In the Studio : Cory Vanderploeg
Posted on April 10 2018
Friend of Lowercase and multi-talented photographer Cory Vanderploeg had a chat with us about some of his work, the importance of natural light and where to find a leopard print pool table in New York. Catch new work from Cory here coryvanderploeg.com and on Instagram @coryphoto
You’re not from NY are you?
No sir! I come from a distant land known as Canada.
If I were new in town where would you take me to show me a time?
I would start with a staple of mine and a get a cold beer at Bar 169 in Chinatown. Then, we’d shoot some pool in the back on the leopard print pool table.
So you’ve been working with a guy named Platon for the past couple years; who’s that?
Platon is a portrait photographer. In addition to celebrities, he's shot more world leaders than anyone else on the planet, including Putin and Gadaffi. He also has a non-profit called The People's Portfolio that uses his visual language to support various human rights.
Do you have any artists, creative people or venues you go to for inspiration or to kick your butt when you’re feeling like you need a push?
Yes. Always looking at the work of photographers Avedon and Bob Richardson. Guy Bourdin’s books when I need a kick in the head. I'm constantly reading 'Appearances' by Martin Harrison.
Guy Bourdin Photo
I know you still shoot film and use Super 8 on occasion. We like it too for all the conventional “film-y” reasons: the texture, the physicality, its analog-ness etc. Is it something you integrate into your work or just for fun?
I went to film school, and I’ve been interested in the moving image since i was a kid. I always loved creating stories, whether abstract or linear. My photography is based around shooting small stories, sets of images rather than something singular. I suppose that stems from my film background.
A lot of the work we do at Lowercase is a kind of hybrid of technique and craft. Where do you feel photography fits in to a definition like that? Is it purely technical? Craft? Art?
To me photography isn't technical. I know my gear so well and I use it so often that I don't think about the technical side. I'm just focused on chasing light (since I shoot natural light only).
Do you have any eyewear war stories? Frames loved and lost?
My dad had a pair of 30 year year-old Ray Bans that I took without asking back in the early 2000's. I had them in my pocket and getting out of a car I broke them right in the middle of the frame. I was shattered. Since then, I have always been extremely careful with any Wayfair Ray Bans. Probably will be for the rest of my life.
Interview by Ryan Langer. All photos and video Cory Vanderploeg unless otherwise noted.