Interview with Keith Harney

Interview with Keith Harney

When we brought on James Patterson and Joey Decaminada as part of our Bradley Allen team, we were connected to photographer Keith Harney who has taken absolutely stunning pictures of these guys in Bradley Allen apparel. We immediately wanted to learn what makes this photographer tick. He captures the human body in such a unique and captivating way! Read our interview with this Ohio photographer!

1) What was the earliest memory you have where you remember falling in love with photography?  I bought my first digital camera in the early 2000’s and took a trip to Washington D.C. – I had only a basic understanding of how to shoot with it, but I figured the nation’s capital would be the best place to practice with it. I was able to capture some images, but the overall results were …. lets just say – not good. Afterwards I took a film course at the local community college – it was black and white film photography, and from the moment I printed my first picture, I was hooked. Having just the basic knowledge allowed me to take some good landscape images – then came an opportunity to work in a studio environment with lighting, once again my first outing was not a stellar experience, but I  had a fever for it. I began studying other photographers work, reading magazines about digital photography and anything else I could get my hands on. Then I went back in to studio and worked with an athlete that was going to be in the Arnold Fitness Classic that year. The results were completely different – the model’s enthusiasm and some basic understanding of the lighting got me some images I was finally happy with. That was it – from that point, I found my niche and I have been slowly trying to build my brand from there.


2) How long have you been photographing in the fitness world and what specifically about the fitness world do you love? I really started photographing the fitness world in the latter part of 2015, and have been focusing on it since then. I loved the chance to work with these folks who put A LOT of time and effort in to their bodies – and then show them with my images the results of all that hard work. Granted they look at themselves quite a bit in the mirror when working out or practicing posing- but they are checking so many other technical things, they sometimes miss the changes they are making to their bodies- and the best reaction when I show an athlete an image during the shoot is when they simply say “…wow, thats me” and that’s the best, you cannot beat it.

3) Are you a body builder / weight lifter yourself? What are your favorite ways that you like to stay in shape and stay sane? I am not a body builder or serious weight lifter, when not dealing with an ankle injury I do my best to stay in shape using some of the tips I get from the athletes I photograph (but with much less weight, and not as much dedication) LOL

4) How has CoVid effected your business and what have you been doing in the meantime? Oh man, it brought it to a GRINDING HALT. In the meantime I have gone back in to study mode to try and pick up some new tricks for IF and WHEN this all blows over.

5) Regarding photography, what inspires you? Who inspires you? Do you have any mentors? I am inspired by great and dramatic images, Joel Grimes is I think the pinnacle standard when it comes to capturing athletes in a fantastic and dramatic way. I have always loved the way his composites come out, and even watching him take the shot- and the rework it in post production, it still seems like magic to me. As for a mentor, I have a really great teacher who I took a few classes with- and who no matter how many calls or messages I send him, he still answers (and believe me -its a lot), Jeff Carpenter of readylitemedia. He really makes lighting effortless, so much so- I get a little angry when I watch him make a beautiful image with that spot on lighting, maybe not angry but definitely envious, the fantastic part – he hold nothing back. If you ask him point blank- how did you do this, or how did you achieve this lighting, he will tell you. He is completely open and honest – he will tell you what you need to hear, he will give you the straight answer, plus he will remind you that “…you have permission to fail, as long as it means you try again.” SUPER Dude, I cannot rave about him highly enough.
6) What makes your photographic process different? In my images – I try to avoid having anything else in the shot, I do my best when I shoot an image- to do one thing, focus on the client. They have put a lot of time and effort in to their bodies, and I want that on display, I want them to be the sole focus. I also dont like to pose the athletes, I do my best to rely on them to “show-off” let them strut what parts they feel are their best parts. As well as showing off, I also try and capture images when they are not looking or paying attention- the candid shot, they usually will not post those on social media, but I have been told on a few occasions  those are their favorites – just them being them.
7) 3 Things if stranded on an island?  Knife, Matches, water purification machine – on second thought, how about a SAT-Phone (satellite phone)  with military encryption to radio near by naval ships for an extraction?
Follow Keith Harney on Instagram @keith.harney 
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