Theo Carol will enter his senior year at Syosset High School on Long Island, New York this fall with an already substantive body of work in his portfolio. It is always exciting to discover young talent, particularly of this caliber. Theo agreed to answer a few of SxSE’s questions.
Nancy McCrary: Hi, Theo. How are you today?
Theo Carol: I’m doing great, thank you. How are you?
NM: I want to confirm or dispel the rumor that you’re only 16 years old as the work you’re producing could well belong to a more experienced eye. At what age did you first pick up a camera? And were you aware early on that this was an interest you wanted to pursue?
TC: Yes I can confirm that that rumor is false, I turned 17 at the end of April! I first started shooting casually when I was about 9 or 10 using some old cameras from my dad but then I stopped shooting for a while. I started shooting seriously again a little less than a year ago. My interest was peaked at a young age as my dad is a photographer who has inspired me with his and many other people’s works. I was constantly being shown pictures from Winogrand, Frank, Friedlander, and Cartier-Bresson who have all become favorites of mine.
NM: You’ve been in a number of juried group shows the last year. What have you learned from that experience so far, and what does the exposure mean to you at this stage of your career?
TC: I don’t know how much I have actually learned but I do know that people seem to like the same pictures over and over again. To be honest, I don’t know how much I care about the exposure but I do enjoy seeing my work in shows and sharing them with people. I love when people look at and talk about my work.
NM: Does your high school have a focus on the arts? And, if so, have you been a part of that curriculum?
TC: Yes, my high school is very art and musically oriented. I am currently in a photo class and will be taking an AP Photography/2d design class next year along with an AP Art History class as well. I also participate in photo and painting clubs although I’m pretty bad at painting. My school has an amazing music program. I play trumpet in jazz band, pit orchestra, marching band, wind ensemble as well as some outside bands too.
NM: Digital or Film? Or, both? And why?
TC: I’m currently shooting digital only but I plan to start shooting film soon. I’m shooting digital now because I don’t have the money to pay for film and processings. This summer I’m taking a darkroom and printing class at SVA pre-college which will be my first introduction to film. I plan to start developing all my film myself after this summer so I can save on the developing costs.
NM: What is your favorite camera so far, and why?
TC: My favorite camera so far is the Leica Q. I was lent the Leica Q after meeting Tom A. Smith from Leica Akademie USA at my father’s show in the Soho Leica gallery. The Leica Q feels so great in my hands and the image quality is superb.
NM: What goals have you set for your photography in the next year?
TC: My only goals are to shoot more, get some good pictures, learn more about how to get what I want in my pictures. I’ll figure out what to do with them later.
NM: Your father is the well-known photographer David Carol. What are you memories of his photography growing up?
TC: My whole life I’ve seen my Dad take pictures of everything around him, including me and my brother. My dad has helped me develop my eye by showing me a multitude of his own and famous photographer’s photos. Since I was little I’ve been exposed to the greatest photography as well as meeting some of the best photographers in the world. It’s very inspiring!
NM: Thank you, Theo, and I so look forward to following your career!
Check out Theo’s Instagram @theocarolphotograhy!