Portraits of Baltimore: Instagrammer feature with Noah Scialom
Local photographer capturing portraits of everyday Baltimore with aspirations of one day becoming a wire photojournalist: Meet Noah Scialom aka NoahCalm on Instagram.
Q: INSTAGRAM HANDLE.
A: NoahCalm came about because my last name, Scialom, is sort of strange to type or even remember, so one day I was saying it out loud slowly to myself and typing the corresponding letter to abbreviate it, so C A L M was what came of that, and I happened to like it very much for more philosophical reasons as well, so it stuck.
Q: TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:
A: I am quite surprisingly a freelance photojournalist for a living, living the dream in Hampden, Baltimore. I like to explore and take pictures of what I see and sometimes write about it too. I often stumble into strange situations because I walk very distracted by glimmers of light and shadows that shift shapes, and I just try to take pictures of it and keep moving and laughing.
Q: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN ON INSTAGRAM AND HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR FEED?
A: I’ve been using it for, I don’t know, a year, maybe a bit more? My feed is a diary, as honest and direct as you can get to see what is going on in my mind and my erratic life at any given moment… which makes me wonder what you all think I look like. I am very fat.
Q: WHAT’S YOUR MOBILE SETUP VS. YOUR PROFESSIONAL SETUP?
A: My professional setup is pretty mobile, I always carry at least my iPhone5 and my go to camera is a D700 with a 28mm lens, and a lot of the time that’s all I need, with maybe a 50mm in my pocket for a portrait. If it’s a big day, I have a bag with a few zooms, an extra D700 body. I have a few remote lights and a tripod, but I almost never use them. I treat everything I own like dirt, so shout out to Nikon for keeping it real!
Q: MANY OF YOUR PHOTOS ON INSTAGRAM DEPICT EVERYDAY PORTRAITS OF BALTIMORE. ANY FAVORITE STORIES BEHIND SOME OF YOUR PHOTOS?
A: It’s really hard to pick favorites, recently I have been pretty happy with my work and they all represent different moments that are all equally and differently enjoyable to recall. I love the NOW OPEN sign because it captured the way I was feeling in that moment so well, and it felt adventurous for Instagram in a way that I think works, though maybe it’s cheesy. I love the women at the park in Hampden for the way that it affirms that so many of the most interesting and colorful stories are really right in front of you, if you just take time and go see. And I really love the Baltimore Rocks frame, because I have to thank Baltimore in the first place for having helped me develop an eye for the very irony that that picture is all about.
Q: THROUGH YOUR LENS, HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE BALTIMORE?
A: Quixotic, moody, sharp.
Q: IF YOU COULD GO ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM PHOTO ASSIGNMENT?
A: My dream photo assignment would be one that even barely enabled me to travel freely and take pictures all around the world, with no requirements other than that I turn in pictures regularly. So really I dream of being a wire photographer.
Q: WHAT DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN A COUPLE OF YEARS?
A: The future of mobile photography is here. I think it will only get more and more refined; mobile video with more and more sophisticated editing software (especially for adding audio into videos) and increased multimedia platforms that enable shooting, editing and sharing a project on a single device to a dedicated service, like an ultra-Instagram. It might even shift to sharing on your professional camera itself, who knows?
Q: INSTAGRAM DO’s/INSTAGRAM DON’TS:
A: Do – post more funny pictures of everything, and videos of everything because it’s hard and almost nobody is good at it yet. Do follow me and meet me and buy me coffee. Do NOT post two or five or a thousand pictures of the same thing from very slightly different angles, one should be enough. Do not put too many hashtags on things. Do not troll. Do not get angry about anything on Instagram. Do not like my picture if you do not like my picture.
Q: FIVE INSTAGRAMMERS WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT?
A: Daniel Arnold: @arnold_daniel
Richard Koci Hernandez: @koci
Laura El-Tantawy: @laura_eltantawy
Michael Goldberg: @micpic
Michael Mullady: @mullady
For more, check out Noah Scialom.Photoshelter.com.