Trevor Fife is a director of photography based here in Portland. His varied works include plenty of stuff you’ve seen such as promotional videos for Stumptown Coffee and the intro for the True Blood television show.

Show Notes

Recorded Monday, April 1st, 2013, and this is episode number 7. Follow Ray, Kandace, Dan, or Needmore on Twitter. Please rate our show on iTunes!

The Interview

Ray:
I don’t, maybe I should. I don’t have an adapter, so I’m the only one who gets the headphones. Sorry, we’ll work on that.
Trevor:
I’m good. That’s all right. That’s all right. Sometimes, hearing yourself is a little too much.
It’s true. I think it would … I think I’m used to it now, but I think some people might find that intimidating. Okay. Would you like some San Pellegrino just to have it handy?
Yeah, I’ll get it. I’ll get it when the urge strikes me.
Okay, okay. Yeah. The sound of it will be exciting for our listeners I think with little “Pssst.” Okay. Here we go. Hello, Trevor.
Hi.
How are you?
Fine, thank you.
Good, good. Thanks for showing up and blowing up. Let me get this a little closer there or point it. Maybe just point it. There you go. Okay. What’s going on with this? It’s going to … Okay. Hello, Trevor.
Hi.
Much better, much better. Why don’t you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself? Where you from?
Originally, from Michigan.
Okay.
Bounced around growing up, Colorado, California, Connecticut.
Wow. Why so much bouncing?
No particular reason. I think it was just young parents.
Okay.
Just checking out new things, different job opportunities.
Okay. It was the ‘70s. Was it the ‘70s?
It was ‘70s.
Okay.
Yeah, nothing sorted.
Okay, got you. Just free spirits?
Yeah, yeah.
How long have you been in the Portland area?
Since 1995.
Okay. You are a video guy? What’s your title? What do you call yourself if someone asked you?
In the industry, I would be called a director of photography.
Okay. Where did you learn to do that? Where did this come from?
Where did it come from? Let’s see. I don’t know if it came from anywhere specific. I think it was partly born out of not being interested in very much of anything.
Okay.
At a certain point, I thought, “God, film production looks cool.” That was the first like first thing in my life. Now, it’s like at 24 or something like that. I was like … I finished school, and was waiting tables, and just thinking what was the next step, and so I jumped into some classes at Northwest Film Center here in town and just explored that. From there, I got into the photographic side of that. I was like I just … It was cool. I enjoyed the process, and I felt like I was okay at it, like I had like … It was one of the first things I think that I recall feeling like, “Oh, I’m good at this,” like in a … Maybe what I considered a meaningful sort of way.
You had an eye for it kind?
Or something, enough to like spark my interest and curiosity. I was definitely like curious to like learn, and watch, and just absorb as much as possible. The interest I think stemmed from those, those experiences.
Before that, you went to college, but it wasn’t for a film or anything like that?
No, no. Just a …
What was it for?
A little arts English degree, keep it open.
Okay, okay. All right. Is there someone who inspired you to do that, or was there a certain kind of …?
I don’t think there was like a person per se. I think like definitely exposure to certain kinds of filmmaking was a huge turn on to me like lots of more experimental avant-garde documentary stuff, stuff that was really interested in exploring form and with this idea that there’s like … In a way like all stories have already been told. The thing that makes each story a little bit different is how they’re conveyed or how they’re told. That was super exciting for me. Not just photographically, but editorially, and thinking about the creative process from that standpoint.

Here I am like in my early 20’s, just seeing like all of these avenues to explore creatively and just trying different hats on all the time, and it was super exciting to simultaneously find your own voice within that, but also just explore in a very pure creative way. That fueled my interest for years I would say, just trying.

