The InFocus Interview Show with Corey Decker | Photofocus Podcast May 23, 2019
You're listening to the Infocus interview show brought to you by photo, focused dot com, an online publication filled with education and inspiration for visual. Storytellers. This episode is made possible by our partners, pink tap. Learn dot com and Skyla creators of luminaires. Now, here's your host, Bonelli. Hello. And welcome of Anneli in this info, separate sewed, I had a chance to interview. We tired army specialist Corey decker for a special edition of the Infocus interview show honoring our military Corey shares military experience and how photography as helped his PTSD now before begin. Let's take a moment think our partners. Think tap. Learn dot com. Think tap. Learn dot com is an online resource for creative education from top experts teaching real world learning unleash your creativity. At think tap. Learn dot com. Sky, lem creators of luminaires Lumina is the innovative photo editor you need to make perfect photos in less time now with the speed and performance you deserve to create incredible photos, much faster blue NAR, producing great for Taga fy differently. And huge Corey. Hey Horry, welcome. Hey glad to be here. Elly corry. You served in the military for that we all thank you. What branch of the military, did you serve him? I appreciate I actually served in the army that was the branch said, I was part of the military for. I was in the military for just shy four years in, then I was medically retired. That's what was job duties in the military. So my IMO s was an eighty eight Mike, which is just a truck driver that the usual truck driving. Correct. Right. Well, okay. So being eighty eight Mike, you've got a lot of different trucks, that you can't drive you can drive the eighteen wheelers drive, a lot of different trucks. My truck that I drove in Afghanistan was the lead drug. It was a TV, but it had a device attached to the front end called the mine roller and my whole job was to lead the convoy to wherever we're going. And hopefully if there's an ID that the RC P unit in front of us didn't find it would hit my truck in blow me up in not the rest of the convoy. Yeah. It was it was definitely one of those feelings where it wasn't. A oh I hope I don't get blown up. It's a well Wyndham. I gonna get blown up. Fortunately war is he'll part of human nature, and it's a shame. But again, there's people like you help defender countries. So for all that we think tremendously now you said, you retired. You're medically retired. What does that mean? So basically after my deployment, I just my body and my mind is it wasn't working the way it was supposed to, I guess, I've got a lot of different physical disabilities, but the job said, I had to perform I just wasn't able to perform those anymore. So they decided that. The looked me over medically and they decided that because of I was so much. Disabled day would retire me instead of just say, sorry you can't work your char now doing that. So you came back from Afghanistan and you realize PTSD on trolls typical day in the life for you. I a very irritable. So I would snap at a lot of things that before I could just workshop my shoulders, you know, so somebody getting onto me, or, you know, traffic for instance, traffic is a big problem that I have when I'm in traffic when it's heavy traffic. If I boxed in a very, I everybody's got a fighter flight, and when you think about it when you're driving in somebody cuts, you off, most of the time, you're just most people, I guess, are just will that sucks. You know, as where when I get cut off it really start thinking about all of the dangers of you, cutting me off, what could happen. What might happen in instead get very angry. And i've. I'm learning to control that. But it's a lot harder for me. So the military helped out because you found out that it'll pay for you to go back to school, right? Yes. So okay when I joined the military gave me the option to have my previous school paid for. So they've paid off all of my school wombs. So I didn't realize that I could actually go back to school, and the military pay for it as well while, that's awesome. And what did you choose to go back in for? So I chose to do photography. Prior to joining the military. I had gone to wild set to learn how to build custom cars. It was a lifelong during to own my own custom shop end in being medically retired. I can't work on cars. I can't build a car anymore. So my idea was to go to school for photography. To give me a reason to go to car shows to get back involved into the scene that I had grown up with in loved so much, all that's awesome. Now house time if he helped you. TST will win at first medically retired. I stayed at home kind of like a hermit crab for the first two years. And then once I started training a dog to be a service dog somebody. There said, hey, you should go back to school in kind of lead me through the process. And then once I picked up a camera, it's it just nothing else mattered. Once I looked through when I'm looking through the viewfinder all of the stress all of the anxiety, it all just seems to go way in. I'm just focused on whatever is in front of me. And it's also started to push me towards taking photos of people in interacting with people as where before I didn't even wanna do that. At in now you know, I love working with models. I really what I wanna do is to be able to do corporate, headshots and photographed cars as well. Let's great. I mean, I've had several shoots down from the average person nobody would ever notice that you have PTSD, nobody would ever notice that you had a hard time dealing with people because you're so personal on your phone loving. So you