“Day-to-day life was like watching a movie to me.” – A Conversation with Troy Lilly

Like journalists, photographers look at the world from a different point of view and I think that’s why I get along with so many of them because we all think alike!

But one of the many things I love about photographers and what they do is how they can capture a moment with just one shot. One second in time is forever captured with one snap at their camera.

And I admire that.

I admire their ability to evoke emotions from us with a single shot whether it’s happiness, joy, despair, desire, whatever it may be a photo can do that to us.

And today I wanted to introduce you all to one of my favorite local photographers… Troy Lilly! We met at an NABJ Convention back in 2010 and have been friends ever since — it also helps that we both live in the DMV area too! We’ve had the pressure to work together a few times and he’s responsible for my new and improved head-shots that I love and adore!

Troy25-28Troy and I circa 2011…I think! It’s definitely an older picture since my hair is so long!

Troy started taking photos in early 2010 while he was trapped at home during the infamous DMV Snowmageddon. But those few days, birthed a new hobby for Troy. For him, photography is comes from “pure curiosity.”

And it’s a curiosity that has truly developed over the past few years and I’m so impressed with his work. So here’s my Q&A with the soon-to-be famous Troy Lilly!

Kirstin Garriss (KG): Why photography?
Troy Lilly (TL): “Day-to-day life was like watching a movie to me. One day I picked up a camera, started snapping and my life hasn’t been the same since.”
KG: You’ve been doing some rebranding lately, what’s this new look? New brand?
TL: The rebranding is not really a change or indication of starting over, but more an effort to cultivate an authentic reflection of my art. I’ve been known as UrbanSophistic for several years, and people often don’t put together than that person and Troy Lilly are one. Also, UrbanSophistic is hard for many people to spell — and pronounce — and I’m very passionate about functionality. A name can be cool but it’s not functional if it confuses clients. Troy Lilly Photography and Video is much simpler.
0x551Troy Lilly Photography
KG: What do you want this new site/launch to say about you?
TL: With the new portfolio, I want to emphasize my style and set a new expectation for the quality of my work. 
KG: How would you describe your photography sessions with clients?
TL: My portrait sessions produce images that no ones else could have created, so there is a whole process of unwrapping the subject and finding out as much as possible about them. If my client hates wearing shoes, we taken them off. If they love water, we go to a lake. If they like dancing, we dougie. Every session is one of a kind. My event photography is no different  — I capture the essence of a social gathering so the photos are like reliving the moments instead of only seeing who was there.
0x550Troy Lilly Photography
KG: What do you hope to accomplish with each shoot?
TL: The goal is to discover who this person is, what they want, what excites or terrifies them, and capture images of that authenticity with my camera. I want to take risks and expose a vulnerable subject who lives underneath the facade.
KG: What would you consider to be “the perfect shot” or “the perfect shoot”?
TL: The perfect shot or shots just give me chills. Sometimes I feel it while shooting, and other times in the editing process. It’s what I like to call the soul shot. Nothing is contrived; the soul is bared.
KG: What was your most memorable shoot? Most exciting? Most unpredictable?
TL: My most memorable shoot was with a friend and his young son. It’s the first time invited my subjects to stop posing and get real. They raced each other 50 yards, arm wrestled and then made a mountain of fists, stacking their hands on top of each others’. Those were my first true portraits. That would also be my most exciting and unpredictable shoot. I had never captured such authentic images before that day.
0x552Troy Lilly Photography
KG: Any advice to aspiring photographers?
TL: If you ever want to be great photographer, you must do three things. 1) Take lots and lots — I mean tons — of bad pictures. Practice is what separates amateurs from pros. 2) Be willing to walk into a room of strangers and make them comfortable being photographed by you, and vice versa. 3) Use whatever camera you have at your disposal. Equipment does not make the photographer. A great photographer can take amazing pictures with a Polaroid. Learn your craft and love it.
KG-7Troy Lilly Photography
Well now, you know just a little more about the man behind the lens and truly one of the best photographers I’ve encountered in the area. If you’re ever in need of a photographer in the DMV area, check out this site and see what you think.
I know I’ve enjoyed working with him and I’m sure you will too. I also hope we have a few more photoshoots in the near future — hint hint, wink wink, Troy!
Until next time,

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