Friday, 17 January 2014

Interview with David Urbanke


Hello David! Would you like to introduce yourself to my readers?
Hey there readers! My name is David Urbanke and I'm a photographer based in New York. I'm not sure what else to say. 

Gosh, I'm not sure.  Let's skip to question two!

Talk me through an average day in the life of you?
I try to start my day by trying to make sure I don't put on two different shoes. I think that's the biggest struggle. If I'm not shooting, I'm most likely slaving away all day and night retouching and taking way too many Facebook/Tumblr/Twitter/Instagram breaks. Also, I have recently gotten hooked on Xbox so lately I've been up until at least 2am with that.

Describe yourself as a child?
I was really, really, really awkward. By thirteen, I had already been through the goth, prep, nerd, and anime obsessed phases. I'm pretty sure I dyed my hair every color of the rainbow. I had no idea who I was. But does any kid really? I jumped around schools quite a few times because I constantly struggled to fit in. My best friends were (and always will be) cats. 

Has much changed now that you are “nearly” fully grown? 
Yes and no. If you ever told me I would have left high school and moved to New York at sixteen to pursue a career as a photographer, I would have laughed. Also, when I was very young I was a size extra large. Now I'm an extra small. But on the other hand, I'm the same awkward kid getting into the same awkward situations on a daily basis. I don't see that ever changing. Here is a fun picture for you:

Super fun!  So tell me how you got into photography?
Well, when I was fourteen or fifteen I started photographing these interesting dolls I found online called "blythe" as my first subjects. When I switched into public high school, I approached 2-3 girls that I found interesting and started doing shoots with them regularly. I would share them online on websites such as Flickr where I picked up an audience. An intern at Ford Models came across some of my shots and sent a link around to each of the divisions. Ford had me come into New York after school with my parents one day and I sat down with them to start doing test shoots with the new models. 

How would you describe your photographic style?
Clean, raw, bold.

And your personal style?
Last season during fashion week a woman walking into Lincoln Center asked me if I was wearing a potato sack so I think that pretty much sums it up. 

For my readers who won’t be familiar with your work, would you like to tell them where they might be able to see some more examples of what you do oh so well?
Most of my work can be found on my website or my blog I've also shot for Flaunt, Bullett, Nylon MX,, Tumblr, LadyGunn, and others. Mostly I am shooting portraits for modeling agencies at the moment. 

I can’t not mention ‘Mademoiselle C’! My wasps might not have realised that the adorable shy photographer in the opening scene with Carine Roitfeld is YOU! Tell me what it was like to work with Carine and have your picture taken with her?
Never in my life did I think I would end up meeting someone like Carine. It was such an honour . She was incredibly friendly and outgoing.  I owe all my thanks to Tumblr for making it happen. 

Also, more importantly, have you listened to Carine's advice and learned to Luuuuv ze camera?
Doing my best! I am behind it too much, I need to try taking more selfies.

Who have been some of your favourite models to work with so far in your career?
I've been fortunate enough to work with some really incredible subjects so get ready for a long list here. Andrej Pejic, Shaun Ross, Soo Joo, Arthur Sales, Lyle Lodwick, Daria Strokous, Miles McMillan, Eddie Klint, Edward Wilding, Sui He, Ronald Epps, Josephine Nielsen, RJ King, Jae Yoo, Emanuela de Paula, Andy Walters, Luma Grothe and Marina Nery are a few that stick out in my mind. I also love shooting my good friend Jarrod Destiche when we get together. I'm going to stop now, I could keep going forever! 

What has been the highlight of your photographic journey so far?
It has taken my life in a completely different direction than I would have ever expected. I did not plan on being a photographer, I just picked up a camera and it ended up happening. The best part is all of the wonderful people I've met. I'll know them forever and wouldn't have ended up meeting them if it wasn't for photography. 

You shot Ali Lohan a little while back.  Not like dead, like with your camera! What’s she like to photograph and did you get a chance to talk about her beyond amazing song from back in the day, “All The Way Around’?
She was really sweet and down to earth. Really easy to work with. Knows her best angles for shooting and moves like the wind. You know, I actually have it as well as her sister's first album on my Spotify...

You can't beat a cheeky blast of 'Rumours'!

Which photographers inspire you – and why?
I've always been a big fan of David Armstrong and Tim Walker. With David's work, there is always such an intimate and raw quality that I really enjoy. You can tell he connects with his subjects on a deep level. Tim's work is it's own fantasy filled world - looking at it allows you to escape reality and enter a dream. 

Can we talk about any projects you are working on at the moment or have in the pipeline?
Surprises to come. Actually maybe not... I'm pretty bad with posting spoilers on my Instagram, ha. The shoot I believe is being released next is a story I did with Pedro Bertolini and I'm really stoked to share it. 

My readers will want to know if you're single? Just because. Totally unprofessional, I get it, but we wouldn't want to leave them hanging…
Single. Very single. 

If the world was coming to an end and you were allowed one last kiss, who would be lucky enough to land on your lips?
Susan Boyle!

Ha ha.  How do you like your eggs in the morning?
The last time I tried to make eggs they cracked and landed all over my toes, so I think I'll just start the morning with toast. 

Do you have a celebrity crush?
Tila Tequila of course.

Of course.  A Scottish blogger crush of yours?
I don't believe Susan Boyle has a blog... so I'm going with you!


Would you like to ask Portis Wasp a question?
How do you grow such a beard? I cannot grow one. I shave every three days and if I don't it's quite silly.

What happens next?
We'll have to see where life takes me this year...

To infinity and beyond!  Thanks David!

For future photography updates from David click here, and for his fantastic editorial that featured in Bullett magazine with Edward Wilding visit to view it in full.


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