In the digital age it seems nearly everyone is a photographer. Cell phones, DSLR Cameras, Go-Pros, a seemingly endless number of remarkably powerful point-and-shoot cameras. The truth is the ability to capture the important, memorable and fun moments in your life has never been more accessible. Even now, in the age of the casual creator, there is no substitute for experience and expertise. Craig Vollmer’s career began well before we all started carrying cameras in our pockets and that foundational base in film photography is part of what he credits for his technical ability, along with a slew of mentors and opportunities to perfect his craft early on.
Of course, there’s much more to it than that.
After having pursued a career in the film industry to no avail, Vollmer began to pursue photography, taking classes then working at a photo lab near his home town in Nebraska. Shooting second to seasoned pros, learning the ins and outs of the business, traveling where he could and pursuing artistic photography projects in his free time. Perhaps the most important thing Vollmer learned was that he loved people.
“People are infinitely fascinating to me,” says Vollmer of his preferred subject matter, “ just how we interact with each other.”
Whether he’s capturing perfectly synchronous moments practicing street photography in The Louvre, watching people interact with art, or plying his gregarious nature with a wedding party, it all boils down to a love of people. You’ll never find him waiting for hours to capture a wild bear fishing. In practice of the phrase “know thyself,” capturing those fleeting moments and connections that we all experience as humans that drives Vollmer’s passion. Building connections and making new friends, getting to know his clients and what they are hoping to capture in their photos, riding the waves of energy that people create as they interact with loved ones and take the time to document their milestones, that’s what it’s all about.
Citing influences like Henri Cartier-Bresson and attempting to apply the lessons he’s learned over the years Vollmer strives to create images that are timeless and allow people to relive happy memories for years to come. Where the endless reel of phone snap-shots are quickly forgotten or buried in the pile of continuous shutters, family photos, prints and albums stand the test of time.
“It integrates with the decoration of your home, when you go to someone's house you’re always going to look at their family photos,” Vollmer says, reflecting on the unique position of photographic work, “I’m so honored that they would choose me to do that.”