When you started out, were you … What were you shooting on?
Like initially, like my first film projects were on super 8.
Okay.
That was through course work at the Film Center. They had awesome teachers there who … I would say as much as anybody were instrumental into turning me on to filmmakers that were doing things that I had never seen before and getting me to think in ways that where all of a sudden like igniting some just like curiosities and passion in myself. I was just like … To have that happen to you in your life for the first time, it’s like you just hold on to it like for dear life. It’s like a life jacket. You’re like, “Oh, finally. Something’s come along that’s … That I like.” I just ran with it as much as I could and just worked at it.
You were just … You were shooting, editing, all on super 8 just like cutting film?
Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Okay, okay.
It’s all very like this was at the tail end, I would say, of entering into digital stuff, and I’ll be at crappy digital stuff; but so like I was … This was the tail end of editing on flatbeds, so cutting everything still on film. You could certainly cut things on video, but in an educational setting, that was still being promoted. I think part of that, that framework influenced the kind of work I was into. I think stuff that was really like … It felt like something that had texture and things that you could hold on to.
I had like a lot of physical substance and quality to it which was stuff that was, again, like more experimental nature stuff that was maybe interested in alternative photo chemical processes or were really interested in these very formal structures editorially that we’re trying to develop these internal languages within the films themselves and seeing how that … Those might have conveyed an idea or a story differently than maybe a more standard conventional approach.
Okay. Were these just a few minutes long like …?
It was definitely like … In general, I think that kind of work was so much more well-suited for the short film format because I think you … Bearing in mind, someone else is watching what it is that you’re … You’ve put out there. The attention span for these kinds of things I think is … It’s quite a bit less than a narrative-driven story that is an hour and a half long. While there are certainly beautiful and compelling works that are super challenging to watch that take hours, an hour if not hours to play out. I think by and large, most of this kind of work is most digestible in the under 15-minute format.
Was this black and white?
No.
Did you start in black and white, or did you start in …?
Yeah. I mean like starting would only just by virtue of like … That was like the requested stock to use maybe for some initial projects, but by no means was I compelled to just shoot in black and white or anything.
I see. What was … How long was it until you got a commercial work that you’re …?
A long time, so like at a certain … Let’s see. In 1998, I did an internship at a local production company, and I quickly learned that I wanted nothing to do with working in the commercial industry. It just seemed like a dead-end. They had nothing to do with what I was interested in which was like, like I said before, about that time geeking out on all these like seeing how … “What happens if you do this? What happens if you put this after this and slow this down, speed this up?” For all intents and purposes, just fucking around to make things feel a certain way.

I was looking around at some of the people who were working in the industry and seeing that after 20 years of hard work, they were doing like Bowflex ads or something like that. At the time, that seemed very unattractive or it wasn’t where I was. It just wasn’t what … I wasn’t ready to jump into that boat quite yet. I said, “No. I don’t think that’s the track I’m going to explore.” I found myself employed at the school that I went to, Northwest Film Center. Basically, running their equipment room for the next seven years after that. It was … It facilitated that … Those interests too like it … The framework was set up to like continue like maybe working on my own stuff or working on other people’s stuff.

That was really helpful to start to like get rid of this kind of aesthetic or just hone your own personality a bit and … I felt like that was a super helpful thing. Then as far as like commercial entry work, it was very weird and it was … I shouldn’t say it wasn’t unintended. After working at the Film Center for that many years, I was like, “Well, this job is like fine, and I love the people here, and I love like what our … What we’re doing as an organization,” but it wasn’t the place that or a job that saw myself doing when I was 50 and thought, “Okay. Well, what‘s the best …? Okay. If you could do what you want to do, what would you do?” I thought, “Well, if I can figure out in some shape, form, or another to make a living working on commercial projects that are in some shape, form, or another an echo of my personal work.”

Like more creative and more experimental?
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, like they bring me on to do like something that is that I offer in my own work, then maybe I can enter into that conversation a little bit easier. It wasn’t like I was like every project needs to be like that. It was more like … I was thinking like, “Well, if … Initially like maybe if two out of every 10 projects has like something that I can grab on to and feels like it’s coming from a good place for me, then I can … That will be a goal for me to like work towards.” At that point, you’re just like you’re just taking whatever that comes your way.

