We had the pleasure of having a Q&A session with San Diego-based photographer Rich Soublet as he describes his upbringing, hobbies, andhis influences in the art of photography. He is a great photographer for headshots, weddings and pretty much anything else.
Where are you from/grow up?
"Oakland, CA. lived there until he was 18 and moved here to go to San Diego State and have lived here ever since."
Where did you go to college and what is your degree in?
"Bachelor of Arts in Applied Arts and sciences, better known as Theater."
Outside of photography, what are your interests?
"I love dogs. I like to go snowboarding, hiking, and definitely watching movies if I have time to waste."
Tell us about your pets.
"I have black miniature schnauzer named Argo that I got while doing dog training classes at Petco. He will be 10 this year so he will definitely get a birthday party. I also have 2 rabbits; a a brown one name Korra & and a white one name Gandolf. The funny thing about these two is that they hate each other which is odd because rabbits typically bond together and are good for emotional support to each other. We first got Gandalf and then Korra so they can be friends. That kind of backfired because Gandolf doesn’t know how to show affection towards Korra so he just bites at her. Unfortunately we had to change up the living situation a few times now and they are getting along better now. They sit next to each other with a divider. Galndolf 2 years and Korra just over a year. Finally we have a cat named Chloe that is about 10 years old. That more of Lindey's childhood cat."
How long have you been doing photography?
"Professionally 10 years but has been a hobby of his since he was a kid. Was 9 when he got his first old 70s film camera"
When did you first realize you had an interest in photography?
"I found the camera in the pantry and my parents gave it to me. After a year of playing with the camera they [parents] got it fixed up and got film for it and I started playing with it more. Growing up I was always behind and in front of the camera on and off.
When I went to college I was really into theater. In 2002, I went to Italy and took a lot of pictures and that’s when I got back into photography. Around 2003/2004 was when I realized it was something I was passionate about. I realized I wanted to take it from a hobby to profession
Circling back to theater, to go to grad school in theater, you have to go to ERTAs and you have to addition for grad school. A head shot is required to audition. My friend asked me to take a headshot for him. I took his headshot and that headshot got my friend into school! He passed his head shot around which lead to referrals for more headshots and that lead to other things and it just snowballed."
Would you say you had a natural knack for it?
"Not at first. It was a learning process. People say that I have a knack for it but to get a good headshot, you need the person to feel more comfortable in front of the camera. This is why my early work was not so good. I needed to learn to get people to relax in front of the camera. Now I am always constantly working, researching and learning to perfect the craft."
Being able to relate to the client, would you say this is important?
"I was talking about this today actually earlier at lunch. I like to sit down and really talk to someone so you can use that during their headshot session. Sometimes you don’t have a lot of time. But to take a great portrait of anyone you need to spend some time with someone so they can get past their insecurities of them self. Your both just individuals and you have to brake down that wall. Human interaction is what it boils down to and if you can to look at you like a person and not a robot with a camera it'll be an easier time."
Tell us about your portfolio and the different projects/types of photography you do.
"Mostly headshots and landscape. Right now that’s probably what I am best at. I'vealso worked on commercial photo shoots, real estate, weddings, food, product, street photography sometimes and fine art."
What is your favorite thing to photograph? I.e. what type of assignments?
"Definitely headshots. For me, doing headshots take time. I try my best to build a relationship with the client, get to know them and just make them comfortable. Once you break the ice and they are comfortable around you, it shows in their photo."
Is it important to have a diverse portfolio?
"Yes and no. Some specialize in one thing and do just fine but its important to me to diversify my portfolio."
What are common misconceptions about photographers?
"That our job is 100% fun, it is not 100% fun. Like 'oh you just get to walk around and take pictures all day... but that’s only 5% of the job description. Meeting clients, marketing yourself, writing blogs, keeping up with social media, and editing also factor into our daily duties. People don't realize that than showing up taking a couple of shots and leaving is only the tip of the iceberg."
What advice would you give to a new photographer?
"Don’t.... hahaha just kidding. I would start with photographing something that you love. Start with whatever you hobbies you like. Bring your camera and just shoot! Eventually, once you get good at capturing something that you love then it'll help with transition you to other subjects. The more pictures you take the better you’ll get. Look at other photographers, not to copy them, but to learn from them and see what others are into and what others like."
Tell us a memorable moment you have while on a shoot.
"One of my first wedding shoots was up in Long Beach. It was a small wedding; very nice couple and friends. I noticed throughout the night that there was some kind of tension that nobody was talking about that I couldn’t figure out. Later during the reception, some bridesmaids were pretty drunk and one of the groomsmen was eye balling a girl because she was falling out of her dress. Eventually the groom walks up to the best man and tells him, 'Dude, please don’t sleep with my sister tonight'. Fast forward 10 minutes later, as I went to the restroom I saw that sister and the Best Man all over each other in the hallway."
Is there anything you want to shoot but haven’t yet?
"I’d like to do more editorial work combined photography and writing. Do editorials of public figures, that would be amazing"
What advice do you have for brides when booking their wedding day photographer?
"Find someone that you think you could hang out with in real life because you are spending a big part of your wedding day with them. You want to make sure you are comfortable with them. Something cool or funny or endearing about them so you will enjoy your day because they will be a big part."
For weddings, what is your turn around time for providing the edited photos?
"I like to give out previews the very next day. I want the bride and groom to have quality photos the next day, not just cell phone photos. Then generally 10 – 14 days turn around time for all edited photos."
Where can we find you? (social media & website info)
Instagram - @RichSoubletPhotography
Twitter @ SoubletPhotos