We Asked Photographer Ian Pool Some Questions. He Was Foolish Enough to Answer Them.

We like to share stories behind the lives of creative professionals—from musicians to chefs, to photographers and designers. We recently asked Canadian photographer Ian Pool to share a bit about himself. Here’s what he had to say: 

Hi, Ian Pool here. I'm currently huddled up in Toronto (southern tip of Canada) and I make pictures for a living. There's a long atypical story of me picking up a camera and studying and assisting and then eventually I was able to convince people and companies that I should take photos for them. The moral of it is that if you stay focused, work hard, and hope the dice rolls in your favour more often than not, and you'll likely get where you're going. 

Firearm Mechanics - A satirical examination of the serious potential and responsibility of firearms.

Where do your artistic passions come from? How did you begin and where are you now?

When I started shooting I was motivated by being able to translate ideas into visuals. Photography itself is rather mechanical, and I can see why folks get all in moult about how anyone can be a photographer nowadays. Operating a camera is very simple, and making a pretty picture is rather simple, but the theory and delivery of communicating an idea through visuals is entirely complex. I like to find a challenge in what I do, and taking pretty pictures (although entertaining) doesn't cut it. Cameras honestly have very little to do with what I do, however ideas and light and balancing visual constructs are motivating and invigorating. That's what gives purpose to what is shot and offers a reason for your audience to look at your work. If you're not giving anything to your audience then don't expect anything in return. 

Pierced/unpierced - A testament to the physical permanence and commitment of body modification.

Tell us both about your work. How would you describe what you do?

I think of something meaningful to me, determine whether it can be easily communicated through visuals, and if so I go take a picture of what I have in mind. As much as I rely on photoshop, a lot of what I shoot is straight captures or straight mask cuts to drop elements into frame. I like to be simple with what I shoot, but I also like to keep folks guessing as to what's part of the original image. It's more fun when you realize a lot of the stuff that seems unbelievable or photoshop'd was actually in the base capture. It's hard to believe what you see nowadays, and everybody's quick to rush and judge what's fact and fiction in photos. The reality is that there's a lot going on behind the curtain that people don't see, so I might as well make that fact a part of my act. If I keep people guessing I'll keep them enthralled, I figure.

Vive La Révolte: The Court House - A literal look at how revolution is passed down through generations.

What are you currently obsessed with? What fills your mind and your soul?

I have a few primary obsessions. Photonics, colour, and time. Cliché obsessions for a photographer, I know, but only the former two really are. I originally became obsessed with photonics because I wanted to know how light works, Colour because it brings me tremendous joy, but time is completely different. I find time fascinating beyond anything else. I have notebooks full of thoughts and theories on it, order very peculiar books on it from odd spots around the world. It's honestly on my mind all the time, from physical construct to how we experience it. What's even more amazing is I don't even do drugs :D

Breaking shore - A torrential storm collides with a playground at the beach

What’s Next for You?

"What's next" has been a big question for me lately. Photography is a very weird business to be in right now, and it's been quite an oddity trying to make the same semblance of a living at it. People see photographers as picture takers, but the reality is you have to be a jack of all trades or part of a trend to really make a go at it these days. So I'm exploring a lot of avenues and discovering new passions to add to my repertoire. The best advice I can give is keep the mind exploring. 

Darth Vader - We're all just people, even those we hold in such high esteem and those who hold such high positions of power.

What more should we know about you? Tell us a secret.

I adore tea. I have a messy desk and a well kept home. I don't care for cars. I don't attend many fancy parties where I parade myself as an artist. I'll likely talk to more animals in the course of a day than I do people. I'm a notebook collector. I have a fake skeleton for sale. I never run out of secrets to tell.

Antlecorn - a take on mother nature's cruel sense of humour

For more on Ian Pool, you can read an article on his super hero series, or go to his website.

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