I remember I did like a feature-length slideshow for like this doctor in Beaverton who’s like … He wanted to do like art therapy and show like his snapshots from travels around the world, and he … It was called “A Video Safari”. Everything about it is about on par with what the name of the piece suggests. It really was like …

How did you find the client like that, like that type of … How did you …?
I don’t know. They called me.
Yeah, okay.
At that point, it’s just like if the phone rang, awesome. Still to this day, if the phone rings, awesome. I know I’m not that much pickier today than I was then in a sense.
Fair enough.
I did that kind of stuff for a year or so, and then an old friend from the Film Center who I hadn’t talked to in years, he called me up and said, “Hey, I work at this production company up in Seattle. I remember really liking your work. Send us some work samples.” I was like, “Cool, cool.” I sent them that, and it was … It ended up being a job for the introduction for a HBO program series, True Blood. This is the company that did the title sequence for it. That was well-received by audiences and within the company that produced it. In that, that kind of … That sparked something.

All of a sudden like I was like … They called me a few more times just like it just … Things started to creep from there, and it wasn’t like all of a sudden overnight like, “Trevor, get an agent,” like, “Let’s go. We got work to do.” It was still very like I was still teaching at the Film Center, and I did that for a couple more years.

Just saying you hadn’t decided what to wear on the runway yet?
Exactly. Yeah, or at the award show. It’s just too much stress.
Right.
Yeah. Long story short is True Blood, opening title sequence helped generate future work and on some level helps mount a lot of the commercial work that I’m doing today and twofold. I should say that the … A lot of the … The work from … That I did for True Blood honestly was generated from some of the early work that I did for Stumptown, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and that’s a huge, huge part of my identity to work for them.
At this point, when you’re doing the intro to that show, for example, are you still doing it on film?
Yeah.
Okay.
All of my contributions when I was the co-DP for that job, and all of my contributions were either on 16 millimeter or super 8.
Okay.
That was a format that I still continue to work with sometimes, whenever I can if it’s appropriate for the project.
Is it typically a question of budge or the right visual aesthetic for the project or time?
At this time, both, especially budget. It’s more and more expensive to be able to work in that medium and …
Sorry, everyone.
That’s all right. Creatively, sometimes it’s appropriate. Sometimes, it’s not.
When you do that, are you editing it digitally? Do you do the transfer than the editing nowadays?
Yeah, and I’m doing very little editing these days.
Okay.
I’m handing off all of the materials and never seeing it until it’s finished more often than not, except for anything that I’m fully producing which at this point is mostly just the Stumptown work and maybe an occasional thing here and there. By and large, I’m just shooting and never seeing it again until it’s finished.
Until it’s up?
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. The super 8, 16 is processed, sent to a facility that transfers it and puts it in a digital file format that then is ingested into an editorial setup.
Okay. Yeah. Your relationship with Stumptown has been amazing to watch. How many videos have you done so far?
In some shape, form, or another like for different applications and purposes, there’s probably a good 12 or 15 that are out there. Some are for educational, some are for event-specific scenarios, and then a handful are standalone like short pieces.
For a while there, you’re doing going on sourced trips like visiting the countries where they’re … Like to shoot them harvesting and … Tell me about that. What was that like?
It’s tremendous. I would say it’s one of the most important experiences that I’ve had. I would say that in 2006, the first time I went to a coffee farm, Finca El Injerto in Guatemala. I travelled with my partner on a lot of these films, Autumn Campbell, and at that time, Duane Sorenson. It was like one of those light bulb moments that you have, hopefully you have, of looking around your … What’s going on and acknowledging like, “This is really what I want to be doing.” It wasn’t till that point that I knew that I wanted to be in different places outside of Portland meeting new people and seeing new things behind the lens of a camera as not just as like a creative experience and gathering elements to put together for films, but also as much as anything, just for like an experiential sort of thing.

