H I S T O R Y
An accomplished executive of advertising and design, Ian Prior began his Art Director career in the South Kensington neighborhood of London in the late eighties before venturing to the United States in 1991.
Spending time at three of the top advertising agencies in Chicago, Ian fashioned a multitude of successful campaigns for some of the largest domestic companies and global brands, which helped develop and solidify his love of photography.
As a vocation, advertising offered the privilege of hiring and working alongside some of the best photographers in the country. “It was an incredible time. I learned so much about the technical side of photography, but the most influential part of that period in my life came from working with successful photographers on concepts and how they approached the visual craft.”
Ultimately, Prior moved away from just being the man behind the-man-behind-the-camera, and began to put an artistic stamp on his unique, engaging, often witty, concepts, leading to the impressive quality of work we are presented with today. His images strive to cause a reaction and often convey a dichotomy of sophistication and wit. Prior pains over every photograph, often revisiting images on multiple occasions if he feels something isn’t melding the way it should. The result is displayed most noticeably in his color work. Subtle details of atmosphere draw us into the moment, demanding our attention as the story plays out before us.
He lives with his wife and three children in a leafy green, northern suburb of Chicago.
To learn more about what makes Ian tick, call 773.710.2223
P H I L O S O P H Y
I truly believe a great photograph demands study – there is no passing glance at a powerful image.
First and foremost, I consider myself a storyteller. My goal when developing any photograph is to hold someone’s attention as long as possible by presenting them with a story that never ends. If a picture is a thousand words, I strive to present one with five thousand words. I want people to be unsure about when to stop looking at the image and move their eyes to something else.
The images in SMALL WORLDS for example, convey a dichotomy of sophistication and wit. Every technical decision is made to present a divine sense of place. It’s undoubtedly a fantasy world, but the characters that inhabit this world seem alive - their position within the frame, body language, eye-line, and interaction with other inhabitants suggest a mood of curiosity, anxiety, or simple contemplation.
I like to be fastidious with the framing of an image, as I think what is not shown is often as important as what is. The black and white POLKA DOTS & DRAG DOG, for instance, crops the action tightly. The dog stares out, focusing on something, or someone, beyond the frame, while the gentleman in the foreground bleeds off the top, and bottom of the frame, giving dimension.
I hope you get as much enjoyment out of looking at my images, as I do creating them.