For today’s Small Business Spotlight, we interviewed Fred Byrd of Fred Byrd Photo. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Fred is an up-and-coming photographer with a contagious passion and an innovative approach to his craft. Check out his website to see more of his work!
Tell us a little about yourself and Fred Byrd Photography.
My name is Fred Byrd. I’m a 23-year-old fine art portrait photographer from Saint Joseph, Missouri. I think what sets me apart from other photographers, at least in my area, is that I’m currently self-taught and willing to step outside the commercial bubble that cements financial success. That being said, I respect all forms of photography and never turn down the opportunity to try something new.
What inspired you to become a photographer?
The summer before high school, one of my friends was really into photography and often posted her work on Flickr. I just remember really wanting to create something for myself as quickly as possible. My uncle bought me my first camera soon after, just a point-and-shoot, and I spent everyday taking photos behind my mom’s apartment, which happened to be right next to a beautiful lake. Basically, I saw firsthand what it was like to express oneself and wanted the same sort of instant gratification.
What do you like most about your job?
Tough question! That rare moment when the images in my mind translate almost perfectly into a finished piece.
Do you have any advice for people interested in becoming photographers?
Take photos every day. That’s what I’ve been doing for years and you can really see the difference over time. Exercise your eye.
What is your favorite part of your job?
The connections I make with others.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Sing, attend art show openings and nearby concerts, hang out with friends.
What is your favorite inspirational quote?
“What would you be like if there was nobody else in the world? Who would you be if the only opinion that mattered was yours? Because if you want to be truly happy, you must be that person. You must search inside yourself for what is uniquely you. When you find it, polish it, until it becomes your style.”
—Quentin Crip from An Englishman in New York
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Cairo, Egypt. The scenery in Cairo is just so cinematic and so different, compared to my usual surroundings. I would love to experience traditions of the area, especially the pyramids that are visible from the city itself.
What was your dream job/career when you were a kid?
When I was a younger, I was convinced I’d be a children’s book author. I was inspired a lot by J.K. Rowling, Jenny Nimmo, and Lemony Snicket. I still have dreams of being a published author, but who knows when the right story will come along.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
A warm, overcast day by a not-too-crowded beach with my camera, a stereo, my friends, tons of candid portraits, and a bottle of merlot.
Visit Fred Byrd’s website at www.fredbyrdphoto.com