Q. How did you get involved in photography?

A. I was the fourth grade when President Kennedy was assassinated. The resulting images from the tragedy attracted me to the medium.

Q. You’ve been a photographer since you were ten?

A. I did it through high school and had dreams of being a war photographer in Vietnam, but decided to try out for the U.S. Ski Team instead.

Q. How’d that work out?

A. Not so good. Better to go down in flames than not try.

Q. What else have you tried?

A. I left downhill ski racing for cycling. Rode professionally for six years. Worked as a roadie for a punk band in the early 80′s and drove for UPS. Took those skills and made the natural transition to Wall Street. Became a Registered Investment Advisor and advised clients in the investment arena for 23 years.

Q. Photography and Finance? Strange bedfellows.

A. Not really. From my financial side I’m trained to put my clients’ needs first. For a bride preparing for her biggest day that is a crucial element. Finance and Photography are also about problem solving and doing it quickly. Weddings in particular are incredibly challenging on a technical level.

Q. How so?

A. It’s all about extremes. Extreme lighting issues like black tuxes and white dresses on a sunny day or during a cloud burst, when we run out of time, dealing with a broken heel or bad hair, not enough light, too much light, loud Music?. Did I also mention not enough time? Weddings combine art, science and people. Can be a deadly trifecta for some, but I love it.

Q. Scary?

A. Can be. The two most dangerous types of photography are combat and weddings. I’m not sure which is more hazardous.

Q. What do you do for hobbies?

A. I don’t have hobbies, everything I do, I do for real.

Q. You have to have something for down time.

A. I read a lot. I figure I’ve read 40 books a year for the last 35 years.

Q. Why don’t you write a book?

A. Working on just that. It will be a legal, medical, comedy, murder mystery with a love interest. It will be epic.

Q. 5 favorite movies?

A.

  • Godfather
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Braveheart
  • Shawshank Redemption
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • My Cousin Vinny
  • The Hangover

Q. That’s seven

A. Ehhhh…

Q. Explain the pictures from Africa in your blog…

A. I am actively involved in two non profits- I co founded Friends of El Salvador in 2002, where we’ve built houses ( 51 to date) and schools for the rural poor, and I am active with Friends of Sudan, when we raise money to dig wells in tribal areas with no water. We were there in 2008, and were the first white people they had seen, and it was the first camera they had seen. I am in possession of the only photographs in the world of these people. It was a wild trip- lots of tribal blood sacrifices, etc

Q. Favorite thing about being a photographer?

A. Positive affirmation and the personal connection. As an investment advisor, when things went right it was expected. When things went wrong, it was all my fault. As a photographer, I have found that people really like my work and when I see a mom tear up at looking at her daughter’s pictures, I know that all is right in the world. This is my calling. I am meant for this.

Q. The thing you like the least about being a photographer?

A. I would really like to find my tape-measures, scissors and gaffers tape. I seem to spend a lot of time wandering around the studio looking for those…

Q. Heroes?

A. Mother Teresa , Felix Baumgartner, George Clooney.

Q. Clooney?

A. He could spend his time sitting on his butt reading scripts, but has worked hard to bring justice to Southern Sudan without seeking publicity about it.

Q. Goals?

A. To be better than last week.

Q. Quick question for Joan Gonzalez, Studio Manager- what’s it like working for Dave?

A. It’s like being chased down a hill by a giant boulder – but we have fun…lots of practical jokes (He better not take my scissors though, I know where he lives)

Q. I saw a link to NILMDTS. What’s that?

A. It’s an organization I volunteer with. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep provides parents of still born children with portraits to give them a lasting memory and help with their bereavement. It is always a very moving and poignant experience.

Q. The meaning of life?

A. Simple- to seek the well being of others. My staff flourishes when we perform well, my clients flourish when we deliver great images. It brings significance to our lives, and tells us we are on the right path.

David Hartcorn lives in Annapolis with his lovely (and patient) wife Ruth and his son Mike.