From the ripe age of sixteen, Ian Barney has had a camera in his hand and a fire for photography in his heart. At age eighteen, he left his home of South Florida to expand his horizons and his camera went along with him, documenting the journey. After several months of travel, Ian and his camera ended up on the other side of the planet in New Zealand. There he encountered otherworldly landscapes and the nicest of Kiwi friends. Those two elements have fueled his passion for portrait photography that encompass the styles of travel, fashion, environmental, and lifestyle photography. His focus on people photography has helped him grow as an empathetic portrait photographer with a drive for creating picture perfect moments.
I never got into painting or drawing simply because I had no innate talent for it. It was a delight when I discovered the endless potential of creating art through a camera. Initially I saw it as just sunlight through a lens and then, as if magic, the same scene my eyes saw could have a totally different perspective. The more I learnt about photography the more I fell in love with the aspect of capturing photons onto a light sensitive medium to tell a story or show a captured moment in time; forever frozen for our eyes to bear witness. To literally 'draw' with and manipulate light.
I've come across various projects and jobs that have allowed me to have a taste of the different styles and genres of photography. I tend to focus on portraits more than anything else but I haven't shied away from shoots related to: food, pets, jewelry/products, graduations, bar/clubs, formal corporate head-shots, photojournalism, and general celebratory type events. My goal with most shoots, specifically those where a person is the subject, is to make said person(s) feel as comfortable as I can. Cameras have the ability to show us how the rest of the world may physically see us. For a lot of people, that can be a very nerve-wracking experience where we feel vulnerable and anxious. I try my best to establish a rapport with the subject(s) - to let them realize I'm just another fella who also finds it intimidating being in front of the camera. There are a lot of things that go into making a good photo and it's my job to make the person feel special so that their photos will reflect that.
Other than competing in (and occasionally winning) local or online photography contests, I have yet to acquire a proper collection of photography related accolades. The closest thing I can think of that made me feel somewhat special was in January, 2019, when I was invited by the show curator of an arts organization, called "RAW", to be part of their next art show in South Florida. The curator found me on Instagram which lead to some messaging, phone calls, and eventually I secured a panel at at their show. It was my first photo-show/print gallery and I had a blast setting up my panel by hanging up large prints of my best photos, bringing in a ring light to shoot quick portraits, and making special business cards that I used to network with other artists and establish new clients with job opportunities.
Photography has been my main focus and passion since I was sixteen. But, as many photographers may know, it doesn't always pay the bills. Because of that, I've had several hospitality jobs over the years and I always found myself working behind a cocktail bar. It's exciting, fast paced, fun, and I get to be in a position where I can create and make things. So, fancy cocktail making happens to be my fun hobby that usually catches a lot of other people's attention - especially if they're the ones who get to taste my creations!
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