Elegant but Edgy

Interview with Ainsley Joseph – Photographer in Austin, TX

Today we are starting a new series on our Blog, featuring photographer friends of ours. One of the biggest rewards has been meeting and becoming friends with other people that share our passion for photography and life in general. Today we are talking with Ainsley Joseph, who calls Austin, TX home. Ainsley is an extremely talented photographer and a master at lighting techniques. He is also one of the coolest people we know.

Ainsley, we’d like to hear some of your thoughts on things, especially photography, but anything is game!  When and how did you get started with photography, and how did you get so good at strobist (lighting) techniques?

AJ: I got into photography early 2009. My fiance, Meredith, and I were doing some shopping at Costco when I saw the Nikon D90. After reading the specs, I figured why not? I then promised myself to make full use of it. What has really helped me with off camera flash lighting was reading the the strobist blog, reverse engineering images I saw, but most of all doing the 365 project.

What’s your favorite subject matter to photograph? What do you attempt to capture when you set out to shoot?

AJ: This might be a surprise to some people, but I love dark, twisted, surreal subject matter. I love the idea of doing a dark image, but without blood and gore.

Of course, everyone wants to hear about gear.  What is your favorite stuff and what would your dream setup look like?

AJ: I am not much of a gear head. I love my Nikon D700, and since I picked up the 24-70mm it has been my go to lens 99% of the time.

Lighting equipment…I love Alien Bees, modifiers, the beauty dish all the way. Not sure I have a dream setup, more of a dream studio. It’s tough getting full body shots in a garage/studio..hahaha

You live in Austin, what about the music scene?  Do you get to shoot musicians often?

I love live music, so every chance I get to check out live music, and I am allowed to bring my camera at the venue, I try and get as many cool looking shots as possible. In all honesty, I love photographing live music more than anything else.

Tell us a secret!

AJ:  I am not sure it would be a secret if I tell you! hahahahaha..I want to get the Nikon 70-200 VR11, but my fiance doesn’t know it… YET !! (Until she proofreads this!)

Words of advice for budding photographers, especially strobists?

AJ:  I think the most important thing is having patience, and understanding how light and shadows work. Sometimes it helps to place an object next to a lamp to understand how moving the subject closer or further away from the lamp affects light and shadows. Finally, never hesitate to ask questions. I am a firm believer that there is never a stupid question.

Ainsley, thanks for sharing some of your insight with us and the readers.  We see that you are now doing a 52 week project and it is great to follow your work on Flickr.  We wish you and Mer all of the best with tying the knot this summer.

If you would like to see more of Ainsley’s work, check out his Flickr account here:


All images are copyright of Ainsley Joseph, except Behind the Scenes by Ashton Sterling Photography.


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