For our inaugural spotlight, we’re featuring Chaz Langley, who joined Fotografiska New York as a Founding Friend long before we even officially opened. Chaz is a successful artist, and we loved seeing his bright smile and his wonderful energy at Fotografiska New York often during our opening months. Chaz was gracious enough to have a chat with us and share his story.
Tell us a little about yourself, and journey as an artist:
I am a very creative person and like to view myself as a 360-degree creative.
I started as a singer-songwriter in Nashville – singing is my first love and first career, and I love storytelling through song.
I moved to New York 13 years ago, and my eyes and brain were on overload with all the things I was inspired by – the people, the city, the energy, and that’s when I started becoming more serious about my photography. I fell in love with street photography, and then began doing portraits. I love people, faces are so unique to me; it’s a medium I fell in love with. I consider myself to be in the people business, and I want my work to move people.
While we’re all under quarantine, it might feel impossible to continue creative work, especially photographing people. You created an amazing initiative of doing Virtual Photoshoots. How did you come up with this?
I’ve been doing virtual photoshoots for years, cataloguing moments of my FaceTime chats, but it wasn’t until we were in the space that we’re in that I was like, can this exist as a medium for photoshoots while we’re in lockdown?
What has the reaction been like to your Virtual Photoshoots?
In doing Virtual Photoshoots, I wanted to capture the human spirit behind the photographs, and the reactions’ of the people I’ve been shooting have been amazing.The photos don’t look like cell phone photos. I think I’m on to something. There will always be naysayers, but you can’t deny the reactions of the people I shoot. I worked this thing from the inside out. I know the work I put into it, and there’s nothing anybody could say that derails this train. Next is bringing all the elements together to package it and parlay it into a viable business and sustain it even after this situation is over and we are seeing people in person.
What artists give you inspiration? Who do you follow on Social Media?
I’m one of those people that hate trends, I run from them. I was stuck on Myspace when people were jumping on Facebook. So I was late to Instagram, but then when I saw it as a viable resource to get my work out there and that I could use it as a platform, I saw the benefits of it and realized collaborations, friendships, and natural organic relationships formed through the platform.
I am so visual, so if it moves me, I’m all about it. I follow Oveck (@oveck) on Instagram, a buddy of mine I really enjoy, from Domican Republic. He is a great photographer that uses color, particularly warm colors, and I love anything that is earth toned. I love the portraits that Wesley Verhoeve (@wesley), a friend of mine does, and my buddy Mike’s (@illkoncept) street photography. His stuff is clean and colorful, and he really brought color as a prominent part of his aesthetic.
What attracted you to become a member of Fotografiska New York?
I have a passion for photography and I had never heard of a museum that was just about photography. I also love being part of something from its beginning and making my mark, so that combination was appealing.
I loved being able to see all the nuances of how Fotografiska was created, that they champion young and upcoming photographers, they believe in the craft from the inside out, and they’re not some old establishment of, say, photographs through the ages, but are living in the moment.
I also love all the events and that I really feel like I’m the first one to know about the newest things to do. Fotografiska works for me on so many levels, like that I can see the exhibits, bring people and clients to V Bar, and make it a part of my new reality as a creative.
Thank you, Chaz. We can’t wait to see you back at Fotografiska!
Thank you, guys. See you soon.
We are very grateful that Chaz took the time to speak with us and share his creative accomplishments. To learn more about Chaz and get in touch, follow him on Instagram: @langleyseye or visit his website. We look forward to seeing him and all of you when we reopen our doors.
We’ll be hosting a Member Spotlight every month and would love to hear from you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured.