Frank Baez: I'm extremely ambitious, focused, and determined.
Accessory Designer/Wardrobe Stylist/Creative Director/Hair Stylist/Retoucher/Photographer: Frank Baez @frankiethedirector Model: Nathalie Gomez @natgnaty Wardrobe Stylist: Taylor Gonzalez @ohayitstay
When did your passion for photography start and what were the main milestones that turned you into the artist you currently are?
My passion for photography started when I was about 12 years. I remember I had a Sony point-and-shoot camera and I would take pictures of the most inanimate things, however, I did not truly start photography until just over a year ago. Luckily, I've always been creative and that alone has helped me become the photographer I am today.
We admire the exquisite level of detail in all your works. Does your creative process start from a certain image in your mind, or do you seek inspiration as you progress?
My creative process starts literally from anything. I've gathered inspiration from music, personal experiences, other photographers, etc. I try to mostly surround myself with other creatives and I made that decision specifically to remain inspired by others.
How would you describe yourself to people that don't know you?
I think I have a very type-A personality. I'm extremely ambitious, focused, and determined. Many say I'm a workaholic.
What are the key ingredients for a striking image?
I think the key is to have a team that operates on the same wavelength.
How long does it take to create one of these wonderful works?
The time always varies and depends heavily on the amount of complexity each concept requires. I've handled shoots from one day to the next and I've also handled shoots that take weeks to prepare. For example, with this shoot specifically, my assistant Tay and I, handpicked the outfit for the model. We also realized that we needed to cut up wooden boards to place under the backdrop so that the model heel doesn't poke holes through it. Lastly, I had to do the model's hair. All in all, it took about 1 week for this shoot.
Has your vision and style evolved or changed over time?
Absolutely! What I know now does not compare to what I knew before, subsequently, the same ideology can be said about my style or vision. There were many times that although I knew how I wanted the image to look, I simply did not know how to shoot it. Ironically enough, these were the times that I would force myself out of my comfort zone, and doing so has lead me to evolve my creativity.
Could you share how you expand your vision of art, as a photographer?
I think expanding someone's art goes hand in hand with one's way of thinking and perceiving the world. Personally, I like to expand my vision by educating myself with different types of people from all social-economic backgrounds. This, alongside my own personal life experiences, allows me to constantly expand my vision of art.
What do you think is the hardest thing in your life you've ever had to overcome?
I think the hardest part, by far, has to be accepting who I was and who I wanted to be and how I will get there. Like everyone else, I've been faced with many difficult life choices over time. Not all choices made have been easy, however, my life goal has and will continue to be to always be the best version of myself.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and what are your hopes/dreams for the future?
My highlight has to be the first time my work was ever published. Even though I knew I was just getting started, it was a very humbling experience knowing that my work was not only being recognized but was also good enough for publication. My dream is to one day have the honor and opportunity to work for a major fashion magazine or fashion house as a creative director and or photographer. A boy can only dream...
Where can our readers keep up with your work and get connected with you?
Sure! My Instagram handle Is @frankiethedirector and my website is frankiethedirector.com