When did you first pick up a camera? And, when did you know it was a passion you would like to pursue?

Hmm lets see… I picked up a camera at a really young age. I was always playing with my family’s giant camcorder, disposable cameras, or our analog SLR however I never really got too into it. I was very involved in my high-school’s video classes and loved doing short skits for our weekly morning show. The thing that got me to purchase a camera though was skateboarding videos with extreme fish-eye lenses. I wanted to make skateboard videos with my friends, but that also included making fun and funny videos on the side. Photography was never on my mind, unless I needed a MySpace photo, until I got my first DSLR in 2010. After that it was  game over, it was always on me.

Several of your images invoke a sense of movement through time-lapse photography, your composition of curved architecture, or roads descending into the background of an image frame. Is movement something that you are interested in?

I’m really not sure. The light trails in my photos require movement, but I also feel there is a stillness to my images. It really depends, I love shooting at night when things are slower and more still, quiet time to myself or with a friend. I don’t seek movement out when I am shooting, just a dope photo for the gram.

You recently joined Your Art Gallery. How has the experience of being part of a large online photographic community impacted your work?

I love seeing the work of other photographers who are serious about their craft. I always try to imagine how they got the image that they did, if they used any sort of stuff in post, and how much time they spent on their composition. I’m my own worst critic and always see other people’s work and compare myself to theirs. I don’t think it’s a bad thing though, it always has me trying to improve. I also get lots of good info from the YAG blog.

How has your experience of the Your Art Gallery’s user interface helped you to discover different styles of photography? What is your favorite aspect of the site?

As a photographer and overall creative I think I’ve always been aware of many mediums and types of photography. I like that I know when I visit YAG, all of the other artists are serious about their work and selling it. It’s nice having a community of artists that are meticulous about their craft. The ease of getting paid, setting that up at least,  through YAG was so surprisingly easy. That was probably my favorite part, lol. Who doesn’t like getting paid?

Do you have aspirations to be a professional photographer? Or, is there a particular type of photography that you are most interested in? Where do you see yourself going from here?

Technically speaking, I am a professional photographer. I get paid to take photos! I think anyone that sells their work on YAG is a pro too! 🙂 I get side gigs to take photos and it is also incorporated into my day-job (social media & digital marketing) I love creating digital content in its entirety. Selling products by using photos is also a passion. From here… who knows! Life is too crazy for me to predict but hopefully only up from where I am at! Follow me on Instagram @derekkgardner to find out and buy all my stuff on YAG https://www.yourartgallery.com/derekkgardner

NYC rent is crazy! Oh and derekkgardner.nyc