
We just love your work – the colors, clarity, the atmosphere. What inspires you to make such beautiful photographs?
I draw my inspiration from many things. When I began to take photos I followed a few photographers who also live in the PNW and tried to emulate the way that they took photos and saw the landscapes. Nowadays I still gather inspiration from fellow photographers but also from music, digital art, paintings.
What's your favorite destination?
My favorite place to shoot photos has to be the Oregon Coast. I have basically grown up as a photographer shooting the coast and plan to continue shooting the area for the rest of my life. It brings me peace and allows me to forget about the other things in my life while I'm there.
Is there a formula that you follow when you're taking photos?
Honestly, no. I just shoot whatever catches my eye. Obviously, I have learned some things over the years that I like to do and how I like to frame my photos but there isn't a step-by-step formula I follow for each photo. My shooting style is very fluid.
What would you say is your signature style in photography?
I would say my signature style is having very vivid, colorful photos. The majority of my favorite photos have been taken at either sunset or sunrise. This is my favorite time of the day to shoot because it really allows me to bring out the colors of the landscape that I am shooting. I have been practicing this since I basically started shooting photos so now it just feels natural when I am out in the field.
If you could work with any artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Someday I would love to work with Joe Greer. The way he uses color and composition to tell a story in each and every one of his photos is something that I absolutely love. His photos are more than just a photo, they're a story.
For you, what is the most important thing that a photographer should know in their career?
I would say that it's okay to try new things. Don't get stuck in one lane or style just because you're worried about failing. Always be evolving as a creator.
How are you doing during these crazy times?
All things considered, I'm doing good! I'm healthy, my family is healthy, and I still have a job. I haven't been able to really find a good creative flow this year but I am still proud of what I have been able to accomplish.
What's the first thing you would do once all of this is over?
I would say travel overseas to either Iceland or New Zealand. I have never traveled outside of the country before so it is a dream to be able to shoot in such crazy locations like those. One day it will happen!
What does a perfect day look like for Alex Hinson?
A perfect day for Alex would be waking up on the coast with my close friends and shooting the sunrise. After that, we would hang out on the beach all day and then shoot sunset. We would end the day with a nice campfire on the beach.
Any last words for our readers?
Just be yourself. The only person that has to believe in you is you. No one will really believe in you until they actually see it happening. Just chase your dreams and don't stop till you make it, you can really do anything if you work hard enough.