10 quick questions, 5 professional and 5 random, with people you should know.
Photographer Todd Barry started his career at the age of 18 after discovering photography while on a surf trip in Bali. He started assisting a film director as soon as soon as he returned back home to Australia. He later moved onto London and New York. He got his big break photographing Gisele for the cover of Nova magazine. Since then, he has worked for Almay, CoverGirl,Pantene, Maybelline, Gucci, H&M, French Connection, and Le Specs. He spends his free time with his wife, two kids, surfboards, and guitars.
Q. Describe the moment when you first felt validated for your work?
T.B. When I got my first cover of Nova with Gisele. There were pretty big photographers shooting the cover before me, and I was a new photographer that no one really knew of, so it was very exciting.
Q. What do you love about your job and your work? What do you find the most frustrating and/or challenging about the industry?
T.B. I love coming up with new ideas and working with amazing creative teams. I can already see what I want to achieve in my head before it’s finished. It’s frustrating when clients want you to use a different team than who you normally work with. They book you off your work, which is mostly with the same crews over and over again. I always say an exaggerated comparison is like having Mick Jagger play a gig without the rest of the Rolling Stones. Give him another guitarist, drummer, bassist, it’s just not the same.
Q. What do you want to accomplish in your lifetime/career? How do you think or want other people to feel about you/it?
T.B. I’d like to come away from it all, and say that was the best work I could do. I go into every job putting in 150%, and that is what I want to be known for. At the end of the day it’s not all about the money, you have to come home and be happy with what you have done. That’s why I only take on projects that really excite me and why I still really love what I do.
Q. What is your Spirit Animal? Why?
T.B. Silverback Gorilla. I’m very protective of my family, always on the move, have a very tight-nit group of friends, and I can be sometimes shy at first.
Q. What about your work can’t you teach? What makes the work unique to you?
T.B. You can’t teach the emotion of a picture. A lot of people can do the same picture technically, but all the great photographers have that feeling between the photographer and a subject that you can’t teach. I’ve been told I have a beautiful subtle sensuality to my images. It’s so important to make your subject feel comfortable and at ease, sometimes when you’re shooting beauty/portraits you’re in someone else’s comfort zone almost all day.
Q. If you could be equally as happy in a different career, what would it be?
T.B. I really enjoy directing, which I have already started doing. On the other side of the spectrum, I also love renovating houses and making furniture.
Q. How did you meet your bestfriend?
T.B. This might sound corny, but my wife is my best friend. We met at an Irish pub in the East Village. She still hasn’t been able to get rid of me yet.
Q. Last thing you took a photo of?
T.B. My 10 yr old daughter Layla playing “Landslide” on her guitar.
Q. Favorite City/Place in the world?
T.B. My favorite place in the world is in the ocean surfing with my friends. From NYC to Australia. It’s not any place in particular, just where there are good waves.
Q. When did you first consider yourself an adult?
T.B. When my son was born, the happiest and scariest day of my life. Knowing that somone was depending on me to take care of them made me want to give them the best life I possibly can.