Tyler William Parker is a photographer based in Los Angeles, California. Tyler has maintained a long working relationship with contemporary artist and director/photographer Alex Prager. Working under Alex on La Grande Sortie , Face in The Crowd , and Complusion. His own work has appeared in People, Elle, Ralph Lauren Magazine, Stab, Alpha Sixty, Marie Claire, LA Times Magazine, C Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, New York Times Magazine, Zink, MANN, and Nylon. His clients include Sixty Hotel Group, Kendall + Kylie, N Philanthropy, Brandier, Yahoo, Ebay, Tadashi Shoji, Context America, Paige Denim, Item Jeans, LA Eye Works, Alexandra Loew, Alex and Chloe, Theory, Meier/Ferrer, Karen London, Howe,and Burning Torch just to name a few.
I recently read an article about how social media has affected the way people travel and the photo opportunities they seek while on the road. I’m really glad that photography has become such a popular medium–I’m into the moment it’s having. I don’t see any social media or use of social media affecting my work in a negative way. My exposure to new work and clients has only grown since there’s such a easy, ubiquitous platform for my photographs to be shown on. The biggest difference I’ve seen is how many images clients tend to use now–that number has grown exponentially.
When I travel I always have a hard time figuring out what to bring with me. I have a dozen cameras (film and digital, medium format and 35), a drone, and a few cameras that can capture video. I typically will pare down my Nikon when I’m on the road; I’m still looking for a good pancake lens so it’s as light as possible. When I have a little extra room, I’ll bring my AE-1 with a variety of deadstock film. It’s a gamble, but they mostly come out.
I’m hoping to work towards more features and editorials that are based around a journalistic approach. After shooting for brands in Los Angeles for the past 14 years, I tend to stray away from narrative. I really crave more of that in my work. Less studio and more on-location shoots would also be great. I tend to work a lot with lighting so getting a chance to move out of that space would be great.
Having so many great options available at relatively affordable prices–at least historically–means that there are more and more people creating content these days. Some of the people who create work today now wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do so in the analog days of film. More competition means you need to do more to stand out, and so I like to tell my stories using both film and digital technology. This offers my clients and myself the easiness of digital with the increasingly less common feel of film.
I find that repeat clients have always been my strongest meter for success. I have a few clients that I have worked with since I started shooting seriously in Los Angeles. I have also made long-lasting friendships with people in art departments who contact me when they start new projects. Those connections are invaluable.
Since most of my work is word-of-mouth, I find that it’s really important to deliver clients the images that best represent them or their brand. Success, to me, is giving them what they want and need. Something they can be proud of. At the end of the day, I try and get excited about everything I’m working on. No matter what I’m shooting, if I’m not happy with the image, I’ll shift my approach and start over.