“I like the blue collarness of photography. I work hard. I spend a lot of time out photographing and try to challenge myself with a new technical challenge every couple of months, like trying new things with my flash or switching lenses.”
Tammy Mercure (born in 1976) is a contemporary photographer currently living in Nashville, Tennessee (USA). She holds a BA from “Columbia College”, and a MFA from “East Tennessee State University”. For Tammy Mercure photography is a means to get to know people she finds interesting. In another interview on this site, Tammy Mercure talks about her series “Cavaliers” which is an ongoing visual exploration of the South.
“Artist Profile” – Tammy Mercure
Tammy, why did you become a photographer? And what does photography mean to you?
I took a photography class my second year of college and never looked back. Photography lets me spend time thinking about different things and gives me a pass to talk to anyone who looks interesting.
How would you describe your photographic language and creative process? How do you plan and execute a project?
I like the blue collarness of photography. I work hard. I spend a lot of time out photographing and try to challenge myself with a new technical challenge every couple of months, like trying new things with my flash or switching lenses. Then I spend time with my photos after I shoot. I tend not to think a ton beforehand.
Which photographer has inspired you most?
I really love vernacular photography, like postcards from tourist attractions. I am inspired by many photographers from Mark Steinmetz and how he gets such beautiful gestures to Henry Wessel and his funny, tender editing.
What’s your favorite inspirational quote about photography?
I tend to dislike quotes, TED talks, and graduation speeches.
What kind of camera and equipment do you use?
I use a Sony A99 and a big flash.
What’s your favorite website about photography?
I love Tumblr for following different photographers and people who curate photos.
What book about photography would you recommend?
I recommend Robert Adams “Why People Photograph” because he is straightforward and poetic about making work. And Geoff Dyer’s “The Ongoing Moment” is like a great conversation with a frantic, funny, and insightful friend.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to get started with photography?
I don’t have any great advice, but if someone has specific questions they can always email me.