interview Photography

An Interview With Danté Vincent

1/16/2017Jake Ryan

While recently planning my upcoming trip to New York I started looking to Instagram for ideas, ideas on where to visit, where to eat and where to take the coolest photos from. That’s when I found Danté Vincent’s account (See it HERE)

Danté takes incredible photos of the city (among other wonderful destinations) so I put a few questions to Danté about his photography and his recent travels. 

See what he had to see and be inspired

First of all, tell us a little bit about yourself. 
Hi, nice to ‘meet’ you! I’m Danté and was born in Brooklyn, raised in Upstate NY (2 hours north of NYC) and now live in Queens and work in Midtown Manhattan. While my Monday through Friday’s consist of working in digital marketing for one of the world’s biggest PR firms, my real passion is traveling and photography. 

After looking through your Instagram account and your website, it’s clear you’re a very talented photographer. Did you study photography or teach yourself?
That means a lot to me, thanks for the huge compliment. Even though I’ve been a huge admirer of great photographers and videographers all my life, I only got serious about photography roughly three years ago and I never took any formal classes. One Christmas my father bought me a Sony NEX7 and I haven’t put a camera down since. I taught myself how to shoot by watching lots of online videos, tutorials and by going out every weekend exploring NYC and shooting by trial and error. Having a girlfriend who is a very talented photographer herself helps a bit too. 

What equipment do you use to shoot with?
Since my first intro into serious photography was through the Sony NEX7, I’ve stayed with the SONY brand and i’m hugely loyal to them. Currently I use:
Sony A7ii and my every day lens is the 24-70mm GM 2,8 although I do also have the prime 35mm 2,8, 55mm 1,8 and 90mm 2,8 lenses. 
I also have the DJI Phantom 4 Professional+ drone and for video I use the DJI Osmo+.

Everyone of your images is so clean, do you spend a lot of time editing them? And what do you use to edit?
It’s fair to say that every photographer will tell you that post-production and editing is as important as the shot itself, which is absolutely true. My philosophy though is that I like to take photos that don’t require much post-production afterwards. I never use Photoshop but Lightroom is crucial to really bring out the details and for any color correction (it’s also important to always shoot in RAW format). But 99% of the photos that I post on my Instagram feed are edited on my iPhone 7 Plus and I use a combination of VSCO, Snapseed and Lightroom Mobile. I’ve been using VSCO since they first came out and I absolutely love their filters and editing tools.

What is your favourite thing to photograph?
My girlfriend says that I’ve got a really good eye for architecture, which funny because I find to be incredibly challenging but a rewarding thing to shoot especially when you nail it. I especially love buildings and structures that have incredible architecture - Frank Gehry designed buildings are one of my all time favorites. 
I also love shooting landscapes and cityscapes. I love capturing the mood and essence of a place so that when someone looks at my photo they get the same feeling that I did when I took the shot. 

Where do you find your inspiration? 
By far the biggest source of inspiration is online - through online magazines, social media networks like Instagram, etc. There are so many incredible talented photographers and videographers out there it’s hard not to get inspired by seeing all of the amazing content everyone is posting on social media these days! As a kid I would daydream over the incredible far-off places I read inside National Geographic, and still love reading that magazine as a source of inspiration for my next travels. 

What advice do you have for someone hoping to get into photography? 
That’s a good question. I would start off by saying that the best camera is the one that you always have with you. You don’t need an expensive piece of equipment to start photographing and documenting your life, your travels or whatever interests you. If you’re just starting out I’d say that your mobile device is a great entry way into photography, especially now that the cameras have massively improved over the past few years. Learning the basics of photography on your mobile phone or a point & shoot is a great stepping stone to eventually shooting manual with a DSLR or mirrorless camera, such as the SONY that I shoot with. 

I see you’ve done some traveling, what has been the most exciting place you have travelled to?
Although there’s not much travel involved for my full time job, I’ve been fortunate enough to travel a lot more during my personal time off since my girlfriend Kirsten Alana is a travel photographer and social media influencer. As the great quote goes, “I haven’t been everywhere yet, but it’s on my list”. It’s hard to say exactly THE most exciting place i’ve been to, but I would have to say the two most exciting to date have been Cuba and Hawaii. We booked a photography workshop in Cuba right before the US lifted the travel restrictions for Americans and it was an awesome experience - we both can’t wait to go back. We went to Kauai and Maui in Hawaii in 2016 and just in terms of pure natural beauty of the landscape, you can’t beat it. Getting to swim with giant sea turtles isn’t bad either!    

If you could jump on a plane and go anywhere right now, where would you go?
My favorite type of question - it seems i’m always daydreaming about where I want to go to next. There are so many options I always find it difficult to narrow down one single place to go to. But if I had to choose it would probably be New Zealand, Morocco, or South Africa. 

What else makes you happy?
My biggest source of happiness is travel, preferably with my girlfriend and travel partner Kirsten. Travel can be a stressful experience so it helps when you do it with someone you get along with so well and has the same positive attitude and interests. Aside from travel, what makes me happy is spending time with my father. As he’s getting older it’s important for me to spend as much time as I can with him as he’s the only family that I have and he’s been really supportive of me to follow my passion of becoming a photographer and videographer. Listening to music also makes me tremendously happy, i’m always in search of a great song with upbeat music to include in a video that I’d edit together. 

And finally, what do you have planned for the future?
Preferably traveling. A lot. We have a trip planned for Hawaii (Oahu, Maui and Lanai) in January, Palm Springs in April for Coachella and possibly two other trips in 2017 to Scotland and Morocco. The beautiful thing about life is that you never quite know what might come your way. 

Aside from travel, I hope to continue to grow as a photographer and continue to teach myself video editing software like After Effects and Premiere Pro. I really aspire to put together videos and share them online to inspire others to travel and do the same. Eventually turning that into a full time career would be absolutely amazing. 

Thanks Danté for taking the time to speak to TravelFoodFilm. 

Follow Danté on Instagram here - Danté Vincent 

And be sure to check out his website here for more of his work. 

All photos in this post belong to Danté

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