Meet Luke Edmonson and David Edmonson. They are both nationally recognized photographers and have won numerous awards. The Edmonsons are part of a long lineage of photographers. We had the opportunity to sit down with Luke and David recently, and learn many inspiring details about their work.
David’s father, who was 14 years old at the time, bought his first camera in early 1940s. He was 14 when his father bought him his first camera. He fell in love with a Dallas young woman around this time. He used his photography to win her over. It was a long-distance romance. David says that he actually made movies of 16mm and 8mm. He also sent pictures. He would send her a small picture of himself, as if he were dreaming about her. Surprisingly, Luke’s great uncle was also a wartime photographer at the time.
Luke and David have a lot to offer other photographers thanks to their extensive history in photography.
- Photography is an option.David admits that despite his father’s love for photography, he wasn’t sure he wanted a career as a photographer. He says, “I was too young to see the value of their photography at that time.” I wanted to be an illustrator when I was young. My professor in college suggested that I take one photography class to learn how to create reference art.
- Follow your heart.David’s son Luke also needed convincing. Photographing was “what our family did,” and it was a chore. He was determined to pursue pre-med but, as he said, “it wasn’t really my heart”. He eventually got a degree in film. “Now, I can tell you that I am absolutely happy to work alongside my father and work for him.”
- Shoot weddings if you want to make a living.David was a well-known commercial photographer, but Luke wanted to be a partner with his father and began shooting weddings. David says, “I didn’t know how much you could make doing weddings.” They have become well-known for their work in shooting weddings all over the globe, particularly South Asian and Indian weddings. They are also well-known for their creative portraits.
- Photography is for rebels.David claims that Luke, his son, has always been rebellious. Luke explains why photography is the best outlet for him. “Photography allows you to go where you don’t have business going, and do things that you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.”
- Before you start executing a plan, it is important to have a purpose.Luke explains that Luke is able to distinguish what he does by knowing why he is doing it. This leads him to the how and what. The purpose is already set, so execution becomes secondary. This can be a challenge for many people in terms of creativity.
- Before anyone arrives on set, light every scene.David claims that he plans lighting scenes and scenes for sleepless nights. He sketches with mannequins and draws them before his subjects arrive. It’s not uncommon for him to shop on Ebay at three in morning.
- Study the master painters if you want to really grow in photography.David and Luke are well-known for creating beautiful portraits that were inspired by master painters. They say they are inspired to this day by the way these early painters used light with such technical skill.
- Photographers are visual problem solvers.Luke loves the process of deconstructing scenes and says that he enjoys finding the “why” behind every prop and light placement on a set.
- Photography is secondary. People are the most important.. Luke says that the camera is just a tool. It’s the relationships he creates and expresses through his photos that are most important to him.
- Find your voice. David claims that photography is his voice. He says it gives him a voice and that everyone should find a way of expressing themselves, even if they are still “constructing, repairing, or fine-tuning their voices.”