From a hobbyist to a professional photographer — with Gregory Royar
Gregory Royar is a Director of Technology for the Argyle ISD School District in Argyle Texas. He also runs a photo and video business called Gregory Royar IMG CO, where he gets to express his creative side and work on passion projects.
Why and how did you get into photography?
How long have you been shooting and what gear do you shoot with?
What was the moment that made you decide to pursue photography professionally?
You mentioned in your answers that you are the director of technology for the argyle ISD school district. How do you balance working as a director and your business?
Do aspects of your job as a technology director translate to how you shoot or edit photography/videography?
“Always strive to be better ”
What’s the toughest challenge you face (or faced) as a photographer?
Any photographers you lookup to? Why?
- Casey Neistat (more so a video creator, not a photographer) – Uhg, I wish I had his motivation and drive. I’m obsessed with his Daily Vlogs.
- Dale Martin – A good friend. I love that Dale left the IT field to pursue his dream.
- Jay Cassario – This guy makes magic with so many different brands of gear. He can make any camera work for him and his work is beautiful.
- Christian Watson – He has a very unique style and pushes content constantly. He also designed my logo!
After observing your instagram feed and your photos on your website, I noticed that you use a lot of warm tones and you tend to add some sort of nature aspect into your compositions. How long did it take to hone your photography style? Also, could you give us three tips on how you achieve this look ?I would say that my style is constantly evolving, but I am finally at a place that my editing is mostly consistent. Over the past couple of years I’ve been able to achieve edits that I don’t constantly second-guess after the image has been completed. When I switched to Fujifilm for my photography, it significantly reduced the amount of editing I was doing to achieve my desired look.
Are you working on any personal projects you’d like share?I am releasing tips from time to time on my instagram account for motivation and what gear works for me. I love getting community feedback and helping others out.
Do you have a favorite workspace outside of home and corporate offices?For the non alcoholic variety, starbucks is always a great place to hang out and get some work done. If you’re a fan of craft beer, then my top two would be Taps and Caps, or The Bearded Monk in Denton TX. Both have great atmospheres as well as a large selection of drinks.
What advice would you give a novice in photography?Never be satisfied with your own work. Always strive to be better and stay humble. Get out there and do more.
Process tips on achieving Greg’s photography style
- Shoot near sunrise or sunset
- Embrace harsh shadows
- Use a mirrorless camera with an electronic viewfinder so you can see how flare will impact the photo while shooting into the sun.Bonus:My editing process for photos starts with the RAW or JPG, depending on how close the image is to the look I want. (on the X-Pro2, I shoot raw to the primary card, and JPG with the Classic Chrome profile applied). I pull the image into Lightroom and apply a modified version of the VSCO preset Kodak Gold 100. Next, I export the image to Alien Skin Exposure and apply a variant of Kodak Portra 160NC, or Kodak Portra 400NC. From there, the image goes into photoshop for final cleanup (clone, heal, dodge, burn).I export three versions of the image to store:
- A high resolution full quality JPG
- A low resolution JPG (1080 width)
- A low resolution PNG (1080 width)