Owner, Collin Richie Photography
Local photographer Collin Richie was propelled onto the national scene this year when he founded Humans of the Water, a project documenting portraits of victims of the devastating August flood. Humans of the Water caught the attention of media outlets across the country, and Richie was interviewed by the likes of NPR and The Weather Channel. Locally, Richie has earned a spot in The Knot’s 2015 Hall of Fame for wedding photography and he took first place at Baton Rouge’s 2016 Art Melt. He is also a regular contributor to Business Report, 225 and inRegister magazines. In addition to professional endeavors, Richie volunteers his time and photography on mission trips to Asia and Mexico with Compassion United.
NAME THREE MAJOR PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
1. First Place in ArtMelt 2016.
2. Hall of Fame for The Knot 2015.
3. First published book as principal photographer: Seasons of Louisiana, a cookbook with Peter Sclafani of Ruffino’s.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR VOLUNTEER & COMMUNITY AFFILIATIONS AND INVOLVEMENT.
I am a board member of Compassion United and a principal photographer and videographer on missions to build fundraising media to areas of Asia and Mexico. I’m also the founder and contributing photographer of Humans of the Water, a group of photographers documenting portraits of flood victims resulting from the August 2016 flood event.
NAME ONE BOOK THAT HAS INSPIRED YOU PROFESSIONALLY.
Canon A1 camera manual.
WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
Any career that involved a map.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB, HOW OLD WERE YOU AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM IT?
My first job was as a ball collector at a driving range at the age of 15. I learned what a 12-hour day truly was, that FICA can sting and to duck.
WHAT IS THE STRANGEST JOB YOU’VE EVER HAD?
A night watchman in post-Katrina New Orleans.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH IN BATON ROUGE, AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DISH THERE?
Spanish Town Market, tuna on wheat.
HOW DO YOU GET PUMPED UP BEFORE A BIG MEETING, PRESENTATION OR PITCH?
I try to calm down and gather my thoughts, usually listening to whatever current audiobook I have on my phone. Right now, Michael Connelly and the Bosch series.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST FULFILLING MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
Being interviewed by NPR’s Ari Shapiro for All Things Considered.
WHAT WAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL “AHA MOMENT?”
I had a print go for over $1,000 at a charity auction in 2006. I had always thought I could pursue professional photography as a career, but I do not think my parents were as sure. This was my first big sale. My parents attended the auction, and I think this showed them I could potentially make it.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED THE HARD WAY?
You will never be able to please everyone, so do your best and move forward.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR JOB WOULD SHOCK CUSTOMERS OR CLIENTS IF THEY KNEW ABOUT IT?
The amount of time I spend at a computer, in my car or just talking/emailing/texting. My career is only about 10% actual photography.
HOW DO YOU TYPICALLY DRESS FOR WORK—CASUAL? PROFESSIONAL? BUSINESS CASUAL? OTHER?
Depends on the job: for a more formal event, a suit. Steel toes when working in chemical plants. Scrubs in a medical or clean room setting. Most of the time, I dress casually. I am in shorts, a hoodie and baseball hat.
WHY PART OF YOUR JOB DO YOU LOVE? WHAT PART DO YOU HATE?
I love the day-to-day diversity. I get to learn about many different specialties, meet leaders in the community and countless interesting people and be a part of some of the biggest events in people’s lives.
The hours. With a career in photography, it’s often a sacrifice as you work many nights and almost every weekend, making social relationships difficult.
MAC OR PC?
ARE YOU ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA? IF SO, ON WHICH PLATFORMS ARE YOU MOST ACTIVE?
As much as I have to be. Instagram is my favorite.
HOW MANY TEXTS DO YOU SEND ON AN AVERAGE DAY? HOW MANY EMAILS?
About 150-200 texts per day, 75-100 emails.
HOW LOW WILL YOU ALLOW YOUR REMAINING PHONE OR COMPUTER BATTERY LIFE GET (IN %) BEFORE YOU HAVE AN ANXIETY ATTACK?
20%. It is red for a reason.
HOW MANY UNREAD MESSAGES ARE IN YOUR INBOX RIGHT NOW?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE APP AT THE MOMENT?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT OF THE PAST DECADE?
WHAT TIME DO YOU GET UP ON WORKDAY MORNINGS?
Between 6 and 7 a.m.
BREAKFAST AT HOME? BREAKFAST ON THE GO? BREAKFAST AT YOUR DESK? NO BREAKFAST AT ALL?
On the go.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WERE “GROWN UP”?
The word “sir” has been thrown around a lot lately in my direction. And buying life insurance was a real eye opener. Also, when I asked for a gas powered leaf blower for Christmas.
WHAT WAS THE BEST VACATION YOU HAVE EVER TAKEN?
Backpacking solo from Panama to Southern Bolivia for three months, spending one month climbing in the Andes with my close friend, Adam Pitts.
FAVORITE GIFT YOU WERE GIVEN AS A CHILD?
As cheesy as it sounds, my father’s camera.
WHICH TALENT OR SUPERPOWER WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE AND WHY?
To never need to sleep. Could essentially have an additional third of an average lifespan.
WHICH FICTIONAL CHARACTER DO YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH?
A solid Pale Ale.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BAND OR SONG?
Right now, Lord Huron.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE?
WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE?
Greg Kinnear, at least once a week someone tells me I resemble him.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR 18-YEAR-OLD SELF?
Spend more time with friends and family, take that year abroad and buy some Apple and Netflix stock.
Rascal, a portly Tabby cat; Miles, a very energetic Golden Retriever; and Sasha, a lazy donated Chow mix.
HAVE YOU HAD ANY MEMORABLE CELEBRITY ENCOUNTERS? WHAT HAPPENED?
Arnold Schwarzenegger asked if he could photobomb one of my shoots in the French Quarter. I did not look up to see who it was, as I get this quite often, and so I asked him to please have a nice day and continue on. Of course, when I realized my horrid mistake and yelled for him to join, he waved me off with a cigar in hand.
TELL US ABOUT A MOMENT THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE.
My parents arranged for me to live with a friend’s family in southern Austria the summer after sixth grade. It inspired a lifelong passion for travel and interest in other cultures.
WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG PERSONAL OR CAREER CHALLENGE YOU PLAN TO TAKE ON?
A museum exhibit.
WHAT CONCERNS YOU MOST ABOUT THE FUTURE?
I keep hoping The Wire will get rebooted. At this point, I don’t think it will happen. Please, David Simon.
WHAT GIVES YOU THE MOST HOPE ABOUT THE FUTURE?
That no matter the circumstance, I get to face whatever may come with my wife, Janay.
DO YOU PLAN TO BE IN THE CAPITAL REGION FIVE YEARS FROM NOW? WHY OR WHY NOT?
Yes. We are anchored here and love living in Spanish Town. My wife and I are excited to see the things to come in the downtown region.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST HOPE FOR BATON ROUGE?
A more effective infrastructure and a commuter link to NOLA. Downtown is growing and becoming a hub, and I believe that is the future of our city. Maybe just a few traffic lights to be synched.
DO YOU HAVE A BUCKET LIST? IF SO, WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 THINGS ON IT?
- Travel to 100 countries before my 40th birthday. 2. Photograph a national editorial piece. 3. Photograph a portrait of a sitting world leader.