EWW: I am curious to know if someone was asked to make a comment about your work, what do you think they would say?
Tony: They might say the abstracts are unusual and unexpected. The vintage images are kitschy and unique, a blend of pop art and art deco.
EWW: How did you get started as a photographer?
Tony: As a child, my mother gave me a Brownie film camera and I remember her advising me to get closer to the people and subjects I photographed. I had two wonderful uncles who loved to argue and compete against each other regarding who had the best “glass” lens and best camera. As I recall, their photos were mainly of family members. One of them gave me a Ricoh Diacord TLR 120mm film camera that I used for fun during my college years and another uncle gave me a Canon FTb 35mm film camera I used mainly for to photograph my family. Today I switch between my Canon 7D and Canon Elph 350 HS, depending on the size of the lens, camera weight, and the availability of quick shots from my vehicle.
EWW: Your new series is “Shades of Gray.” What does your new series achieve that color would not? How do you choose whether an image should be black and white or color?
Tony: For me, the various shades of gray depict mystery and contrast. The viewer is left to determine the subject and meaning of the image in his or her own mind. The gradient of each layer and levels of contrast helps to determine whether a photo should be processed in color or black and white.
EWW: Excluding subject matter, are there themes that consistently run from one work to the other such as colors, perspective, lighting, movement, style, etc.?
Tony: I enjoy using the soft focus “Polaroid” effect in processing some of my images. It’s a special digital effect that I use depending on light and color. One theme might be considered vintage, retro, or digitally processing the image in at least two colors that I call contemporary American Cultural Pop. My work certainly reflects a certain amount of nostalgia-based upon childhood and child-like memories, with an emotional connection to images from the past.
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EWW: Do you think it is important for photographic artists to have their own website, in addition to another gallery they appear on?
Tony: Yes. I have found that a personal website can be used to quickly display new images and different portfolios, depending on audience interests and photographer “projects” in a larger format. It is also a place where copyright of images can be confirmed and gives the audience a more intimate relationship with the photographer and their work.
EWW: What do you see, or have experienced, as the most effective way for you to market and promote you and your work?
Tony: Grider Images Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest online, and at local showings and contests where buyers can view my photographs up close and where there is the opportunity to interact face to face between the audience and photographer.
EWW: Do you use social media platforms to market and promote your work? If you do use social media platform seems, which one(s) work the best for you?
Tony: I would say that Instagram and Pinterest are two of the best platforms for photographers who have the goal of “being everywhere at once”.
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EWW: Just to wrap up this interview, do you have any final thoughts about you and your work that you think would be important for others to know about?
Tony: I plan to continue my exploration of finding and capturing unique images that transport the viewer to another place and time. I have different images to fill the needs of the home decorator, private collector or the needs of the art consultant working for business and corporate clients. Anyone with a smartphone can be a photographer today. This only serves to a motivation for me to seek out and capture unique and rare images that connect to the viewer where ever they might be.