100 Dallas Creatives: No. 23 Photographer of Record Justin Terveen
He even takes cool selfies.
Mixmaster presents "100 Creatives," in which we feature cultural entrepreneurs of Dallas in random order. You've seen his photography. Justin Terveen takes stunning pictures of the Dallas skyline. He's got a knack for recognizing the opportune moment to capture an image and the drive to climb to the best vantage point no matter how high. He's given Dallas residents a new perspective on their hometown and his images have introduced the city to the rest of the world, even sending us to the top of USA Today's Best International Skyline reader's poll. He's the photographer we look to on an unusually foggy day or when lightning appears to strike the Bank of America building. He's documented our sunrises and the glorious sunsets and everything between. Which is why you might be surprised to hear that he picked up a camera for the first time just 10 years ago.
December 9, 2014: an unusually foggy day
When did you first pick up a camera? Late 2004. Borrowed a buddy's little digital number and it was on from there.
Beyond the general rules of photography, do you have a personal rule for what makes a good photo? Does it move you? It's an instantaneous thing. It's either there, or it's not. You can feel it in your gut.
What makes a photographer successful? Further, do you consider yourself successful? I suppose it all depends on how you define success. If we're talking about business, then making a connection with the people is key. Artistically speaking, it's about personal fulfillment and advancing your abilities. I've both failed and succeeded in either aspect through the years. I never really set out to succeed at anything, so as long as the bills are paid I'm happy.
Any tricks of the trade you would share with young photographers? Be relentless in what you do. Take risks. Let go of everything in life but your work. Pour every ounce of yourself into that camera and someone will notice. Cue up on what the public wants to see and focus on it. From a technical standpoint, your post game has to be strong. You will never advance as a professional if your attention to detail is lacking. Sharing is caring, and kindness comes back.
Is there something special about Dallas and its skyline that keeps you coming back to it as a subject? I think it probably links back to my childhood. I remember being totally hooked after visiting Reunion Tower. And there's always been something about the (possibly cliche) postcard view of the skyline over a flooded Trinity. The way deep blues and reds reflect off of Bank of America and the Hyatt at sunset. We've all seen the old 35mm image in Google searches. Aside from 1980s nostalgia, Dallas is just unique. Aesthetically speaking, the skyline is spaced nicely, has good shape, placement, colors, textures, etc. She's a pretty gal. Day or night.
Other than Dallas, what's the prettiest thing/place you've ever shot? White Sands, New Mexico. They're not kidding with that whole "Land of Enchantment" schtick.
Is there ever a day you don't spend with your camera? Not really. It's something you almost feel obligated to have on your person at all times. There's no such thing as vacation anymore. It's just a photo trip somewhere other than Dallas.
100 Creatives: 100. Theater Mastermind Matt Posey 99. Comedy Queen Amanda Austin 98. Deep Ellum Enterpriser Brandon Castillo 97. Humanitarian Artist Willie Baronet 96. Funny Man Paul Varghese 95. Painting Provocateur Art Peña 94. Magic Man Trigg Watson 93. Enigmatic Musician George Quartz 92. Artistic Luminary Joshua King 91. Inventive Director Rene Moreno 90. Color Mavens Marianne Newsom and Sunny Sliger 89. Literary Lion Thea Temple 88. Movie Maestro Eric Steele 87. Storytelling Dynamo Nicole Stewart 86. Collaborative Artist Ryder Richards 85. Party Planning Print maker Raymond Butler 84. Avant-gardist Publisher Javier Valadez 83. Movie Nerd James Wallace 82. Artistic Tastemakers Elissa & Erin Stafford 81. Pioneering Arts Advocates Mark Lowry & Michael Warner 80. Imaginative Director Jeremy Bartel 79. Behind-the-Scenes Teacher Rachel Hull 78. Kaleidoscopic Artist Taylor "Effin" Cleveland 77. Filmmaker & Environmentalist Michael Cain 76. Music Activist Salim Nourallah 75. Underground Entrepreneur Daniel Yanez 74. Original Talent Celia Eberle 73. Comic Artist Aaron Aryanpur 72. Classical Thespian Raphael Parry 71. Dance Captain Valerie Shelton Tabor 70. Underground Culture Mainstay Karen X. Minzer 69. Effervescent Gallerist Brandy Michele Adams 68. Birthday Party Enthusiast Paige Chenault 67. Community Architect Monica Diodati 66. Intrepid Publisher Will Evans 65. Writerly Wit Noa Gavin 64. Maverick Artist Roberto Munguia 63. Fresh Perspective Kelsey Leigh Ervi 62. Virtuosic Violinist Nathan Olson 61. Open Classical's Dynamic Duo Mark Landson & Patricia Yakesch 60. Rising Talent Michelle Rawlings 59. Adventurous Filmmaker Toby Halbrooks 58. Man of Mystery Edward Ruiz 57. Inquisitive Sculptor Val Curry 56. Offbeat Intellect Thomas Riccio 55. Doers and Makers Shannon Driscoll & Kayli House Cusick 54. Performance Pioneer Katherine Owens 53. Experimental Filmmaker and Video Artist Mike Morris 52. Flowering Fashioner Lucy Dang 51. Insightful Artist Stephen Lapthisophon 50. Dallas Arts District 49. Farmer's Market Localvore Sarah Perry 48. Technological Painter John Pomara 47. Progressive Playmakers Christopher Carlos & Tina Parker 46. Purposive Chef Chad Houser 45. Absorbing Artist Jeff Gibbons 44. Artistic Integrator Erica Felicella 43. Multi-talented Director Tre Garrett 42. Anachronistic Musician Matt Tolentino 41. Emerging Veteran Actor Van Quattro 40. Festival Orchestrator Anna Sophia van Zweden 39. Literary Framer Karen Weiner 38. Man Behind the Music Gavin Mulloy 37. The Godfather of Dallas Art Frank Campagna 36. Rising Star Adam A. Anderson 35. Artist Organizer Heyd Fontenot 34. Music Innovator Stefan Gonzalez 33. Triple Threat Giovanni Valderas 32. Cultural Connector Lauren Cross 31. Critical Artist Thor Johnson 30. Delicate Touch Margaret Meehan 29. Fashion Forward Charles Smith II 28. Dedicated Artist Carolyn Sortor 27. Political Cyber Banksy Wylie H Dallas 26. Dance Preserver Lisa Mesa Rogers 25. Rob 'Ain't No Creative Like A Bow-Tie-Wearing Creative' Shearer 24. Scholar of the Stage Susan Sargeant
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Dallas, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.