Q&A: Brian McSwain


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? A prevailing theme would be “less is more”. What will baffle future generations about our day and age?The emphasis placed on material possessions. Are you aware of any conspiracies? infowars.com , maaaaaaaan. What is it that interests you about photography? The prospect of discovery and the invitation to pay attention. What is the worst thing about city life? That you can’t have rural life at the same time. What part of the planet would you like to explore? The American West. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural? The existence of a Creator. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? Franklin Delano Roosevelt was nice, but give me Michael Jordan 91-97 (also, answers like this is why I was never a candidate for Harvard). Pick a field of science to be an expert within. Biology. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t? A little over a month ago I had the camera, but I ran out of film when a thunderstorm was rolling in at dusk over some sugar cane fields.

Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Assisting Robert Adams. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen. The first time my mother showed me a picture of my biological mom. A glossy 4×6 snapshot. How often do you take other people’s advice? Everyday. Describe a personal hell. My car breaking down in the middle of nowhere…and it’s happened. Which living person do you most admire? My stepfather, John Fore. On what occasion do you lie? When I don’t want to hurt someone. What was the last crime you witnessed? Crime as defined by the sate of Florida…two kids smoking a joint by a river. What is the best way to educate yourself? Self examination and enough humility to know you don’t know much. What is the next book you want to read? Ultimate camera? For what I’m up to right now the Mamiya is doing the trick. It’d be nice if the minimum focal length was 1ft. and it had the option of a waist level viewfinder. Most used camera? Mamiya 7.

What object do you want? A proper printer. What object do you need? Well, I just realized I need some toilet paper. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s? I’d point to their television, drag their typewriter in front of it, and just say “everything”. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength? For the most part. Describe a cheap thrill. Laughing at inappropriate times. Pick an historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. The rebuilding of post Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. Are impulses more important than consequences? There’s not a black and white answer to this one for me. Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I could paint like Richter. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? I’m off work today so I’m gonna take my time this morning. Drink some coffee, meet a friend later, most probably look at some photos online, dip into Lightroom, hopefully get to the printer, and pack a bag to hit the road tomorrow and take some more photos in The Florida Heartland.

Brian McSwain – The Florida Heartland – Website / Tumblr / Instagram