South Africa is a dangerous place to live and Luca Venter’s parents recognized this soon after the birth of their second son. Once he turned six, Venter and his family left South Africa for Colorado to begin a new life. The change proved vital for the family because it allowed Venter to move around freely and decide what he wanted to do with his life. At an early age, he started using his parents camera to take pictures of himself and the things around him. Even when he was in diapers, he was already handling cameras, and with his parents as graphic designers, a creative career was almost impossible to avoid. By the age of nine, Venter already knew that he wanted to take photos for a living and once his parents told him that he could make money doing it, something clicked inside of his head. His lifelong dream was to be a photographer and it’s impressive that he knew what he wanted to do before even hitting the age of ten. He understood the happiness that he gained when doing what he truly enjoyed.
Being a self-taught photographer is much more difficult than many pan it out to be. A lot of people think that if you can take photos and post them on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, then that makes you a professional photographer with experience, which is so far from the truth. Being a photographer is more than posting pictures of yourself and your pets online. There are so many tools that you have to understand and be able to incorporate into your style of work. Venter did happen to learn most of the information about photography through the Internet, but it wasn’t through posting pictures of himself at the beach or pictures of his cat. His inspirations came through several online mentors and professional photographers.
But photography isn’t only about taking pictures, there is much more that he has to tackle. Venter also taught himself how to edit his own pictures, mainly through Visual Supply Co., VSCO. The company has provided him with a lot of the tools that he needed to succeed. At first, Venter did his own work through online and free programs. He was able to digitally edit his photos, yet it didn’t give him the best results. With VSCO, he now has the tools to produce professional photographs to his clients. With the new technology that he receives from the company, Venter can create a style for his photos that gives him a distinction among the photography world.
Venter’s photographic style resembles a dream-like phase. It’s like when you wake up from a great dream and you try your hardest to remember the dream, but somehow you just can’t. There are only bits and pieces of the dream still rummaging around in your head, and the bits and pieces are distorted. The images that Venter creates for his clients possess that sort of feel. The pictures are almost surreal and I think the dreamy feel to them give us something new and fresh from photography.
Music is a huge aspect in Venter’s photos, he listens to different types of music that could be presented in a dream sequence. In an interview with Urban Outfitters on their blog, he stated, “I enjoy working with musicians because there can be a lot of creative freedom. Music is such a visual thing to me and it’s really interesting getting to interpret in a visual sense.”
One of the biggest shocks about Venter is the fact that he’s only 19. But he’s become a professional photographer with several clients. I believe that the music that he listens to directly correlates to the pictures that he makes. In an interview with VSCO, or Visual Supply Co., a company that focuses on technology and art, he said, “I love working with bands/musicians. I would like to work more extensively with my clients by being a larger part of their overall visual direction. This is primarily what I’ve been doing as of late, but I would like to pursue it a bit more. There are always more things in store; however, I’m unsure as to what they might be. It’s more exciting not knowing what’s next.”
The first time that Venter took photos for profit, when he was only thirteen. He began his career by photographing his older brother’s band. From there, he only increased his contacts and success. He was able to travel to England to document an alternative rock band named A Silent Film, where he captured incredible photographs of the scenery and the musicians alike. He was also able to document musicians like Reggie Watts, a artist most known for his beat-boxing and improvised music sets. Since then, he has photographed and documented noteworthy musicians like Barcelona, a popular indie rock band, and Anthony Ruptak, a lead singer for his band Anthony Ruptak & the Midnight Friends. Working through the music industry has given him quite a boost.
Venter has made a name for himself by taking risks and running after clients, not waiting around for something to happen. At first, he would wait for calls or emails from potential clients so he could receive work. But now, realizing that it’s up to him to put himself out on the market, he’s the one that calls and emails first to attempt to get customers. The way he goes about things now has definitely worked in his favor.