Hello, my name is Paul Culver ...
I've always had a fascination with photos and photography from the first Kodak Instamatic I got as a birthday present as a kid, to the footlocker full of old family photos in my parent's home. I still have some of those blurred and faded photos taken from the window of the bus enroute to scout camp and of course dozens of photos of distant relatives.
I've never been formally trained as a photographer. Actually, I went to a military college where I studied management and engineering. However my time in the Navy gave me the opportunity to travel and I bought my first 35mm camera while deployed to the Far East. That deployment also gave me plenty of time to read about the mechanics of operating a camera and the basics of photography. From there I went on to take my fair share of unremarkable sunsets and tourist attractions. Over time I realized that the photos that really moved me, and the only ones that people save were always of people.
In 1997 I took a trip to Guatemala with a remarkable Bay Area photographer, Jon Kaplan, whose work I had long admired at art fairs. I wanted to find out how he was able to capture such wonderful colorful portraits of kids around the world. I learned that you can't be shy if you want to get a great photo. You have to push yourself to be outgoing and make it happen. My albums from overseas led me to do a few sessions with friends here in San Francisco, and I found I have a facility to keep people relaxed and to capture their natural beauty in a photograph. From there I've built a portfolio of images of interesting men.
I prefer the vibrancy of color work and the use of natural settings and lighting. I can easily be inspired by browsing any number of photography books. I've come to focus primarily on Latin men but enjoy shooting all types of people. I hope you enjoy the samples of my work in my portfolio.