feel retire Affi helps you get back on track with that. Yeah. It really did. I used to party a lot. When I was younger in, I tried to be the life of the party, you know, just outgoing and having a great time in. So when I when I'm not around people it's not made in so with the tog repeat, it's really got me to be able to be that person again, there, sometimes where it's harder for me in all you'll notice your round me alike. Do real quiet in to myself in, that's because of just having. Hard time that day. But for the most part, yes or processing trying not to just blurt out something that I probably shouldn't. So having a filter. Exactly having filter. So aren't so now what's really neat about this? You're helping a lot of military vets out there. So military realize you have a chance to go back to school. So there's a lot of things military can do for vets. That, that what you found. Yes. Yes. So when I was in, in the paid for my school, they told me that I had to sign away my Montgomery GI Bill in. So I assumed that I wasn't able to do school after the military will. When I got back in, in. I don't know they might have changed since then, but I do know that even though that they paid off my school. And I signed away my Montgomery, GI Bill. I did not sign away. My post nine eleven GI Bill. So I was able to use my post nine eleven GI Bill to get back into school. And then there's also the not sure I wanna say one chapter thirty three the other chapter thirty five I believe, but the VA has a program called vote rehab, and it's it's difficult to get into it takes a lot more time. Time to get approved for then using your post nine eleven GI Bill, but you have more time to be able to use it in. They will VA will actually help pay for your school as well. So where did you how'd you find this information out when I was learning how to train my dog to be a service dog one of the people one of the spouses that was there. She actually worked with the school with the vet area at the school. And she told me about it in kinda brought me in showed me how to get onto benefits to start filling out the paperwork to be able to see if I was qualified awesome. Now, think about it, so that one person helped to is now helping thousands of people with this podcast 'cause she took the time. That's pretty awesome in. I'm sure that she would love to hear that. Thought. So let's go back to the photography. And that's what's happening now. So with enjoying him a lot of the stuff that we do. What do you feel? You've learned the most so far. Let's, let's talk about portrait's because you've been shooting quite a bit a portrait outdoor light or natural light. What have you what do you feel? You've learned. Well. To be honest. I've learned everything. When I first started photography. I. I didn't know anything about it. Two years ago was the first time I've picked up a camera outside of like appoint shoe in not, you know, doing anything except for getting snapshots. So I've learned a lot of how to balance ambient light will yet outta balanced natural light with artificial light, or strove, and then how to pose models how to get expression out of their faces instead of just being, you know, a, a blank canvas great. Now with that being said, I critique you quite a bit only because you asked me to. So you always like you always Lund yet. What I have to say. Be honest. Let's, let's rephrase. Do you like your do you? Do I like hearing it? Yes. I'd like to do. I enjoy, do I enjoy what you have to say. Not all the time, but it's I I'm a firm believer that you can't get better. If you don't know what you're doing wrong. If you notice Corey of you're, you're one of the few, of course, Richey has brother. There's a handful of photographers Melbourne in our home that are home to the Melbourne. No. That I work with your open to critique open to learning. So I have no problem sharing with you. And you know it's coming from the right position. I would never say my got your terrible. I've always said to you. How do you want to be? How do you want me to do? You want to be critiqued as beginner novice intermediate or Vance or as a paid for talk over. And when you show you how would this look, if I were events for tougher in that, that's how I would critique to work, and you've come such a long way short time so that, that part an incredible. Yeah. Well, okay. So the thing is, is there. A lot of people out there that they take their critique in, they look at it in a real negative manner. And I'm not sure why. But I know that the when I look at it is, I want to have a goal in my goal is to be the very best, the Taga for that, I can be I want to be able to make enough money at the talker fee. At some point that my family doesn't have to worry about bills. My wife doesn't have to work. She can stay home to kids, and I can do something that is really helping me in multiple different ways. It's helping me mentally in. It'll be helping me at that point hopefully financially. So getting the, the constructive criticism being told what I'm doing wrong the way that I see is, it's only gonna help better me if I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I can't fix it. So. So if I continued to voter grab somebody in the wrong way, then it's just going to be continuously making the same mistake and not making an image that people are going to be like, oh, wow. I want that guy to photograph of me. And so when I hear what I'm doing wrong, I can think about it on the next session, I can work to make that image. That much better. Awesome seeing a lot to do with your. A military background and it takes a certain type of person to actually joined the military. So once you join the military, I think the military