Artist of the Month: Aaron Schwartz

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The Newtonite

Aaron Schwartz is October's Artist of the Month.
Aaron Schwartz is October’s Artist of the Month.

by Maya Abou-Rizk
Aaron Schwartz is October’s Artist of the Month for his passion in photography and his work on Humans of Newton North. This year, he’s a Photo Major II. He plans to start a photography business after high school.
Q: When did you start taking photographs?
A: I have always enjoyed being behind the camera, but I really began to explore photography when I took Photo Minor I as a freshman and expanded from there.
Q: What interests you in photography? What do you like most about it?
A: What keeps drawing me back time and time again is the timelessness of it itself. There’s always more to learn or a new place to shoot, models to model, and selfies to be taken. The thing I enjoy most about it is that no matter what your skill set is, you fit right in immediately in the department. It’s one of the most welcoming communities I’ve ever been a part of.
Q: What is a photo project that you are most proud about? Who inspired your idea(s)?
A: One project I have just finished is a project named after an artist named Gregory Crewdson. He is famous for staging every aspect of the pictures he takes. He goes down to great detail in each of his photos. He even hires actors and builds sets for total control. Our task as a class was to come up with our own “Crewdson” photo. For mine, I bought a desk to the middle of my street at night and had my mom work there while I took her picture. The most interesting thing about that was I used only one light, giving the picture a surreal, hazy kind of feel.
Q: What is your favorite part of the photo process?
A: I really enjoy post-processing (Photoshop), as it allows me to control every last aspect of the picture I took or am a part of. I understand that the public is very critical of Photoshop in the fashion industry, but it also is incredibly useful from a photographer’s standpoint. As a photographer, it allows to me to change aspects that I can’t necessarily have control over in real life. For example, I could be floating, inside a bubble, and move pixels around to my liking.
Q: What is the most important thing to know about photography in your opinion? If I were to pick up a camera for the first time ever, what is the one thing you would say to me?
A: Don’t drop it. Jokes aside, I would say to shoot with a tripod whenever you can; it makes your life a lot easier.
Q: Do you plan to continue with photography after high school? If so, what will you do? If not, why not?
A: I hope to start my own photography business. In the past I’ve done a couple of bar mitzvahs (mazel tov!) but my hope in the future is to expand into more artistic and portraiture photography.
Q: Who has been the best mentor to you in terms of photography? Who do you look up to?
A: I could easily crash the website with the amount of names I could list, but one person who I’ve definitely learned a lot from is my photography teacher, Mr. MacIntyre. Other than being one of the all-around coolest people, he taught me a ton in photo class (which you all should be taking).
Q: Do you believe photography is an important part of the world?
A: Without a doubt. While the world may survive a day or two without selfies, we look at photography a lot in our lives. Aside from newscasting purposes, everyone who picks up a camera takes a shot and interprets it differently from everyone else. It’s almost like a signature or thumbprint. Your picture is your post-it note of that moment in time that no one else will interpret the same way as you. In short, photography is each person’s own way of expressing his/herself and for that reason, it’s important to the world.