This week we interviewed our photography superstar - Ramon Mercer
Tell me about yourself
I was born and raised in New Jersey and currently reside there but something about New York City has my heart, be it the people, atmosphere or that fact that there is always something to do the hardest part is choosing. After graduating William Paterson University I bought a camera wanting to work on film projects and largely expand my video editing skills. Eventually I completely shifted to photography and now currently work as a product photographer but on my off days I am always working on portraits, proposals, family, and even event photography.
What made you want to start photography?
I have a close friend, Xavier, that would always travel and hike to many different scenic locations that I wouldn't have thought were in NJ. He would share his photos of these beautiful landscapes and this eventually made me shift from using my camera for film to focus more on photography. This would eventually lead me to expand to shoot portraits and from there I fell in love with meeting such a vast demographic of people I would have never met if I didn’t become a photographer.
How did you find out about TGS?
Well, in late 2017 I had many difficulties at first finding people to photograph and booking clients and I didn’t know where to go from there. I found TGS through Eventbrite searching for different photography events to attend. I stumbled upon a Brooklyn TGS meet-up in February and just took a shot in the dark, as I have never heard of TGS before or attended any type of meet-up. It was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Why did you join TGS?
I eventually joined TGS because of the core values of the company, how welcoming all the members are and of course Alex herself because of how responsive she is to questions and with giving advice. Also because I want others to have the experience and opportunity I had to have an easily accessible creative space with many different members of TGS. I felt like it was something that I wanted to be a part of and continue working and building our community in the East Coast.
Where do you get your inspo?
A lot of my inspiration comes from remembering specific lighting and scenes in movies, not to directly copy it per se but to understand why the director chose it and how to implement that in my work. A second form of inspiration is just checking out different IG hashtags and surprisingly walking past Forever 21 and checking out the posters they have hanging in the store.
Fave aesthetic, look or theme when shooting?
One of my favorite things to do for shoots is having the models look directly into the lens. When I look at a photo I feel like the connection is stronger when we’re looking directly into the eyes of the subject. Also dividing the frame with natural geometric shapes and/or with shadows and light. I feel this adds a different depth to the image and makes it a lot more interesting
Do you have other creative friends you like to meetup with and brainstorm?
I do! I usually write down my ideas in my phone and then bounce them off of different people to get a variety of responses. I do have a friend that is a writer/author that usually sends me back bigger more elaborate concepts from my ideas. It's always important to have friends that aren't specifically photographers to get a different perspective on your concepts.
Most interesting story revolving around modeling/photography
One time me and a friend went out in blistering below zero weather on a hiking trail to get some cool shots of a waterfall. Our cameras and phones would not function because of the cold we haven’t reached the waterfall yet. On the way back we were racing the sunset and hoping not to get stuck in the middle of the woods in the dark. We eventually made it out as it turned completely dark outside and saw 2 other people walking INTO the woods lol.
Random Stuff about you
I love Ramen and Pizza. People always ask if my name is pronounced Ramone or Raymond, never gets old. I’m a 10 minute bus ride from Manhattan. Video games. Meeting new people. Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica.