DesignPill Feature: Dustin Hegedus- Photographer
“Photography for me is a constant journey, a sort of transcendence, finding myself in the most peaceful of moments to times where my own wellbeing could be in jeopardy. No matter my surroundings when there’s a camera in hand the desire to capture the perfect image is what drives me and has become a passion that surely won’t fade”.
-D. R. HEGEDUS-
Since I’ve known Dustin I’ve been fascinated by the ease in which he’s able to capture such incredibly moving images through the small lens of a camera. It’s baffling how one person can see what an ordinary person can’t see in something as insignificant as an old beat up car sitting in the grass. A simple picture can be taken in a way that make you step back and wonder how long has it been there? What was the owner like? Where has it traveled to? That is what good photography should make you do and I truly feel that Dustin has mastered that art. I was lucky enough to pick Dustin’s super talented brain and I’ve shared what I learned right here. Just for you. Enjoy.
Designpill: What was the first photo you took that spoke to you? In other words, which one made you think, hmmmm, I’m good at this?
Dustin: The first photo I took that really captured my attention was simply that of a tire swing. What set it apart to me was the composition and everything from the sun setting in the background to the single blade of grass that cut across the frame. This particular photo could seem simplistic but it is what enlightened me to the possibilities of one image. Your first engaging photo can be like that of a first kiss, you’ll remember all the details and excitement involved. I would have to say this photograph was more successful than my first kiss though!
Designpill: Describe the day you knew you were meant to be a photographer.
Dustin: It would be difficult to pin it down to a particular day but more as a reoccurring awareness towards the fulfillment photography brings to myself. The emotions invoked when I’m engaged in photography has been everlasting. I would hesitate to say that I was meant to be a photographer more so than photography was meant for me. Since being involved I’m glad to say my life has evolved into something greater.
Designpill: Are you self taught or do you have a degree in photography?
Dustin: I’ll admit to being stubborn, moving at my own chosen speed I thought I could learn it all on my own and for a few years this is the path I took. This only took me so far, I was comfortable in what I knew but really wanted to take everything in and excel in my area of interest . I’ve recently enrolled at The Art Institute of Jacksonville and it has been amazing the amount I have learned and the progression that has been accomplished. I also have started an internship at Folio Weekly that has been incredibly rewarding, seeing your own photo in an editorial is beyond satisfying!
Designpill: How many pictures does it take to find the perfect one?
Dustin: With digital photography we have become somewhat spoiled by the connivence, I’ll take full advantage of this. With still life objects I’ll approach the subject from a variety of angles and separate lighting opportunities. The most rewarding shots do come when achieved with the first shot though. When it comes to photographing subjects in motion or people you may only have that one chance to capture an image. These are often the most moving being as that particular moment will never again happen but if you’re able to document then you’ve captured the moment.
Designpill: Black & white or color?
Dustin: I’m still a sucker for black and white images! They can convey such a serious mood amongst an image that could otherwise be lost in the distraction of various colors. A timeless effect is provided, allowing the viewer to focus more on the subject intended by the photographer.
Designpill: Artists can sometimes be recognized by the paint strokes in their paintings. What do you think singles you out as a photographer?
Dustin: I put a careful consideration into the composition of my images. Rather than a straightforward shot of an object I’m driven to capture it different in different vantage points. My biggest motivation amongst separate photographers is visualize and capture what they may not. In the crowded field of photography it is entirely imperative to set yourself apart.
“The voyage of photography has allowed me to see things differently, appreciating the inner beauty and deeper meaning of the simplest of objects in the moment of pure existence. Through these experiences I’m able to escape all conditions and dive into a world of visionary significance and illumination.”
-D. R. HEGEDUS-
Designpill: What photographers are you influenced and inspired by?
Dustin: With a growing interest in photojournalism and aspirations to be involved in that particular field I would say James Natchey and our local photographer at Folio Weekly, Walter Coker, who has incredibly assisted me through my internship.
Designpill: What do you want the viewer to feel when they look at your work?
Dustin: If I can evoke the same curiosity and excitement that I felt to take a particular image than I feel like I’ve done my job. It’s incredibly interesting to receive feedback on your work, an image that you may feel is ordinary can be entirely meaningful to another.
Designpill: What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear paparazzi??
Dustin:You can pay for school but you can’t buy class.
Designpill: Do you take your camera with you everywhere you go?
Dustin: I surely try to, it’s the times when I don’t have it by side when I always seem to find intriguing shots. I’ll find myself haunted by these locations until I return to photograph them. A real sense of loss overcomes me when I miss out on certain opportunities.
Designpill: Totally Cliché but what kind of camera(s) do you use?
Dustin: Nikon D50, my first DSLR. I purchased this camera at a time when I felt that something was missing in my life. I had no idea the fulfillment it could bring.
Designpill: Would you say you have a “natural eye?”
Dustin: I believe everyone has awareness of what’s front of us. Wether its the day to day beauty or a story that can be told through photography. Unfortunately we’ve become too distracted within our lives to witness it. It’s the ability to step away from this that allows photographers to express themselves.
Designpill: Are you very critical of yourself?
Dustin: Absolutely, it’s a way to improve. When you’re immersed in a crowded field such as photography you need to be critical and constantly find a way to set yourself apart in your identity as a photographer.
“The opportunity to share my experiences through image is a gift beyond price that I could never take for granted and will continuously take pleasure in every moment. Like most circumstances I have no idea as to where this will take me but I would love nothing more than to live this life of art and adventure for some time to come.”
-D. R. HEGEDUS
Designpill: What’s your favorite thing to photograph?
Dustin: Boobs and my dog! just kidding, don’t put that, Diana! People, the most amazing story can be told through the photograph of a person or a group of people. When viewing a photo of a person I immediately want to know more about the individual, where they came from, who they are and countless other questions derive from this photo.
Designpill: In your opinion, what makes and amazing photo?
Dustin: It can be different for every viewer, the ability to find personal meaning within a photo is what allows it to be great. The photos that really grab you and bring you into look deeper into every complex detail to the capture of a single object can be amazing
Designpill: What advice would you give to an up and comer such as yourself?
Dustin: Move at a speed that you’re comfortable with and progress in this manner. With photography the instant results that we now achieve can give a sense of accomplishment without ever really knowing about the craft. It’s entirely important to be knowledgeable and have the ability to develop your own style and ideas.
Well folks, that’s about it. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to question the undoubtedly talented Dustin Hegedus. I seriously can’t wait to see the new art you will produce in what I’m sure will be a very promising career for you!!! Until then, I’ll continue to enjoy what you have already graciously shared with us. Thanks again, Dustin.
Check out more of Dustin’s amazing photography here!!!