interview interview advent

Interview Advent Day 22 : Adam Bartoshesky

12/22/2017Jake Ryan

You may know Adam Bartoshesky better as Captain Barto. Adam is an incredible photographer who uses anything from high end DSLR cameras to $12 thrift store finds to capture the moment. 

I recently asked Adam a few questions about his photography and life...see what he had to say. 

First of all, tell us a little about yourself.
My names Adam Bartoshesky. Somewhere along the way I picked up the nickname Captain Barto. I’m 25, was born and raised on the eastern shore of Maryland, transferred around colleges from Rhode Island to Maryland, and finished in Jacksonville, Florida. Shortly after finishing college with a marketing degree I made the move to California. My original plan was to live in Orange County and do marketing for a surf company. However, I was crashing with a friend in Los Angeles during the job search process.. I had a passion for photography and was using it to stay busy and meet new people in California - I hardly knew anyone when I moved. Long story, short- I volunteered my time for free to assist a friend on a photoshoot, ended up getting hired by the model on the shoot as her personal assistant, and never left Los Angeles. I then spent my first year splitting time between working for that model (Rocky Barnes)- shooting her, running her blog, and an array of other things, as well as managing the social media and content creation for BYRD Hairdo Products. Basically my life involved social media and creating content for it. I did that for a little over a year before transitioning my focus to developing my personal brand. I now spend most of my time creating social media content in collaboration with a variety of fashion and lifestyle brands to promote on my personal social media.

I enjoy your motto ‘Do Cool Things, Take Cool Photos’ and I must say you always seem to be doing cool things and you take pretty cool photos, did you study photography?
Thanks man! It’s kinda funny, people always ask me what I do and I never know what to say because I do so many things and want to continue to learn and do more things. Most of the things I do involve a camera so I was just like i guess I try to always do fun things and take pictures along the way. I never studied photography. I was an art major for one semester in between my 5 or so different major changes, but ended up going the business route for schooling. I picked up a camera when I graduated high school to document a bunch of surf trips I was going on and I got hooked. Ever since that first trip I haven't been able to put a camera down and have continued challenging and progressing with my photography ever since, and learning along the way.

You recently said that your favourite camera you own is a Minolta camera you picked up for $12 from a thrift store, what other camera/s do you shoot with?
Yea! I bought that thing from a Goodwill in Jacksonville Beach, Florida while in college. I bought it because it was cheap and would look cool on the shelf in my room- for all I knew it didn't even work. It sat on my shelf for a while before I decided to test out a roll of film in it. When that first roll came back I was pleasantly surprised that it was fully functional and provided me with  some of my favorite photos I have ever taken.

I have a ton of cameras - both working and non-working, but these are my main squeezes:
Canon 5D mark 3 (mainly for client work, travel and fashion photography)
Canon G7x (vlog camera and on-the-go quick photos)
Canon Rebel t2i (my first DSLR camera and now my back up camera)
Olympus Stylus Epic DLX (my workhorse point and shoot 35mm film camera)
Minolta Hi-Matic 2 (favorite film camera because it takes awesome photos and looks rad)
I often shoot with disposable cameras

How important do you think the equipment is in getting the ‘perfect’ photo?
My favorite photographs are the ones that are lifestyle, unposed, and in the moment. The moments that you can’t recreate. You are in the right place at the right time and shoot from the right angle. My favorite photographs are shot on film on cheap point and shoot cameras. To get my perfect photo, equipment is secondhand to capturing the right moment. Some of my most memorable photos were on $12 disposable cameras from the corner store.

How much time goes into planning your shots?
I  take certain steps to set myself up for good moments/photographs, such as scouting good locations, using good talent, and putting together cool styling, but once I get to the location most of the shots just happen along the way. Sometimes I will get these distinct ideas in my head that I am driven to make happen and they take more planning, but most of my shots are on the fly.

Has social media changed your photography style at all?
I think everyone who is active on social media finds themselves in moments where they get caught up in everything they are seeing and let it influence their photography for better or worse. The key is to take the things you are seeing to better yourself as a photographer without trying to replicate something you see and straying from what makes you unique. I have seen some of my digital photography be influenced by social media- I think because it it has to do more with creating clients visions. I don’t think my personal photography has changed at all - I still find myself looking for and shooting those same moments that got me hooked on photography in the first place.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to get into photography? 
Don’t force it, make sure it is out of passion. I picked up a camera naturally out of my desire to document all of the cool things I was seeing while traveling the world surfing and it has grown into something so much more. The best part is all of the challenges and things you learn along the way that develop into who you are a photographer. Take risks, set up shoots out of your comfort zone, and find out what really gets you going. I think the same principle can be applied to anything you do in life.

Anyone who finds themselves on your Instagram page will see you enjoy an adventure, how often are you travelling?
It’s hard to keep track these days! This past year has been so amazing. I am hardly home for more than two weeks at a time- so I guess it is kinda hard to say I live in Los Angeles.

What has been your favourite place you’ve travelled to so far?
That is another hard question. I love so many different places for different reasons, but when thinking about it just now, Peru is the first place that popped into my mind. That is the first trip I went on with my own camera and where I fell in love with photography.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Some things may not be appropriate for this interview… hahahha. But I will go with this one- when I first moved to California I spent all of the money I had at the time to book a trip to Greece to go to a wedding with a girl I had known for 10 minutes (her sister's wedding). I was trying to push my photography hard at the time and the girl was a model so I saw this random (and probably unintended trip invite from her) as an opportunity to build my portfolio. I literally flipped a coin to decide whether or not to buy the ticket, and we all know how that ended. Let’s just say that going on the trip was a good call- I got some of my favorite photos I will probably ever take in my life.

When you’re travelling as often as you’re, do you still have a big bucket list? Or have you done most of the stuff you want to do now?
I think my bucket list is getting bigger! The more I travel and the more I see, the more things I realize I need to learn and do!

Where do you find your inspiration? 
From traveling, seeing new things and meeting new people. Talking and telling stories with people. Going outside of your comfort zone and learning new things.

And finally, what are your future goals? 
My goal is to begin focusing on creating tangible things like products, art shows, printed works- things you can touch and see in person. So much of my last 3 years have been focused around digital content creation, which is awesome, but after a while it gets hard for that type of work to maintain meaning for me. I have always loved design and fashion. I am currently working on a capsule collection with a clothing company which will launch in February. I also have several other ideas I want to bring into fruition.

Thanks Adam for taking the time to speak to TravelFoodFilm

Make sure you follow Adams work 

All photos in this post belong to Adam. 

Did you miss Day 21? Catch up here - A on the Road

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  1. Woah!!! this guy is a big inspiration of mine. thanks for the interview.m X


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