Contributor: Max Depatie
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Shotzr Handle: @maxsposure
Instagram Handle: @maxsposure
Q&A with Shotzr Contributor Max Depatie
Shotzr: Tell us a little about yourself!
Max: My name is Max Depatie, I’m 19 years old, and living in Chicago. I’m originally from San Francisco but I moved to Chicago in 2017 for college. I’ve really enjoyed my transition from SF to Chi. It feels like home since my parents are originally from the midwest and we used to fly into O’Hare and sometimes stay in Chicago before making our way to Michigan.
Shotzr: How did you get your start in photography?
Max: I found my interest for photography rather recently. It was really in 2013-2014 when I started to pick it up. After my family and I moved to San Francisco for high school (living 45min south before), I had noticed an old DSLR camera laying around after being unpacked from the move in. I had never I decided to give it a try and experiment with the camera since the city is so beautiful. After I picked up my camera and saw what it could do and what I could capture and where it could take me, I couldn’t put it down…
Shotzr: How would you describe your style of photography?
Max: I would like to describe my photography as travel photography because travel is not confined only to exploring different countries. Going on adventures in my own backyard, whether that be SF or Chi, is travel – striving to find new places and perspectives in order to gain new experiences. I try and look at the places and things I see on a daily basis in different perspectives – it really makes mundane life more interesting and refreshing.
Shotzr: What areas of photography are you currently focusing your growth?
Max: When comparing San Francisco to Chicago, Chicago is most definitely more of an urban jungle. Having the redwood forests and views from Marin, coupled with the relatively small downtown area is a perfect mix of urban and nature. So out here in Chicago, it’s a bit different. It really is more of an urban jungle which has allowed me to focus on improving my skills with city and street photography.
Shotzr: Tell us about your experience so far being a Sponsored Contributor for Shotzr.
Max: I have only been a Sponsored Contributor for Shotzr for almost two weeks now (as of writing this), but I have enjoyed the experience thus far. As a contributor, the communication between me and the team at Shotzr has been phenomenal. I have always enjoyed different platforms to share my photos, but none have come close to making me feel like they care as much as Shotzr has. It makes you feel valued and recognized not only as an artist but also on a professional level.
Shotzr: You have a wonderful collection from both San Francisco and Chicago. Does the city you are shooting in affect your style as a photographer?
Max: My location, especially when comparing San Francisco and Chicago, affects how my style presents itself. As stated earlier, Chicago is much more of an urban complex than San Francisco is. This limits me in the area of trying to capture nature and natural beauty, but it opens up another realm of possibilities at the same time. We don’t get snow in San Francisco, but we sure get it here in Chicago which makes wintertime much more interesting to photograph! The architecture in Chicago is some of the best in the US though and it’s something that I always marvel at. I really really do miss the fog and rolling hills of home though.
Shotzr: Do you find that your most liked/shared photos are also your favorites or is there a disconnect?
Max: Hahaha, I really enjoy this question because it’s something that I think should be talked about more. Most people I know only post what they think will get a bunch of likes or what they think has the best chance of getting featured on a larger account. I have a sort of filter for what I post on social media because I want to find common ground; I want to post something I like as well as something I know my audience will like. There are shots that are not all that special or spectacular in terms of content but makes up for it in the story behind the image or what it represents to me. And this is where it can be tricky because my audience doesn’t know what the story behind an image is and therefore cannot connect to it like I can.
Shotzr: We noticed that almost all of your uploads to instagram are cropped to 5×4, insta’s preferred size. Do you keep this format in mind when you are out shooting?
Max: Ever since Instagram had the option of vertical photos, I knew that’s the format that I’d want to always post in. Before this, I always took landscape oriented pictures, but now I shoot a ton more vertical photos since they are the nicest to work with when posting to Instagram. Although it may sound like Instagram had forced me to change how I shoot, shooting vertical was something that I really needed to get better at.
Shotzr: The composition in your photos is consistently incredible. What tips would you have for photographers who are working on the improving the composition of their work?
Max: Something that I can’t stress enough is to not be afraid to play around with framing and how things are looking through the eyepiece. Too many people swear by the rule of thirds, but it really shouldn’t be called a rule so much as a guide. Not all photos shot with the rule of thirds are good pictures. One other thing to keep in mind is to never ignore the foreground of the image – play around with layering different elements in front of what you’re trying to shoot. Finally, develop a style that speaks to you and don’t expect it to speak to everyone equally – that’s art.
Shotzr: What’s your favorite image that you’ve contributed in the last month?
Max: My favorite image that I have posted to Shotzr in this last month probably is the shot of the yellow Volkswagen bus parked beneath the Golden Gate Bridge blanketed in fog. I took the photo not too long ago when I went home for Christmas.
What a shot! Definitely a favorite of ours as well. You can check out more of Maxs’ great photography and USE IT for Digital Marketing by downloading the Shotzr app!
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