There is a whole world of artist out there that haven’t gotten big yet. That are still looking for a moment to shine, and show off their talents. Here at Paint Atrocity, I want to try to shine that light on some deserving artist. I figured it was best to start close to home. The artist I am going to share with you today you may remember me mentioning him in a previous article for Photography and Fun. His name is Jeff Greco, and he has an eye for photography, though it isn’t his profession, you don’t have to do something for a living to be great at it or to enjoy it.
Jeff first started his journey as a photographer at a young age of twelve, riding his bike around town snapping shots on an old flip phone. Not yet sure of how far he would go with his picture taking career. We all go through so many ideas and hobbies when we are young, it is always hard to say what will stick with us through the years. Photography stuck with him though, at thirteen, his mother got him his first camera, a Nikon, for his birthday.
Now Jeff was only self-taught at this point. Starting as I imagine most photographers start, with the point and shoot method. There is nothing wrong with this, everyone must start somewhere, and as the old expression goes, you must walk before you run. Though his desire to capture the best of moments never left him, so he practiced his new-found passion and looked to expand it. Looking up information online, like framing and lighting. Gaining as much knowledge on his own as he could.
He wasn’t always alone while learning his new-found talent. Jeff joined the yearbook group in his high school, taking his photography even further. Starting first with journalism his freshman year, then yearbook his sophomore year, moving up to the section editor of photography, and his senior year he became the main editor for the photography department. Helping his yearbook group go to contest and winning awards for their yearbooks.
When speaking with Jeff about it, he said the hardest part for him to learn was his shutter speed and how to take good action shots. Having worked under an action photographer myself, I can attest to how difficult this is when learning. Though he mentioned something to me I hadn’t thought of. He would look up the best lighting, framing, aperture, etc, for a setting and preset the settings in his camera to help him get off of auto, and take better shots. Then he ventured further to where he could figure it out on his own instead of using preset settings.
In the Now
Now we all know life continues after high school, and so did his love for photography. This is actually how Jeff and I first became friends, talking about our shared love for photography, years after both of us had graduated. I have known Jeff for a few years now, and when I met him he was really into photojournalism, so naturally I thought this would be his favorite form of photography, but as we talked more, I learned that he is more into the candid moments. You know, those moments one can capture where your subject is completely at ease and not thinking of the photo being taken. Those rare moments that we don’t always get, but are completely worth it when we do.
Now it is not to say he does not still love photojournalism, he does, but he says that it is a little more challenging because you have the story of what you see at the moment, not what has happened before, and you don’t always get to stick around to see what happens next. He also said that he is most at peace shooting nature, which we both got to enjoy shooting at Big Bend National Park. Really though, he enjoys it all. Each style of shooting as their own enjoyments. If it is with a model, out in nature, or chasing down the next story, each one brings a different aspect to photography that the others don’t have.
What is he working on?
For now Jeff is working on refining his photography. He is looking to work with more models, and learning how to pose people, which can be harder than you think if your model isn’t comfortable in front of a camera. He also wants to get into nature more and even do some more artistic shoots. No one side of photography is enough for this guy. He is passionate about being a well-rounded photographer. Being able to go do events, or private shoots, or shoots for his own enjoyment. He isn’t so focused on turning it into a career, but using it to compliment whatever career he chooses. Being at the young age of twenty-three, there is no rush to figure it all out toady.
He is looking to learn more on marketing himself for all these things. The nature, event, model and artistic shoots. He wants everyone to know that he is open to all of it. I find this refreshing, simply because I have heard too many stories of photographers not willing to step out of their comfort zones. All too often, a photographer just picks one thing, like only doing events, or only doing work with models, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, specially if it is what you are good at, by all means do what you are good at. That is just what makes Jeff so unique as a photographer, he is open to it all, not selling his self to just one thing.
Now what a silly question, everyone has favorites, but I figured you all might like to hear about some of his favorite shoots. Naturally one of his favorite places to shoot, was at Big Bend during our road trip, when you see it, I think it’d be your favorites too.
Though more than that, his favorite thing to shoot is events, like for bands. He says every one is so friendly and laid back, he can blend in with his surroundings and do what he does best. Capturing those candid moments no one else is noticing, because they are more focused on the act, than on the man behind the camera. Personally I agree with him, I have had the pleasure of going with him to shoot a band playing before, and having that for everyone to focus on, does make it easier to go around and capture the moments that would otherwise be forgotten after the show.
Other things and Photos
These days, Jeff is shooting with his second camera body, a Nikon D7000. His passion for photography has not died out one bit. He is mostly looking forward to doing more artistic shoots this year. Setting a theme and having models dressed for the occasion. Truly the most enjoyable photography if you asked me. This will really help him with getting comfortable with models and posing them. He is just keeping it as a hobby though, like I said earlier, he wants it to compliment his future career, but what I didn’t know is that he wants to make it more of a hospitality thing as well. Helping people get those great candid moments without breaking the bank on one of the more expensive photographers. Not everyone can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on a photographer for their event, and Jeff understand how much those photos can mean to someone. So he offers his skills at reasonable prices.
Without further a dew though, I would like to share some of his hand-picked photos with you. We all know that is what you want to see most!
A cigarillo rolled by one of Jeffs’ friends with various herbs they acquired at a pagan shop in Houston.
A couple of Jeffs’ friends sharing a laugh on a dock at sunset.
Two men riding a jet ski down a street in Forrest cove after the 2016 floods.
The same two men tying up their wave runner after their ride.
A witch looking out into the Forrest.
A private shoot Jeff did for a friend.
As you can see, you don’t have to go to the best photography school in the country to get great shots like these. Jeff Greco should be an inspiration to all starting photographers! Starting off on a cell phone in his neighborhood, to now, he has grown greatly as a photographer. He shows us all that with dedication and practice and a determination to learn your skill, you too can do great things. I think we can all expect great things from him in the future.
If you would like to see more from Jeff Greco and you can follow him on Instagram, his handle is @dromeetsphoto.
If you too, would like to be a featured artist on the site, you may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
All artist are welcome! You don’t have to be a professional to be featured!