Boone Rodriguez had a calling for creating since his first experience with a 110 camera as a young boy camping at KOA's across western America in his family's station wagon. Based in Portland, Oregon where he owns Beast Studio in SE filled with many other creatives. He's traveled the world and worked with many professionals and companies capturing lifestyle and portrait photography. Harlo was honored to spotlight Boone, who is very passionate about his profession and is constantly excelling with his work.
Now for the Q and A's
Q: Thanks for being a spotlight for us Boone, what is your profession and what do you love most about what you do?
A: I am a commercial photographer who specializes in lifestyle and adventure photography. I also, run a daylight photo studio in Portland we call Beast Daylight Studio. We have a collaborative creative office filled with talented and kind folks as well as a beautiful bright studio available by the hour. beastdaylight.com
Q: Has there been any significant life events or experiences that have influenced aspects of your creativity?
A: I’ve found for every journey often the most difficult task is deciding to take that risk in the first place. The fear of the unknown and the worst-case scenarios. The significant life events are often smaller daily struggles with one’s own fear. I’ve surrounded myself with amazing people and we’re all going through the struggle together. The struggle to pursue what is meaningful and reshape our own structures.
As a youngster, I was able to toy around with my Grandpa’s 35mm SLR. More importantly, he was around for all the many questions I came to him with. Later on my brother showed me how to shoot weddings, but most of all we taught each other to be quick on our feet with a camera and be Eagle Scout status problem solvers, how to interact with all kinds of people and build a business that we’re proud of. I’ve been a part of a few co-op studio shares, one of the most impactful was starting a studio called Buck with 4 other fellas. We brought our ideas together and helped each other execute them. We learned from each other’s mistakes and successes. We learned that if you care about an idea you should put it forward with pride.
Q: What is creativity to you?
A: Creativity is an innate part of existence. Early on we test the waters and try new things to learn how the world around us works. Creativity to me, right now, means staying curious and being open to change.
Q: What inspires you your creativity?
A: A day in nature can easily reset my intentions. A half an hour at Rich’s thumbing through magazines, feeling the different paper and finding one or two to stash at the studio makes my guts tingle. A sunny bench and an empty notepad help my mind release some of the ideas it’s been collecting. The prisms, plants and Santo Palo scattered throughout my house give harbor to my curiosity. Rituals like black coffee and a quiet morning or an annual trip to the Steens in October give peaceful time for reflection, both conscious and unconscious.
Q: How do you keep your creativity alive and well?
A: Just as physical muscle takes training to become strong, things like creativity, compassion, and curiosity take their own space and time. These things sometimes need quite a bit of re-assurance and self-understanding so you don’t succumb to pre-defined systems (hearing “I should do” vs what you deep down are curious to try). Sometimes that means honest conversations with friends and mentors. Often it means a trip into the heart of nature. It always means making time and space to train and challenge those muscles.
Q: For all the young creatives out there, what small piece of advice would you share with them?
A: Get your ass on the bucket. I once heard of a prolific author who would write in a shed on a bucket turned upside down. Nothing gets written if you don’t get your ass on the bucket.
Be grateful and compassionate. Figure out what it takes to understand yourself more deeply.
Q: When do you feel most proud of your creative abilities?
A: Pride comes in many forms. I photographed my Brother and Sister-in-law for her Cookbook “Dating My Husband” and after the book tour, they sent me a print of a sweet moment I had photographed and shared a story of how it brought someone to tears in a book store. notwithoutsalt.com
An instance of fuzzy warm pride is the feeling of seeing images from a shoot you’re excited about for the first time. Sometimes that means getting the film back from a lab, or sometimes I'm downloading cards in my cozy home office after a post wrap burrito.
I am also proud when the balance of planning and mystery comes together to create something better than you could have expected.
Lastly, I take great pride in the team of expert people who make large-scale productions happen smoothly. Often I walk around during lunch or as we wrap and am just overwhelmed with pride and gratitude for each of the talented people on set.
Q: How do you win the hearts of your clients?
A: Give a damn and stay curious. It goes a long way. If you’re genuinely curious about a person you’ll invest more deeply. If you give a damn about the project you’ll work at it with honesty. Be honest and kind.
See more of Boone's work.