Like it was like just awesome to be able to engage in conversations. Not verbal conversations, but just some sort of interaction with people from the framework of photographing versus being say like a traveler or a tourist. It was … All of a sudden, it opened up these doors to those experiences that I hadn’t experienced before as a tourist. That was like … That was so rich feeling to me and …

You’re comfortable having your camera around there?
Super comfortable. Yeah.
Yeah. Did it seem like that it was …?
I have no … Every culture is different in terms of how receptive they are to being photographed. Some like … It runs the gamut. At the end of the day, I’m not comfortable … I’m not uncomfortable pointing a camera at somebody, and I … It’s either one of two things. You can either just … You feel the vibe that’s telling you to be more sensitive. At which point, you make yourself come across as being sensitive to the situation either physically or verbally; but ultimately, if your presence isn’t wanted, it’s easy to pull back. There’s no like … It’s very rare that there is content or an instance where it feels like it’s so demanding that you have to contradict somebody’s suggestive or explicit request for you not to be there photographically. It’s an easy scenario to navigate.
How long on a trip … Like the El Injerto trip that you mentioned, like how long are you there? How many days are you shooting?
A short period of time, so that’s like usually three to four days. I think like in that respect, one of the things that was always important and maybe still is today is that when you’re putting together material based upon those short excursions that you’re putting together content that reflects actually that time frame that you’re working in and that you’re not trying to suggest your intimacy, or knowledge, or understanding of what’s going on there anymore than what one would be able to absorb in those number of days.

Like for that respect, from that … Or from that aspect, it’s like I always felt like it was our responsibility to invite the viewer into like how a place looks, and how it feels, and how it sounds, and try to keep it in that mindset and not be overly … I don’t know what the words are, but not try to suggest that you understand what’s happening there more than what you could actually understand within that framework. I certainly would say like early on, especially with the first handful events, it was like … It was really, really … Maybe to a fault was really …

Let me ask you this, are you … Do you mean like you maybe wouldn’t film yourselves hanging out having dinner or doing the part? You’d film more like them, like people at work or like that? Is that what you’re talking about?
Yeah. I think it’s really interesting to incorporate a filmmaker’s participation within the framework of the thing that they’re shooting. I wasn’t … For these projects, I wasn’t interested in exploring that. This was always more about trying to like convey what it was like, A, to pick, carry, process coffee, and what the locations looks like, and who the people were, and what they exuded in some shape, form, or another. It always felt like it was almost better to do it a more open-ended sort of way versus in being very explicit because one thing that’s always challenging is communication. It’s like you’re like dealing with folks on maybe a more superficial level at that point, and you’re just going off of gut interactions.
On that first trip, you’re shooting. You’re shooting film at least for that first one?
Film and video. Yeah, yeah.
Okay, okay. Is there any concept of like dailies? Are you able to review your footage at the end of the day, or you’re just hoping you got what you need?
No, you’re so beat. Like after 12 hours of shooting, you’re just like …
Yeah, in the sun.
Yeah.
You’re just wiped out.
Yeah.
I could see that.
It’s nice to not have to look at stuff unless you need to, and just let it digest, and come back to it after you return if the project allows that.
Jumping forward to the most recent project, is that something that you were still shooting with film, or is that mainly a video?
It’s mainly video. You know what? I think it’s … Like I’m trying to think the last time I shot. Actually, the … I shot two projects in the fall. I shot film for it, but I never processed it because of the like expense of it, and I knew I just didn’t necessarily need it. It was like bonus material.
Are you shooting that as when you do the video, is it with a video camera? Are you using a regular like a digital camera?
Certainly, like the last three years have been super DSLR heavy with like when Canon 5D hit the market. It just … It changed the landscape of commercial filmmaking in a really profound way, and it like just … it really like … For me, it was just like it’s a game changer too. It broadened my palette exponentially and just got me super jazzed and excited about photography again.
Okay.
I was shooting mostly like 16 before and standard definition video. It was fine, but all of a sudden, what some of the creative choices that were allowed with a DLSR, all of a sudden really … It gave you that many more decisions or creative choices to make when putting a shot together.
Give me an example of …
Like all of a sudden, with a DSLR, you were shooting with a camera that had a very cinematic quality. I.E. shallow depth of field which is a property that most people are familiar with, whether they know it or not. When they watch a motion picture, where your backgrounds are out of focus considerably compared to your foregrounds or vice versa. It’s this idea of selective focus was a huge thing all of a sudden to consider. The form factor of the cameras, they’re super small. They all of a sudden like really facilitated documentary filmmaking in a way that was a little bit less obtrusive than it was before.

