Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists and today marks the first weekly artist feature on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at email@example.com. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!
Colin Bishop is truly a hidden gem of Seattle. I know him from his work in public relations with the Northwest Polite Society, but very quickly I found he was harboring another more secretive talent: photography. Often times when we would be covering restaurant news and I'd need some photos to accompany a story I was doing, I'd see a familiar "Image courtesy of Colin Bishop" credit come through with the images. The next step was following him on Facebook, and the beautiful photos kept on coming. So, wunderkid - tell us know you do it?
Seattle Refined: How long have you been taking photographs? Do you work with other mediums?
Colin Bishop: I've been taking photographs since I picked up a Nikon D40 as my first camera in 2006. I followed through in school and took every photography course I possibly could while at University. I typically stick to still photography but I will dabble into video production depending on what the project it.
Can you tell me about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
My process usually begins with ideation. What am I shooting and how will I be able to make it my own. I always look to other work for inspiration but that's usually days before whatever it is I am shooting. The second stage of this is to observe and fall into the motions of whatever it is that I'm shooting. I like to think of it as settling into an environment and really observing what it is, how I want to capture and how will that make you feel. Following this is actual implementation and execution on camera. My rule of thumb is to always be thinking of what will make this shot interesting and how can you tell a story from it. Finally, I like to marinate on a set for some time. It can be hours to months before I finally sit down with a refreshed state of mind.
Tell me about where your inspiration for your photos come from?
Most of my inspiration comes directly from what I see. A lot of the work I do tends to be in candid situations where I'm able to observe and let the nature of what the subject is come through. Although, my style and everything I learned about what I like in a frame or image has come from my love and admiration for well-composed films.
Do you have a specific “beat” you like best – nature, food, profiles etc?
I wouldn't say I have a specific beat but I have been shooting a lot of the local restaurant scene lately. I would say most of my work is a narrative rather than a specific subject, beat or series.
Do you have one photograph that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
My favorite photos are the ones that have a great memory attached to them. The photo in particular of the moonrise over Crescent Lake is one of my favorite memories of a recent camping trip out with friends.
What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
I would say my biggest influence from my upbringing has to be the breadth of access to classic and contemporary films growing up. My parents have always had an immense collection and much of my life has been based around that visual medium.
What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
Right now I am helping with the launch and opening of Cafe Lago's new Italian market, Little Lago in Portage Bay! Stay tuned for an opening in mid-October! I'm also very excited to finish up with my sister-in-laws wedding photos from their summer wedding in Bozeman, Montana.
Lastly, how do you take your coffee?
I like to keep it simple with Vashon Island Coffee on drip and in my thermos with cream. But I can always go for an espresso.