While new to photography, Brad Hancock sure has his heart and his camera in the right place, capturing all that comes his way and then some. An honest approach to photography, his pics are unassuming and down to earth. Find out what makes Brad tick!
Above: “Cabin Lights“
Elias Visuals – Where are you from and what about that place has inspired your work?
Brad Hancock – I was born and raised in Mesa, AZ, which is nothing but desert. My family also own a cabin in the White Mountains, so my whole life I’ve either grown up around mountains or the desert itself.
I think living in such a diverse state has given me the opportunity to see a lot of different landscapes, including city and rural life. My work is affected by this because I love to shoot so many different styles of photography. I don’t feel that I have a specific genre I stick to.
What are three elements of your photos that represent your philosophies on life?
I try not to fit other people’s styles. I’ve spent a big part of my life trying to make other people happy and looking back it really restricted my growth as an individual, so now I just try to ‘do me’ as they say.
I love to live life to the fullest, to enjoy each moment the best I can and take each experience for what it is. I don’t have the most epic life but I do just try to enjoy it the best I can.
I look at photography in much the same way and I’m actually very new to it. I took one class back in high school and other than that I’ve been at it for about eight months. When I started, I instantly knew I wanted this to be my career, so I’ve just thrown myself out there and I have been way more successful than I could have imagined in such a short period of time.
I have taken chances and have thrown myself out there, and it’s paid off. So I guess I’ll just keep fakin’ it ’til I make it, haha.
What are some pieces of non-photography gear that are essential to you in everyday life?
My everyday carry usually consists of some type of flashlight, I definitely have a thing for flashlights. I almost always have a pocket knife on me that I am consistently using… and losing. I also always have to have a watch on me. Those are the three things that I will have on me, or near me, no matter where I am.
If you could teleport to anywhere in the world to take pictures, where would it be and why?
If I could teleport anywhere in the world to take photos I think it would have to be in the most remote, mystical part of the ocean! I am fascinated with the ocean and the creatures that live within it.
There is so much undiscovered territory down there, I would love to be able to explore that and photograph things that have never seen before! There are animals down there that have never been discovered that are beyond alien to us!
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
There are two pieces of advice that I have received that have changed my outlook on life and have really helped me find my path. The first simply being, “question everything.” The more you question things in life, the more you begin to understand who you are and what core values you stand for.
The second piece of advice is to follow your dreams. Don’t do something you hate because you make good money from it. Do what you love and do it with your whole heart and the money will follow. I can’t remember exactly where I heard these things but the lessons stuck!
Your work has a great deal of honesty and fun-loving nature to it. What about the way you work brings this about?
I find that a lot of the photos I take are just a product of the experience I’m living. I don’t go to shoot, I go to enjoy a new unique experience. I always have my camera with me and of course when I am doing a job that’s the key component, but many times I just live in the moment and try to focus on the experience, instead of strictly focusing on the photography aspect.
I find when I put the experience first and the photography second, the pictures just happen naturally. Most of my adventure photography is never staged; it just happens. I don’t always think my photography is composed the best, but I do try to capture true emotion, which I think can be felt through the image. As I progress in photography I can only hope to fuse composition and emotion together better and better.
I am building a website at the moment, which should be up very soon! In the meantime the best place to find me is on Instagram.