help chew with that discipline to saying, look you know what it's not the performance of performer. That's bad is to performance. So the former is you that's always good the performance or the action of what you did that, that could use improvement. And I think with you, personally and the only reason why do give you the critiques is because I know that eight you learn from it, and be willing to share that with others. And I've watched you looking lot of the different Facebook groups. Somebody will be your comment about off camera flash. And, you know, the person is totally wrong was another person giving advice is totally wrong. I like how you will not criticize them or call them out and say, hey, you're wrong. But instead, well, here's a different way of doing it, you know, try this and. Then again that, that shows of us growth. Here's a person with PTSD who people could write off and say, oh, my God. How can this guy be back with society in doing functional things? Well here you are here. You're, you're proving those people wrong, and that's why I continue to work with people like yourself and people in the community that want to learn at develop their skills, you know properly. So which tiger for inspires you the most. Tim wallis. I've been main. I've been obsessed with him lately. He does just savannah, nominal ward. He looks at the detail he let the way he likes these cars. It's just it's incredible. Let's talk about software. You did a lot of portrait retouching. So what was one of the piece of software that you use for your portrait retouching for my portrait retouching I start off in light room. That's what I learned when I was in school in so is kinda what you start learning with you just kinda keep with. But what has helped me the most is I've been using perfectly clear it, it's taken my. Editing retouching to a whole new level. And it's it's cut it my work in out manned, three quarters. I used to spend. Ten to twenty minutes on one Votto in now. I can get in there. I can knock out the photo in it takes more time. Uploading in that than doing the actual edits. It's it's phenomenal. Several times, people say, oh, my God, I'm going to have to spend nineteen hours, editing all these photos and you've always heard me cringe when people say that I never understood, you would say, oh, it shouldn't take you, but a minute to do something, I'm thinking to my head. What are you talking about crazy? I'm taking thirty minutes on one picture. So I got the skin softening down. So what's the next piece of software you wanna learn? So I'm really curious of the watching a lot in seeing a lot done with the luminaires stuff. So I wanna learn that feel like that could really help out a watch. You do some things with that are just amazing. So I'd like to start playing with that. Maybe see what I can. Make my images. Look like using the luminaries. Well, now one of the articles, I wrote for Scott Kelly was a photographer, a graph of retouching or graphic artists. Now you of powder for touch graphic artists and that came about. Because there was that one gentleman in a group who photographed a pitcher, the bride near a playground and behind your was ugly jungle gym. And, and the gentleman was looking for praise. He wanted to tell people look how good I am at Photoshop, I remove the jungle gym behind the bride. And all I said to him was are you a photographer? Retouching Beth artists, and his response was you'll maybe I'm all three. I'm like beyond saying, I can sing I can act and I was like, what the heck so that's what inspired me to wait. That article was which. Ever be all three. But whichever one you are that one of that moment. So you as a photographer, would you ever photograph a bottle or a bride standing in front of a jungle gym? If the judge had nothing to do with the bride. Would you ever do that? No. So. Maybe if there was nothing else, like, but even then even then you can move them away from the jungle gym, put them on a flat wall. You make it so much easier. Two than to do in front of the jungle gym. But I'll Tim Wallace says it the best. He says, I can spend the time editing or I can spend a couple minutes, making sure that everything's perfect before I take the photo, and I'm a photographer, I want to understand. I wanna know a little about editing in. Manipulating some stuff. But at the end of the day, I would much rather get it right. And camera and do very little editing than to be spending thirty forty five minutes hours behind the screen or monitor editing something that could've taken me two seconds to just get right in camera see, so you enter the question you are tougher. I retouched or second. And then for the graphic arts. That's the movie posters, or the different trying to remove a huge tree out of out of the scene on that. That's when we become Rafic artists to where you start having to repair the image. So, so you definitely on the right track. I appreciate that trying. What are your remaining goals for twenty nineteen two thousand nineteen? I want to a really want to start doing more automotive. Togr Affi, and I need to really start learning how to market, what I started to find out is it doesn't matter how good of photographer, I am. I can have some amazing images. But if I can't find a way to market to people, I'm not gonna get clients. I'm gonna continue to be doing stuff for free. So I gotta learn how to market also. Well, hey Corey, thank you so much for your time. And most importantly, thank you so much for serving in our military. Thank you. You're listening to the info, Casse interview show. If you like these interviews, be sure to subscribe to our weekly photo focus podcast on photo, focus dot com. Thank you for joining us.