Dre Eastwood was blessed with a God given talent that most would hope to achieve with a college degree in photography. Self taught and creatively in his own lane Dre Eastwood captures images that are simple and classy.
Offthemag.com: Can you give us some background information about yourself?
Dre Eastwood: Dre Eastwood. I’m from North Carolina.
Offthemag.com: Do you have any major influences in your life that helped define who you are?
Dre Eastwood: My parents of course. They are the ones who raised me to be the man I am. My older cousin Luca. He keeps me on my toes man. We used to battle each other all the time just to make each other better photographers. Whenever I see some new photos from him I’m like “OK, time for me to step my game up.”
Offthemag.com: Did you go to school to study photography?
Dre Eastwood: Nope. I learned on my own basically. My father is a photographer so he always had cameras around the house. I remember when I was in high school when my dad would go to work he would leave his cameras at home. I would take them and mess around with them. I think he found out somebody was using his stuff because he stopped leaving it home. After that, I knew it was time for me to get my own camera.
Offthemag.com: You are pretty creative and unique with the camera. When did you realize you had an eye for photography?
Dre Eastwood: When I started taking my dad’s camera. After I did that I started seeing the world through camera lenses. Everything looked like a picture to me. After high school, I bought my first camera. I bought a Nikon D40 which was around $500 then. I used my own money. I figure if you gonna spend that amount of money on something you better know how to use it. I’m not saying you gotta be a pro or nothing like that but you gotta at least know some basics before you drop some money on a camera. I know I’m getting a little off topic but I think that’s a real problem these days. People go out and buy these expensive cameras and automatically think they are photographers. No sir. It doesn’t work like that. You got to have the eye and passion for it. You can’t buy or be taught that. That’s something natural within you. If you don’t have that then you don’t have nothing.
Offthemag.com: Describe your style of photography?
Dre Eastwood: I think my style of photography reflects me as a person. Its pretty simple but has a certain level of class and realness. I try to make my pictures look as natural as possible. I don’t like to overdue things with editing or nothing like that. I don’t like when pictures are staged. I hate models. When I do a photo shoot, the people in the pictures don’t know when I’m taking the picture. I like to have conversation with them and take shots in between us talking. That way I can get natural shots instead of having them bend their neck in some weird direction trying to pose. I hate that man.
Offthemag.com: What is your process from start to the final image? (camera/lense, software, etc.)
Dre Eastwood: I use a Nikon D5000 and my 50mm lens mostly. I use Lightroom 3 and Gimp to edit. Nothing special. “Roll That Shit, Light That Shit, Smoke It” as Luca would say.
Offthemag.com: I mentioned to you once before that I was a fan of your work and your work gets my creative juices flowing. What gives you ideas and inspires you to create such great images?
Dre Eastwood: Just whatever is going on around me. Simple as that.
Offthemag.com: What are your favorite subjects to shoot (nature, portraits,fashion, etc.)?
Dre Eastwood: People for sure. If you get the right picture of somebody you can tell that person’s story. You can see the emotion on people’s faces. The joy in a smile, pain in their eyes, or the struggle in their hands.
Offthemag.com: If you could take photos of anybody, any place, or anything, what would it be?
Dre Eastwood: I would love to be Spike Lee’s personal photographer. That would be the greatest to me man. I love Spike’s work. He surrounds himself with great actors and actresses. I would just love to sit around all those great people and just listen and learn from them.
Offthemag.com: What kind of impression do you hope to leave upon other’s who see your photos?
Dre Eastwood: I want people to actually feel something when they see my work. I don’t really want them to just say “oh, that’s a cool picture.” I want people to feel like they can relate to my photos.
Offthemag.com: What are your future goals for your photography?
Dre Eastwood: Just keep doing what I’ve been doing. Try my best to put out quality work that people can love and appreciate. I don’t plan on making a career out of photography. I don’t like to mix business with photography. That takes the fun out of it for me. That’s when it becomes work instead of, as Luca would say, just “Snappin’ N’ Trappin.”
Offthemag.com: Do you have a website that people can check out your work on?
Dre Eastwood: www.DreEastwood.com.