That, all of a sudden, I think made people more comfortable who you were shooting in documentary situations. Mostly, those two things just optioned more considerations of how you wanted things to look. I think lensing all of a sudden became a much more important thing to me. It used to be like … When I was used to shooting 16, it was all just like, “Make a beautiful frame, done. Make a nice composition …” Or have it be whatever it is, but it’s just like whatever was in front of the camera, that was the end of my conversation.

Now, it’s that and a couple other things. That’s just like anybody as they learn more about their craft, they have more to bring to the table, and I think like that helps speed that conversation long for me like in a huge and important way that’s been super cool for me.

Do you feel like when you’re working with people these days, because you have so much of a body of work behind you that they know what they’re getting? You don’t have to sell yourself as much?
Definitely, yeah. Thankfully. I feel super fortunate in that respect, and like I was saying before, it’s like … At the end of the day, it’s like I am a gun for hire for commercial projects, and I rely on the film terrain. I take work wherever it comes and whatever shape, form it is. If things are slow and Bedmark comes by, it’s like, “Hey, we want to do a commercial.” I’m like, “Cool, awesome. I’m happy to be work. I have overhead.” That takes precedence over my creative wishes, and curiosities, and percepts to be honest. Having said that, I feel like my patients in my earlier years of not stepping into production work and climbing a ladder of just getting to a position where somebody was going to pay you to shoot something was a gamble that paid off in that I developed a voice.

I think that people have subsequently and has been more and more as time goes on have come to me to bring on their product. They know that like my style is like … It’s definitely like documentary in approach. Hopefully, it has some refined qualities that make it a bit more than something that looks haphazard as if somebody was just picking up a camera and going out there, and hitting “Record”.

If someone was going to TrevorFife.com and you’re going to tell them, “You watch this one piece, that’s my style in a nutshell,” what would that be?
The style in a nutshell is … In the best case scenario is a synergy that happens between a very formal and emphasis on composition in terms of photographic style that editorially is combined with a very organic and seemingly unrefined raw sensibility that when put together hopefully creates a synergy. I really believe in there being incentive intention behind how you’re expressing something, and how you’re photographing something, and especially even how you’re editing something.

When I go out, I like to at least like breathe intention or reason into like why it is I’m doing the thing that I’m doing, why it looks the way it does, and that it has some sort … It’s grounded in some sort of like approach and with an intended result. Not to say that you get that, but at least to get the conversation going.

