Meet Conrad Schmidt, Freelance Photographer:
I became serious about photography while attending classes at the University of Iowa in the late 90’s early 2000’s. I was lost working construction jobs to pay for college unable to declare a major. My focus came through the Art and Journalism school. The camera became a key into strange places and meet new people, it felt right. If you are genuine people accept you when you hold a camera. I started out doing internship gigs: Cedar Rapids Gazette, Dallas Morning News, Newark Star Ledger. In 2004 I returned to Iowa for my first full time job at the Des Moines Register. 2008 I made the move to freelance and portrait work. It was a big leap but today I run my own business shooting portraits, news, commercial and have time to work on personal projects. Photography has been my life for going on 15 years.
For more info: Conradschmidt.com
1. Pretty much anything Sebastio Selgado captured me in college, still does. His work will be a treasured for generations to come. Works like this can change the world. The tension in this photo is enormous.
2. James Nachtway is another hard hitting photographer. His ability to get into situations and live to see the next day are amazing to say the least. You should rent or buy his video “War Photographer” . Interesting video showing his perspective while working.
3. Larry Burrows captured the gripping reality of war. This image speaks for itself. Larry Burrows lived the life and sadly paid the price. If you get a chance to view “Requiem” please do. It is dedicated to photographers MIA or killed in Vietnam and Indochina.
4. Early on I photographed steel mills, junkyards and the homeless of Chicago, in attempt to hone my skills and learn. A man named John Stringer (left in photo) took me on a journey into his life on the streets of Chicago. John and this story gave me greater perspective on life. That’s what photography should be doing. Showing others what they are missing.
5. Currently I have settled into portraits, freelance and the occasional commercial job to cover the bills. But what I really enjoy is landscape work. Particularly spaces were man has been or still is. Showing how fragile humans and their structures really are.