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Meet Craig Lawrence

Today we’d like to introduce you to Craig Lawrence.

Hi Craig, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
Aside from a brief bit of photography in college, my real journey into the world of photos came after my divorce in 2009. Our separation had left me with a lot of free time, and I really put a lot into doing some moody, artsy self-portraits.

From there, I started studying all I could about cameras and image creation. After a few years of being experimental, and working as an assistant for a local wedding photographer for a few months, and I made the leap to doing headshots, artistic portraits, and glamour photography, professionally.

It’s been quite a journey, trying to find a unique “voice” in the photo world, creating images that show off a dynamic and dramatic flair. A trained theater professional, I build a lot of my work from that perspective.

Studying movement, stage combat, and performance gave me a different skill set than a lot of folks in my profession, and I try to maximize that perspective to my clients and collaborators.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Not at all! It’s been fun, it’s been exciting, but it has not been smooth. Like many of my artist colleagues, it’s often a struggle to get taken seriously and be valued in a real, concrete sense. We once had a business client book us for headshots for their whole team, and shots of their workspace for their website.

We put together a reasonable quote, and worked out all the details, only for them to call us the night before and say, I kid you not, “Well my dad has a nice camera, so he’s going to do it instead.” Aside from that, it’s a competitive market. It’s a bit of a cliche, but it really is true with the proliferation of digital cameras in the last 20 years, people don’t consider the skill set of a photographer with the esteem they used to.

People often “forget” that crediting me for my work isn’t optional, digital media is very accessible, and that ease of use tends to make people forget that we really do, in a binding legal sense, own our images and the rights to them. Right Click, Save As isn’t a free-for-all to do whatever with any images online. It’s been our occasional frustration to find images we’ve taken being used on commercial websites, or on the occasional small business website, without our permission.

In fact, I had a friend interviewed by an actor website, and she sent them to photos I’d taken of her, which they then used about a dozen of in their article, without a word from me. Trying to clear the air about that usually ends badly for everyone.

People just don’t consider an artist’s right to their own work, when it comes to digital images.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Well, FightGuy Photography specializes in photos of people. We love doing headshots and promotional photography for artists, actors, dancers, singers, and business professionals. We do glamour and boudoir photography to make people feel they’re the very best. We shoot events, so everyone has beautiful images to go with their treasured memories.

We especially love doing cosplay photography. It’s such a wonderful community of creatives. Real solid fans that put an amazing amount of effort into creating beautiful outfits, props, and makeup effects.

Our artistic side of things always has a strong undercurrent of showing people at their best. We want our subjects to look and feel strong, powerful, bold. We’ve got a number of ongoing projects, all with the common thread of people looking amazing.

Our proudest moments are when people are amazed at how they look. When they see the finished photos and they really jump back and have that “oh my god!” reaction. They see themselves in a new light, how other people see them.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
I have lived in a lot of places in the DMV, and Baltimore has energy like nowhere else. It’s a bit cliche, but I really love the inner harbor. It’s got it all. I’ve been to some great conventions in Baltimore, seen some great theater, been to some amazing museums, and ate at some great restaurants.

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