Do you have discussions with clients who push back and wonder why you made a particular shot?
No.
Do you feel like …?
Most of my conversations are with directors.
Okay.
With the directors, my job really is to facilitate the creative vision that they have. In the best case scenario, I’m asking them questions that get them to explain, or expand, or question some of the … Where they’re at in the projects, and hopefully, that pushes the project into a better place than where it was; or me just better understanding what their vision is and being able to do my job in a better way.
When you’re shooting something that you’re also going to be editing like this recent Stumptown work, for example, are you more or less comfortable in that situation? Do you find it more challenging to come up with what you’re going to shoot without that direction?
No. I think like my … Because that’s where my interest lie in a more global sense is when I’m hired to shoot something I’m … I like to think that I’m conscientious about not just how things are appearing in the frame, but I’m thinking about things editorially, so making sure that it’s … That they’re getting the elements that they’re going to need to work with and thinking about how things are going to ultimately look beyond just what we’re seeing in each individual shot. What was the question?
I was wondering if you were equally comfortable in both roles.
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Totally. To that end, it’s like I love … I love directing. I try to get like upstream in the conversations as much as possible, so that … Because I feel like the shooting, especially the kind of projects that I work on, the … Photographically informs the edit a lot in making sure that the photographic elements are there for the edit I think is … It always is important, but I think, for whatever reason in the projects that I worked on, it’s maybe even more important. It’s almost like doing diligence to my own work and … Thinking that what … That my contributions might help the edit if we get our basis covered. It’s hard … it’s hard for me to describe.
With the most recent Stumptown, it’s a good example where the format was focused on a series of interviews. I would describe it as … But filled with a lot of little visual sides, and vignettes, and little stories like over that. Tell me about your process for making that. Did you start with the interviews and then have the story in your head how you’re going to … What were you going to shoot and then just set out to get all of that footage?
Yeah, very much like that.
Okay.
All the interviews were conducted more or less. I’d say three quarters of them were conducted within a few days.
Okay.
Then from there, I put together just like an audio narrative. From there, it’s like that starts to invite some editorial ideas and what kind of visual content you’ll need, and then just piecemealing from there, and then filling in holes wherever need be.
You work in iMovie?
No.
I’m actually curious. Is it like Final Cut or?
Final Cut.
Seven or 10?
Seven.
Okay.
Yeah.
Yeah?
Yeah. If I was an editor like professionally, maybe I would edit in 10, but only because maybe that’s what I would need to do professionally, but I know plenty of professional editors who are still editing in 7 for those of you who are remotely interested in that kind of thing. It’s back … Seven is just A, okay with me, and I thought they missed big time on the Final Cut 10 in my opinion.
What’s next for Trevor? What are you excited to be working on next? What kind of … Where do you see your career going from here?
I just came off one of the better jobs in the last few years shooting content for the … I think that’s a new LAX … Either it’s like a terminal, or a new wing, or something like that, or new sort of thing. Inside the terminal, there is this … All of these like huge large scale architectural video panels that are in like these odd-shaped configurations, very like design-oriented. Some of these are computer generated in terms of the content, but there’s one section. There’s this 8-panel video wall that is going to consist of these 6-minute portraits of cities around the world. We just finished shooting content for Barcelona, Bangkok, and Seoul. It was like one of those like dreamy jobs because there was really good …
On location.
It was on … It was a fun place to shoot. There was no client there, and the creative was just like wide open, shoot what’s cool with a few … With some very creative like point of references and how to make something tangible from it, but it was very like “Just go do something cool” kind of job which in theory could spawn into repeated shoots for 22 more cities if it’s well-received. That could be in the future, the next couple of years. Other future things, I would say like it’s still … Like I haven’t done a personal project in years. Partly, out of like just being much more interested in commercial work.

Simultaneously, the commercial work actually really feeding a lot of the like personal creative interest, so it hasn’t been any kind of like struggle or conflict. I’ve been very content with the commercial work satisfying work, but I would still … I would love to work on something that just had no attachments to anything other than personal interest and whatever comes up from that groundswell.

It was on a good … At a good location might be at the end?
It’s all about location.
Have you been …? You mentioned … I think you mentioned still photography in passing, is that something you’re also interested in, you’ve been playing around with or?
I don’t play around with it. I love still photography. At times, I like it better than motion or live action stuff. I love the nature of a still photograph and the dialogue that happens between a viewer in that context versus what happens between the viewer in a live action. I feel like the kind of things that I’m drawn to photographically, they’re live action or still stuff is stuff that is a little bit more ambiguous and mood related. Correctly or incorrectly, I always felt like still photography invites a relationship that viewers will engage with.

Viewers I think are much more patient with a still photograph that doesn’t have a quick read and certain meaning; whereas I feel like a viewer’s patience with live action is like they’re just like … They’re in and out so much quicker, and they just like … They’re not willing to engage with something that is a little bit more meditative or a little bit quieter.

