noun || yəNG ˈhefā
Douglas Segars is an artist, he specificlizes in photography.
"I like to take photos!"
YJ: Has what you’re doing now been a life-long interest?
DS: I wouldn't say "lifelong," I've always been interested in visual arts. I've been influenced and around cameras, dark rooms, creative vibrations, etc. since I was little — my mother's Dad had a dark room. Those younger experiences have resonated with me into adulthood. While I was attending Temple University, my major was in Broadcasting, Communications, and Journalism. I used to roam around campus with a disposable campus taking pictures of different things that interest me but my major also helped me develop a sense of design, video effects, and communication skills.
I suppose at Temple was when I learned that a camera was a tool. I started to study (like everyone should do when they find an interest/passion) and became fascinated with the works of Gordon Parks. It was then I thought, "Oh, this is a career!"
YJ: Did you quit your 9-5?
DS: I didn't quit, I transitioned. I was working full time in marketing and part-time at a production company called "By Any Means." The production company I was working for helped me learn, sharpen my skills, and flush out creative ideas. I started with social media and then was granted different opportunities to shoot. And from there, I started working at to MILK Studios and now I'm freelancing.
YJ: What was your first big solo project?
DS: My first GAP campaign. I had a chance to work with Naomi Campbell, Evan Ross, and other notable icons. I love shooting portraits. *these images are featured*
YJ: And what was your favorite?
DS: I worked with FADER on a documentary piece surrounding the power and politics of the black barbershop called, 'Levels.' It was empowering having the opportunity to capture the impact the barbershop has in the American community. I learned a lot and the team at FADER allowed me to sink into the experience. There's an image of a boy leaning his head back in the barbershop chair and it looks like he's getting baptized, that's a prime example of the black barbershop — a safe space. *these images are featured*
YJ: Where do you find inspiration, when needing it?
DS: On the street! Often what inspires me is the small details of everyday life (light, movements, people), and observing things often considered ordinary. I'm also inspired by storytelling and the challenge of communicating my vision/ expressing myself. I really only try to work on projects that I'm excited by. If I end up taking a photo that I think has elements that are great, I feel compelled to move my work in that direction. I also think NYC has been a huge inspiration — the energy, diversity, and how close we are in proximity to each other. Everything is always happening at once and it feels like people live their private lives in public.
YJ: What’s the hardest photograph to capture?
DS: Street photography. It's important to get close to your "subject" without disrupting a scene. There's also a chance of offending someone in the moment of trying to capture a photograph or missing the shot in general.
YJ: What would you say that may not think their talent is an ideal career path?
DS: I'd tell them to "Keep doing you!" And I'd urge them to follow their heart and intuition. The best content is produced when the artist is staying true to themselves.
YJ: What are you still looking to achieve?
DS: I'm looking to continue to build my body of work, and express myself through story telling and hopefully create work that connects and inspires viewers.
For more of Douglas, follow him here.