Photographers and digital content creators Evan Sheehan (@evantsheehan) and Alex Wallbaum (@alexwallbaum) join us for a conversation about their work, collaborative practice, and social media strategies on Saturday, January 18 at Strictly Business! Evan and Alex offer a look into their work, ideas surrounding their social media presence, tips on successful collaborations, and Future Use Studio in the Q&A below!
Learn more next Saturday, 1/18 at Strictly Business 2020! Register here.
You both (@evantsheehan & @alexwallbaum) have such a strong presence on social media with over 13k followers each. Can you speak a little bit about how the role of social media in your work and business and if it influences how you make images?
Both- We use social media to showcase the type of work that we would like to be doing- so we are essentially using these platforms to inform brands of what we are capable of, and what we would like to continue doing. Social media doesn’t really inform how we make images, but it does inform what we put out to be viewed. We make images all the time that never make it to social media and were never meant for social media- because they don’t fit the portfolio that we’ve curated outwardly to clients.
Both of you have your own photography practice and often collaborate with one another and others. Can you give some insight or some advice to someone looking to collaborate and what you think is key to a successful collaboration?
Alex- I would say to not be afraid of reaching out to someone and just putting yourself out there! People are afraid of opening up conversation on Instagram but in my experience, starting that conversation with an idea will get you very far. Just saying “let’s collaborate!” most likely won’t result in anything, but coming to an artist or brand with a specific idea that speaks to their work is much more likely to get things moving.
Evan- Being aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, as well as letting other people’s strengths shine in collaborations is extremely important. When Alex and I collaborate, we are always aware of who may be more suited for each project and what roles each person naturally plays.
Can you tell us a little about your new studio and project Future Use?
Future Use is our new collaborative studio that we started with a few of our close friends! It houses photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, a wardrobe stylist, a food stylist, as well as an event duo. We all work independently under one roof but often work together when opportunities call for it. Studio mates of @futureusstudio include @bighairbigcity @_magadeth @kate__doyle @_gallagherlb @tim.finch @salonappetit @alexwallbaum and @evantsheehan
Who are you currently inspired by or who has impacted your work and practice the most (photographers, readings, brands, media, etc.)?
Alex Wallbaum is a fine art and still life photographer recognized for his
captivating use of color and high-key lighting. Alex finds inspiration in traditional still life paintings and ISPY children’s books.
Alex often collaborates with artist Aleia Murawski; the duo is known for their exciting use of color, texture, and special effects within contemporary still life imagery. Their work has found an audience in galleries across New York, LA, London, Tokyo, and Taipei.
Alex’s work has been featured in Vogue.com, WIRED.com, Bullett Magazine,
Chroma Magazine, ORDINARY, and more. Notable clients include NIKE, Corona, Open Table, Kitsuné, PUMA, Cards Against Humanity, and Spectrum Boutique. Alex holds a BFA in Art & Design from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. Prior to that, he studied photography at The Atlanta School (Idaho) and assisted artists Luke Batten and Jonathan Sadler of New Catalogue.
Alex recently co-founded Future Use Studio, a multidisciplinary studio comprising photographers, art directors, stylists, and other creatives.
When he’s not working, Alex is an avid traveler and amateur chef.
Evan Sheehan is an artist and photographer known for highly detailed product work, stop-motion animation, and surrealistic portraiture.
Evan’s notable advertising and digital clients include NIKE, Apple, RXBAR, OLLY, Warby Parker, Journeys, and Veuve Clicquot.
Evan co-founded Mouthwash Magazine, a collaborative art publication giving young artists a platform and reason to create. More recently, he also co-founded Future Use Studio, a multidisciplinary studio comprising photographers, art directors, stylists, and other creatives.
Outside of the studio, Evan enjoys playing piano and long-distance running.