Tony Wodarck - TAP Photographer Profile

Something that has been incredibly important to us here at The Archetype Process is sharing knowledge that helps other photographers grow.  The idea that a rising tide raises all boats is very applicable to all of us as photographers.  It's this sharing of knowledge and information that really makes our TAP Photographer Profile this month stand out.

Tony Wodarck is someone we're extremely proud to have using our products.  Not only is he an amazing photographer but he is willing to openly share in our Facebook Community, through his website and on his YouTube channel.  If you have wanted to get started with shooting film, his tutorials on YouTube are invaluable and are the perfect place to begin.  Tony also provides education through his website and blog.  If you are a photographer hoping to improve your photography or business, check out his photographer resources linked below.

We hope you enjoy Tony's photographer profile!

IG Tag: @tonywodarck               Website:

Where you’re based out of: San Juan Capistrano, California

What camera gear do you use? 

Digital: Canon R6 (50 1.2 & 70-200), Leica Q2 (28 Summilux)

Film: Pentax 67, Leica M6, Contax 645 (but I just sold it), Fuji GA645

How long have you been shooting?

For fun 20 years, professionally for 6 years. 

What inspired you to shoot professionally?

I never owned professional equipment. I had a Sony rx100 for little point and shoot travel moments and a Canon AE-1 as my only film camera. Used those for several years. I worked at Hurley for 13 years and in 2015/6 I started selling my coworkers’ used surfboards and taking a cut of the profits. I ended up selling $10k of surfboards in a year and used that money to buy a Canon 6D. As soon as I got that camera some friends hit me up to shoot their engagement photos and other friends’ family photos. From that moment I was hooked. 

What is your favorite place to photograph?

I love just being in new places. Anywhere outside I’m happy. I love Palm Springs for weddings and engagements cause it’s always sunny and so picturesque. I love where I live along the coast of Orange County. But my favorite spots are the North Shore of O’ahu, Hawaii and the Eastern Sierras, Mammoth. Last but not least is Italy. The Tuscany region especially. 

What place would you love to shoot but haven’t had a chance yet?

In college I did a semester where we traveled around the world on a ship circumnavigating the globe and stopping at 11 countries along the way. It was like a sampler platter of the whole world. I’d love to go back to all those countries with more camera gear haha. I especially loved Varanasi in India and the Karst mountain range in China. They both looked so different from home. 

What do you look for in a session?  (Light, location, interaction, etc.)

I always joke I could make a dirty street alley look beautiful. I think good light, good composition and most importantly great chemistry with your clients will win over a pretty location. I do like beautiful nature though. 

What is your Archetype and why?  (Which profile is your go to?)

Kodak Portra 400 Frontier and Tri-X 400. Once in a while I use Portra Pushed but that’s it. I do it all with that.

**Purchase the Kodak Pro Pack and the Monochrome Pack**

What are some of your editing techniques or tips and tricks?

Find good light and nail your exposure in camera. If you do that you don’t need much editing. If I spend longer than 20 seconds editing a photo I’m usually fixing a mistake. 

What are some of your biggest challenges in running your business?

Time. I work a full time job Monday through Friday as the digital director for two companies: Simple (a 90s footwear and apparel company) and Florence Marine X (an outdoor apparel brand built for thriving in the elements in partnership with 2X world champion surfer, John John Florence). 

Who are your creative influences?

I find a lot of inspiration through instagram and photo books. I am most inspired though by being surrounded by creative people who work hard and are passionate about what they do. 

Describe your “Ah Ha” moment in photography.

I started my photography journey on film 20+ years ago. The first photos I shot that I was excited to share with someone else was the moment I saw the power in photography. Sharing brief moments that tell a story and can help you relive a feeling. 

What are some mistakes that helped you to grow as a photographer?

There’s been plenty. Learning on film was hard because the mistakes happen slower. You could be so excited to see a roll and not have a single keeper. My biggest mistakes happen when I’m moving too fast. If I slow down and really try I can typically succeed. So patience and attention are the biggest things that have helped me grow. 

What inspires you to stay creative?

Everything. I am constantly inspired because I surround myself with creative people. I have a lot of natural motivation and excitement for life so I tend to stay inspired. The only time I don’t feel inspired typically comes from being overworked. I’ve done a good job over the past few years to find where my limits are and have more balance in my life. That allows me to stay creative and inspired. 

What goals do you hope to achieve this year?

In January I started climbing. My goal was to find a hobby outside of photography that I could do to break a sweat and challenge myself. I’m addicted. It’s been so much fun. My goal is to continue to just keep pushing myself and get better technically and physically. 

Is there anything you’d like to share about the creative process or editing that you feel would be helpful?

Find people who will give you honest feedback and push you to improve. I hired an editor this year to free me up to focus more on shooting since I love that the most. It’s forced me to try and take better pictures in camera cause I don’t want my editor struggling to fix a bad photo. 

What is something you would have loved to have learned from another photographer early in your career?
How to use light. I spent quite a few years leaning on composition and beautiful locations and not truly understanding light and the effects it has on your photo. Learning how and when to use different lighting to change the mood of your photo is so important.