Toronto Photographer Steve Carty on Humbling Celebrities: “Treat famous people like real people.”

His mission is to deglorify the superstars.

Arts & Music City & People
Society sure loves to glorify the rich and famous. Yeah sure, it’s nice to give props to the talented folks in Hollywood, but is it really necessary to put them on a pedestal? Nowadays, Twitter bios are filled with funky fandom names as a way to showcase your undying love and commitment to your favourite celebs. Beliebers, Arianators, or ARMYs, whatever band/artist you stan, just remember that these stars are human too.

Local Toronto photographer Steve Carty wants to do just that.

After starting his professional career at 20, he’s worked with some pretty notable names like John Legend, Pharrell Williams, and even, Kanye West (Old Kanye, not the new one.) And yet, you won’t see him fangirling for an autograph. To him, high-status celebrities are just regular people like you and me.

“Treat everybody like a superstar,” he says. “Famous people, less like a superstar. I treat famous people like real people.”

“Everybody’s in the business of glorifying celebrities. Capturing them is already glorifying them by photographing them. So if I can get them a little bit more understated, I feel like it brings up the real.”

(The MIX/Brian Hamilton)

His approach has allowed him to capture raw moments that he describes as “understated, modern and honest.” And it’s working. In 2014, Carty became Canon Canada’s first Brand Ambassador after signing a two year deal with the company. Though photography is his specialty, he’s venturing into new territory. Carty has recently dived into directing shorts, fashion films, and music videos.
In the past, he’s worked for other major brands and publications including Wired (Germany), ELLE Canada, Nike, MTV / MuchMusic, Starbucks Canada, and more.

Steve Carty in action. (The MIX/Brian Hamilton)

From local indie artists Sophia Danai to Emmy-nominated actors like Sandra Oh, Carty has shot dozens of famous faces. But when it comes to choosing which photos are his favourites, it’s all about the ones that change your life.
“In 1997, I shot Tommy Yorke from Radiohead. Most important picture of my career. In 2001, I shot Pharrell Williams for Peace Magazine. Again, very important picture. Colin Firth, a week before he won his Oscar. Career moving pictures where that picture propels a whole new wave of clients, a whole new wave of people looking at my work.”
But whether the picture acts as a catalyst for a new audience of viewers or not, Carty wants to preach that it’s all about pursuing your passion.

“The whole idea is to make good stuff, and share it, and do it every day.”

Want to see more from Carty? For more information on the photographer, be sure to visit his site and follow him on social media.

Steve Carty

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