It’s got a little bit of a different nature like the … If they were staring at a still image in a video, they’d be “What’s wrong with it? It’s not doing the thing it’s supposed to do for me.”
Yeah, and I … Totally. I think like in live action stuff, a lot of the shots that I’m drawn to are … They’re basically … They’re still photographs. They’re images that very little is actually moving in the frame, and so I enjoy that quiet quality, and the slower, the better in my book.
Okay. You won’t be doing any work in 3D soon? I got to ask these questions. I’m just curious what you’re going to say.
No.
Okay.
No. I wouldn’t know where to start. It’s like at this point, it’s do what you like and do what you get paid for.
Do you think there’s any technologies out there that would get you excited like those like RED cameras or the … That camera that …?
Yeah, like I’ll shoot on … I shoot on RED once in a while or ALEXA. It’s all about what’s the right tool for the project, and what’s the budget of the project, and what’s the creative vision of the project, and just figuring out which camera is the best tool for the job. Like I was saying before, a lot of my stuff is documentary in approach and higher end, conventional, commercial production cameras are not a great fit for those scenarios, so it’s all project dependent. As far as like new technology and like … I don’t know exactly what’s on the horizon beyond like 3D and focus-less cameras.

I think what’s going to happen is the resolution is going to get better on cameras, and that conversation will only become meaningful as soon as the displays that feature this content can catch up with that resolution. Like everything now is 1080 HD, but … And there’s a lot of cameras that shoot at 4 and 5K, but there’s very few display options to be able to exploit that, unless you’re going to theatrical release. If you’re putting stuff on the web, you’re just not going to see that kind of image quality difference more or less, but that’s going to change eventually.

Eventually.
At that point, then it will be interesting to see how cameras respond and where that conversation goes. Yeah.
Someone visits your portfolio, they’re just out of college, and they’re like, “That’s the kind of shoot I want to do,” what advice would you give them? How should they get started?
I think there’s two paths that I like I would suggest to people and not with and y sense of expertise. It’s only based upon my very limited experience which is either … One is just getting … It really … What’s your … You have to define what are your interests. What do you want to be doing? A lot of people want to be … They just want to be working in the industry, and they want to be just doing commercial work. That’s like … That’s the cherry right there. Maybe for somebody else, they want to be involved in some kind of like … They want to explore their personal creative approach to the medium a bit more.

I think you have to define those a little bit before you set your path forward. If you’re minded towards figuring out what your own personal voice is and being able to do commercial work in that framework, then I think you just have to … You have to open yourself up to as much as possible, and just be a sponge to what’s out there, and spend as much time absorbing and doing your own like creating your own voice. You just got to work. You have to work. You have to be passionate and just be honest about what it is that you’re interested and what you want to do.

At the end of the day, I don’t think it’s very surprising. It just takes a lot of work and just follow your heart because then … I just … You got to be … You have to be honest with yourself in some shape, form, or another. I guess that’s pretty like … That covers a lot of territory, just being honest with yourself in some shape, form, or another. It’s like, “Do you think you’re doing the right thing? Do you think you’re going to … Down the right path? Do you think you’re … This is making your life more interesting? Are you having fun doing this?” Hopefully, you’re having fun because then it will make it a lot easier.

Totally agreed. Trevor, thanks so much for talking to us today.
Hooray.
Where us … We …? Aside from TrevorFife.com, your home in the internet, where else can people find you? Are you on Twitter? You got an Instagram?
I am so unsavvy when it comes to social media.
TrevorFife.com is the place to go?
TrevorFife.com, yeah.
Are you on Vimeo?
I’m on Vimeo, but that’s … I’m there. Mostly to embed into my website, but I’m also on Vimeo.
Okay. Thanks a lot, Trevor.
Thanks, Ray.

The Job is a talk show about design, music, business, culture, technology, the web, and Portland, and featuring interviews with interesting people. Hosted by Ray Brigleb and brought to you by Needmore Designs.