JPG Member Interview: Cody Hanu

Posted by David Ozanich — 20 Oct 2010

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This week’s JPG interview is with member Cody Hanu. His JPG page is here and his personal website is here.

You live in New York. How does the city influence the types of photos you take. I noticed one of your shots is on the High Line. Are there any spots you find particularly inspiring?

I view New York City as a living organism. There are parts of NY that are clearly visually impressive, places like the High Line (which is arguable as to how awesome it was before the renovation) DUMBO (ed. note: DUMBO is local New York parlance for “Down Under Manhattan Bridge,” a section of Brooklyn) and the nooks and crannies of Queens. I generally shoot in what I would consider the underdog locations of the city, but I am recently exploring taking on more popular locations in hopes of looking at them in a less obvious way. Overall New York City has plenty to offer. I’d have to say DUMBO brings out the best in me, I’m not quite done figuring that place out.
 
Do you work professionally as a photographer? If so, what's your bread and butter-type photo?

I work as a freelancer. I mostly get hired to do advertisements and catalogues; I’d say the product fashion style photo would be the bread winner. Unfortunately that type of photo comes with a score of limitations; bending and molding those limitations is the tricky part.

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What sort of equipment do you use? Do you like to work in natural light or in a studio?

I work mostly with a set of B800 Alien Bee’s, they’ve been up to the task just about every time. I love manipulating lighting scenarios so I’d say that I prefer studio lighting. There is something to be said when nature provides the goods though, I’m mostly behind a desk when that happens and miss the action.
 
How do you find your models?

Painfully. I began shooting friends due to the difficulty of finding models that are serious or daring enough for the sometimes obscure set ups I have. Lately I’ve been giving Model Mayhem a shot, I’ve had some good results… but it’s like Facebook with a larger sex addiction, not easy to navigate.

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Do you have any photographers whose style you find inspiring or instructive?

I go through phases and mostly love “unknown” photographers the most, as they are the most daring with limited resources. To nod at those I drool over I’d say Michael Muller is a champ, the man turns my eyes green with the gigs he gets; he also nails them. If I could pick the mind of anyone I’d have to say Kristian Schuller would be my first pick. His photos are like putting on contact lenses made of TNT.

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