Photographer Q&A: Derek Shapton

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By Julia Sabot / Published by Dwell
This was Derek Shapton's first shoot for Dwell and it will certainly not be his last. The Ontario-based photographer impressed us with every image he shot for The Treanor Residence. He made it difficult to select photos for the story, but that is something never to complain about! Read on to learn a bit more about Derek and his first Dwell photo shoot experience.

This was your first shoot for Dwell - Were you excited about the assignment?

Photographer Q&A: Derek Shapton - Photo 1 of 6 -

Very much so. I've been reading Dwell for quite a while and have always admired the photography. It was a great honor to work on this assignment!

Photographer Q&A: Derek Shapton - Photo 2 of 6 -

How did you prepare going into the shoot? Did you scout the location or talk to the resident?

I arrived and then walked around the property with Maggie, the owner, and then she left me alone to work. I actually spent the night there as well; I wanted some early morning shots and there were no accommodations nearby, so Maggie went to a friend's for the night and I had the house to myself. Staying in a place you are shooting is a rare privilege, and it was great to have the luxury of taking my time with the photos.

Photographer Q&A: Derek Shapton - Photo 3 of 6 - Derek's first shoot was at Maggie Treanor's House in rural Ontario for our November 2012 issue.

Derek's first shoot was at Maggie Treanor's House in rural Ontario for our November 2012 issue.

Any funny or favorite moments from that shoot?

Waking up in the middle of the night to complete silence, walking outside, and standing there looking at the moonlit fields. 

Do you have a favorite image from the shoot?

I really like the one of Maggie watering the plants. I walked around the corner and she was just standing there happily with the hose. I only got a couple of shots before she realized I was there—I think the one you ran was the very first frame.

Photographer Q&A: Derek Shapton - Photo 4 of 6 - A beautiful moment caught while Maggie waters her garden.

A beautiful moment caught while Maggie waters her garden.

What did you like most about the house?

Definitely the long thin deck that projects out into the field; I've never seen anything quite like that before.

Photographer Q&A: Derek Shapton - Photo 5 of 6 - An early morning shot of the long deck at The Treanor Residence.

An early morning shot of the long deck at The Treanor Residence.

What was it like seeing your images in print when the issue came out?

I've been shooting for a long time, but the sense of excited anticipation right before I open a magazine I have work in, has never gone away. Hopefully it never will!

Tell us a bit more about who you are...

Half Filipino, half Thunder Bay, 100% Canadian. Check out my Instagram work: thunder_pino.

Where are you from?

Mississauga, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto.

What type of assignments are you shooting these days?

Primarily advertising assignments, balanced off by a fair amount of editorial work as well as various personal projects.

Photographer Q&A: Derek Shapton - Photo 6 of 6 - An image from Derek's recent portofolio. Check out his website to see more recent work.

An image from Derek's recent portofolio. Check out his website to see more recent work.

Type of camera?

Canon 5Dmk2s, Phase One backs on Hasselblad bodies, and of course my phone. Have also recently shot an assignment with a Nikon D800 and was really impressed.

Film or Digital?

Pretty much all digital now, although I recently discovered a partly shot roll of film in one of my old Hasselblad magazines. I have no idea what is on it! I might have to finish it and get it developed!

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