Tell us about yourself
My Name is Eric Hart Jr. I’m 23 years old, born and raised in Macon, Georgia but currently reside in Brooklyn, New York. In terms of photography, I love shooting stylized portraiture that relates to blackness and/or queerness. I'm a big fan of editorials and fine art. Outside of photography, I also write and collage.
Could you speak about your style and process?
Stylistically, I’d say my work is polished and intimate. I definitely put a heavy focus on lighting and love a nice contrast. I think those elements make an image feel more dynamic, more powerful. My process shifts depending on what I am shooting. If I am working on a personal series I am typically creating a playlist to get into the mood of what the series should be. I imagine the sounds as music videos and start to think of stills from that place. If I am on an editorial job, I typically look at the existing photographs of whoever I am photographing and try to pinpoint the type of shots I don’t see as well as what seems to be most natural for them and find some sort of middle ground for both comfort and innovation.
How did you get your start?
I started shooting when I was about 12 or 13. I started taking images on my iPod in my grandma’s yard. I took landscapes for a while but eventually started photographing friends and family which led me to fall in love with portraiture. After getting my first camera in high school I was shooting just about every weekend which led me to study the craft at NYU and pursue my photo career.
How has your work evolved over time? How so?
I think my intention is what has evolved the most over time. Initially my work was heavily based on aesthetics. I cared more about the looks and overall coolness of an image as I started photography from a place of mimicking images I thought simply looked nice. As I started to study images I’ve become so obsessed with creating frames that evoke more than polish but a feeling. I like subjects to feel not only beautiful, but powerful in front of my camera. I think I am using my lens to find the softness and intimacy that can exist within power.
Tell us about a recent project.
My most recent project is a black and white photo series titled When I Think About Power which visually explores the notion of power through a Black and/or queer lens. The series took a little over two years to shoot and is the first body of work I feel like represents me accurately as an artist. The series has informed how I want my work to look and feel, as well as what messages I want to convey with this artistic medium. I spent a large deal of time questioning what I thought power meant and how power has been taught to me growing up. This series is both the exploration and redefining of that miseducation. The series will be out in May 2023.