Today we’d like to introduce you to Trevor McGoldrick.
Trevor, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’m 25 years old. I spent a lot of my early childhood in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, but most of my youth was spent growing up in a rural foothills town; King, North Carolina. I grew up heavily invested in skateboarding and skate culture, which is how I actually ended up in Photography.
In 2008, A friend and I were skating in nearby city Winston-Salem, NC, and a girl named Tori approached us and asked if she could take photos of us. We said yes, and later we exchanged myspace information and she sent us the photos later that evening. I saw them and thought “hey, this is really cool, I should get a camera and take photos of me and my friends skating”. And that’s how my journey with photography started. It was a pretty leisurely hobby until I found a niche I wanted to invest my time in artistically about 3 years ago, but it wasn’t until I’d say summer 2016 that I decided to take it more seriously and develop as an actual artist vs. taking snapshots.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
These days, I’ve become pretty heavily invested in nature, landscape, and travel photography. I also do photography for a couple of touring musicians and hit the road with them, but 95% of my focus is nature/travel/landscapes. I think I started gravitating towards nature because I had a really rough time with life the past few years. I never fit in or belonged in the town I grew up in, I had a really rough personal life, rough everything honestly. My escape was being able to go out into the handful of state parks that were in my area and just be out in nature away from everything. Every time something was too much to handle at the moment, I just hopped in my car and went out to a nearby mountain or waterfall or something and would just sit in the quiet peace and reflect. I started losing all interest in photographing anything else, I just wanted to take photos of what my eyes were seeing when I was out in one of these reflective episodes.
I want to capture the things people don’t get to see often, I want to capture moments in nature that always gave me that solitude back in the day. I want to capture the moments that made me detach from my normal human life for a second; the moments that helped me appreciate the fact that there is still beauty around you, regardless of what’s happening to you at the moment.
I hope people can take away the same feeling from my photos. I also want people to see the beautiful things the earth has to offer, in hopes they realize how important it is that we protect the environment and our planet. I want people to see the things that could very well go away if we as the whole human race keep going down the path of destruction that we’ve been on for a while now. I want our future generations to be able to go outside and see the same things that helped me, the same things that I’ve seen. I want my photos to inspire people to go out and see these things for themselves, and in the process, hopefully realize not only how important environmental protection is, but how important it is that we as humans don’t get too wrapped up in the toxic cycle of modern human life. I think it’s important to disconnect from civilization.
Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
Be honest, and genuine. Don’t follow trends, or copycat other artists for a few quick likes. Influences are important, you need to draw influence from people, but you also need to develop your own style and a genuine understanding of how and why certain elements work. It does not matter what gear you have, if you do not have a genuine, real comprehension of the concept of composition and identifying dynamic light, you will not get the results you are looking for. In the words of Ansel Adams, “There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept”. You can apply that to any form of art, really.
A lesson I wish I learned earlier is to not let the work of others discourage you. Like when you get on Instagram and see this giant pool of nothing but amazing photos. For every 1 photo you see a photographer post, they took 50 that didn’t make the cut. There are a ton of really amazing and talented artists on social media, but remember that you’re only seeing their top tier if that makes sense. Not only did those photographers have to snap tens of thousands of photos and compositions to reach the point they are now, but they’re not posting anything but the 1-5% that are keepers to their social media. I used to get really self-conscious about my work, until I made that realization. You’re going to take bad photos, and good photos that just aren’t extravagant, it’s part of the process. Just relax and enjoy the process, it’ll make the reward of getting that keeper that much better. To quote Ansel Adams again, “Twelve significant photographs in one year is a good crop”.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My Instagram profile is where I post the most. I also have a little online print shop.