James Loving is an internationally published, award-winning photographer based in Richmond, Virginia. He built his reputation and initial portfolio on action sports photography and has worked with youth, collegiate, and professional leagues. His action sports work has been featured in the USL, EPL, NBC Sports, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
I would describe my style of photography as…
Reflective and naturally surreal because I want to show people the reality that I see and not necessarily the distractions of the moment. I believe it’s my job as a photographer to notice things that are otherwise overlooked or passed by and show the world how I want them to be seen.
What’s your most memorable shot or shoot, be it challenging to capture or interesting subject?
It’s hard to choose a favorite, but my top 3 are below:
Going viral: My “Snowy Bridge” image was one of the most challenging. It was captured when the Nickel Bridge (Boulevard Bridge) in Richmond, VA was closed to traffic during blizzard conditions. The weather presented a rare opportunity to capture the subject without vehicles in the image. It took work to get to the location due the snowfall. To get the perspective I had to lay on the road with an assistant leaning over my equipment to block the flakes from hitting the lens. The photo was shared by a news outlet via social media and the response was overwhelming. It was my first truly successful photo and why it stands out to me.
Nature Cooperates: One of my most memorable shots is the Switzer Covered Bridge (45 minutes outside of Lexington, KY). This shot is a favorite because it was one of the rare times where you scout in advance, do your research, and the weather cooperates. I was set up in the river, got eaten alive by mosquitos and when I look through my portfolio it’s still one of my favorites.
Tethered Fun: One of my most memorable shoots was the 2017 Richmond Flying Squirrel marketing shoot because the subject was very entertaining and the reactions as the images appeared on screen in real time were priceless.
What image(s) are you most proud of from your photography portfolio?
Sunset over High Bridge in Farmville, VA. I was in the area for a client’s commercial shoot and when that wrapped I decided to make the best of my trip and ventured out on the trails. It turned out to be a beautiful evening. I stayed as late as possible to capture the setting sun and had to run a mile back to the lot with equipment because it closed at dusk. I got very lucky that night and the clouds were spectacular.
Can you describe how you use your Rock Solid Tripod Cross Bar?
I’ve used it 2 ways.
Photography set up – holds my laptop and the camera on 1 tripod so I can review the images in real time. It also provides the option of mounting a monitor so the customer can view in real time from where they are posed. It was purchased initially for my commercial headshot set up but has proven useful for almost any shoot where reviewing an image full size is beneficial.
Video set up – holds my camera and a Dracast Silkray 400 as a fill light to minimize equipment and maximize space. The light is battery powered so I have no cables and can set up anywhere. I use it primarily to film my YouTube work and interviews.
What’s on your photography gear shopping list?
This is a very open ended question and the general answer is everything on bhphotovideo.com. The more immediate list includes the Nikon D5 and Nikon D850, more tripods, backup storage solutions (you can never have enough storage or backups), LEE filters, c-stands, additional light modifiers, and the DJI Mavic drone (because it will fit in my hiking photography bag).
The best advice I can offer a fellow photographer would be…
Patience, patience, patience. Great images generally aren’t quick captures. Don’t be afraid to revisit locations or ideas over and over again, especially landscapes, because every day is a different image. No matter how long you’ve been shooting you will always look back at your previous work and critique it.