We had the good fortune of connecting with Rich Soublet and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rich, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
It seemed the most logical. I know that sounds nuts but it’s really true for me. I tried the office life, twice, and it’s just not a good fit. I tried working in the office for other people’s creative businesses and I just don’t do well in that sort of environment. I thrive in a more open environment where I’m free to make unconventional decisions. Weirdly, it’s *much* easier for me to hold myself accountable for deadlines than it is to have someone else watching over my shoulder. Working in a creative field as your own boss…I’m not sure there’s a freer environment than that. Also pursuing a creative career gives me that warm sense of putting something good into the world. I also get the double bonus of helping people to see themselves the way others see them and they end up feeling great about themselves after we work together.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Mainly my work is portraiture and business headshots. Over the past few years, I’ve been laser-focused on honing my craft to a point where creating the work is almost second nature. Removing the guesswork from what I’m doing (lighting choices, composition, posing) creates an organic experience for clients. Having your picture taken has often been compared to going to the dentist, and I do everything I can to make sure that’s not the way people feel when they come into the studio. It’s been a journey for sure. For a long time, I didn’t have the confidence in my work required to really take the business side of it to the next level. Part of that was justified, but a lot of it was my own hangups and imposter syndrome. I learned that it’s not only important to *be* an expert in your field, but it’s also important to make sure the people working with you know it. People have to know they can rely on you to create something they will like. Above all else, my work is approached from a place of authenticity. I will do some pretty out there camera tricks and whatnot to come up with a final image…but what that image says has to be authentic. There has to be real laughter behind that smile in someone’s headshot and real reverence in the eyes of a mother to be as she stands in power looking fabulous in her maternity dress.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh man, that’s a big question. I’ve actually done this a few times and there has to be food. We have to eat. Eating will be happening. I’m a strong believer in the idea that people can really bond over a good meal, and in this town that means tacos! So we’ll do a taco tour, we’ll go to all of my favorite taco spots. In North Park that’s City Tacos and Cantina Mayahuel. We’ll also hit up Las Cuatro Milpas because obviously, and usually cap off the taco tour with some homemade fish tacos topped with a not so secret sauce recipe. Food aside I’m a big animal person. We’ll for sure go to the Safari Park because if you haven’t seen the cheetah run you are *missing out.* For closer to home, we’ll do a leisurely day at the San Diego Zoo where we’ll grab some souvenir cups and get some fine local beer. BEER! How could I leave beer til last?! If they’re the beer-drinking type (which let’s be real if they’re my best friend, they are) we’ll do a beer tour of the neighborhood. Second Chance Beer Company’s tasting room is about a block from my house. North Park Beer Co, Fall Brewing and Modern Times Flavordome. If they’re still craving the outdoors and some exercise after all the beer and tacos, we’ll hike Torrey Pines, spend time walking around Balboa Park (museums!) and head out east to Julian to…hike…well hike to pie that is.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow. So many people. I have to thank my dad for letting me play with his camera when I was 8, and my mom for actually buying film for it. I have to thank the SDSU theatre department for fostering an environment where I felt comfortable being my authentic self because that let me make lifelong friends, and I certainly wouldn’t be as successful as I am without their constant unwavering support. I have to give a huge shoutout to Peter Hurley and the Headshot Crew. Without this group of amazing photographers pushing me and giving me the business when my work was lacking, I wouldn’t be as strong an artist as I am right now. Of course, I have to give a major shoutout to Lindsay, my amazing wife. Without her support (especially during this pandemic) there’s no way I would have the success that I do. Her encouragement mixed with measured caution perfectly tempers my wide-eyed approach to everything.
Yelp: On second thought. Let’s not go to yelp. Tis a silly place.
Rich Soublet Photography