Adrian Adel is dope!
She’s one of the most prolific photographers in Portland and she does it all. She’s an image stylist and creates outstanding custom graphics and illustrations. In addition, she designs everything from albums to websites, blogs, printed and digital media, photo and video shoots etc. and so forth. Be sure to visit Adrian at www.adrianadel.com. Get Into It!
She’s worked with a little bit of everybody, from small boutiques to big time recording artists. Adrian’s clientele stretches across the U. S and even overseas.
Hello Adrian. How are you? It’s a pleasure to have this time with you! There are so many questions I want to ask…
Hello! I’m doing great. Thank you for thinking of me!
First, Please share how you became a photographer… ?
I can give thanks to the digital age and a few friends that saw talent and invested in me. I had always enjoyed photography, but developing film can be very costly and I never had the opportunity to explore it in depth. In 2005, it seems the digital era really took off and digital cameras became more accessible. The trial and error process of learning photography didn’t have to cost an arm and a leg! I found myself with the opportunity to be the photographer of a short-lived business idea, and I was left with this rinky-dink digital camera that I couldn’t let go of. I decided to contact some of my musician friends in town to ask if I could take their photo in hopes to build a nice portfolio. Before I knew it, I was in business!
When it comes to photography you do it all! For real! What is the range of your work? Who exactly is an Adrian Adel client?
Anything and anyone! Just kidding. I tend to get hired to shoot people. That’s sounds funny. I am a portrait photographer — that’s better! 🙂 I can also be found shooting luncheons, weddings, festivals, product and clothing, nature and sports, dance. My specialty is definitely people. What I like to shoot most are musicians and actors. They tend to exude the most passion in their portrait sessions and live performances, which make great photographs. Cooing babies are always a joy, too.
My clientele consists of single mothers to non-profit organizations, from independent underground artists to mainstream artists on the verge of breakthrough, from small business to large corporate… I’m an all-around type of photographer!
I hear you are really good at image styling. What is this and why is it important?
Well, if anyone has seen how I dress, I’m obviously not good at image styling with myself! Haha! But! I do have an eye for flavor. For musicians and businesses, image is important. Therefore, branding is important. Having a ‘look’ is important. I think my photography and graphic design skills, when combined, help create original art for my clients that they can feel good about. Presenting your music or business idea to the world is quite the big deal. First impressions are, too. If asked, I can help design a look for an artist or an online business portfolio that is professional looking and up to par with the competition. If they don’t want trendy, I can do that, too. It helps to know some of the best make-up artists, hair stylists and wardrobe stylists in the city. My team is serious if the client is.
You’re known nationwide and internationally, how did you blossom so? What is your creative process? I’m really curious to know how you make your images look so real… your photography captures that special something.
Thank you! I think a lot of networking helped me blossom nationwide and internationally. In the beginning, I did a lot of work pro bono that created a circle of professional friends that I still work with to this day.
I’m not quite sure I have a creative process. I’m your typical unorganized artist with no idea what day it is. When I get a new project to work on, whether it be a photo shoot or graphic design, I’m often inspired in the moment that I pick up my paintbrush, a.k.a. camera, a.k.a. graphic pen. Often times, ideas come while I’m shooting. I also like the trial and error aspect of photography. It allows for lighting failures to reveal a shot that I didn’t know I wanted.
Much of your work is with people, human subjects. I don’t know why I was surprised to discover your work with inanimate objects like flowers, specifically roses. Is the approach to every subject the same? And what is it about flowers?
Oh no, I wait for it. As I do with live performance. I wait to capture the moment. For that one light to shine… For that one look at the lens… For that rain drop to fall… patience is key. When it comes to shooting people, often times, they don’t reveal their true selves until the end of the shoot, when they have become comfortable and ‘over it’. But that first shot, is always the best one.
Flowers…. Roses…. I don’t do a lot of nature photography. I leave that to the pros. One hot summer day, I had nothing to do and decided to head towards the rose garden. I found myself in an overcast downpour about 5 minutes after I arrived. It rained for a little bit and I waited it out. When the clouds finally passed, I walked down to the garden and snapped as many shots as I could before the rain returned. It was my first and last attempt at nature photography. I really like people more, ha ha!
In addition to being a photographer you are a member of Speaker Minds. For those living under a rock (just joking) tell people what Speaker Minds is all about and how you got involved.
Speaker Minds!!! We are a live 6-piece funk hip-hop fusion band. You really have to come to a show to get the full effect of the group. I started off doing commissioned work for the band like photography, album artwork and such. Over time, I became a big fan of the group and close with the band members, leading them to entrust their fate with me, hiring me on as their co-manager along side with our lead emcee, Randal Wyatt. For a while, I helped create the band’s look while they created their sound. After a summer tour in 2012, their lead vocalist decided to part ways, and I offered to audition for the position. Randal and the band didn’t really know me as a singer. I had taken quite the long break after my run with Hungry Mob. Needless to say, after one rehearsal, they didn’t bother to audition any one else! Speaker Minds has been together for a few years. Some of the band members have changed but the goal is still the same. We want to spread love and awareness in the most funky uplifting positive way. We’re a conscious group of people who are laid back, suit wearing, muscle bearing, sweat dripping, belly laughing community volunteers, activists, teachers and caregivers. Hope to see you at a show. You can catch our upcoming show dates at our website.
Do you have a dream project? If so, what is it and who would be involved?
I’m actually already working on my dream project! A long time client and friend of mine, Liv Warfield is releasing her new album “The Unexpected” on February 18th, in which I had the pleasure to create all of the artwork for the 12 page album, social sites and press.
Liv has always had me in her corner and I’ve been amazed at her growth over the years. From landing a permanent gig singing back up for Prince in his band, The New Power Generation to making her debut on national television on Jimmy Fallon’s show… I’m one proud sister, and I put my heart and soul into designing her soon to be released album. I can’t wait for the world to see it, and to hear this new album of hers. It is one of those albums you can listen to from beginning to end without skipping ahead. She really put her foot in it! Prince, too!
If I could have things my way… it would be to be hired on to a record label as their art director. I’d like to exclusively help design projects and head up photo shoots, be the director of photography on video shoots…. I just really love music. I always have. I’ve known since I was a small child that I wanted to work in the music industry and for a while, I thought being a singer was the only way. But there are many avenues in the music business. It’s just a matter of finding my place.
Yo Adrian, are you single?
Haha! I don’t like to kiss and tell but… nope!