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Los Angeles-based photographer Alan Mercer is best known for his portraits and publicity photos that emphasize the beauty of the subject. Several well-known actors, musicians, writers, and directors have used the photographer to capture their current look at its best.
Alan Mercer actually began his creative career as an artist. In the early ’80s he met Pop Icon Artist Andy Warhol, who encouraged him to pursue his dream. “I would do pencil drawings of different celebrities. I did one of Andy and he grabbed it from me and wrote his name on it. He told me to draw more portraits and have the celebrity autograph it to create a unique work of art.” Alan continued to do this through the rest of the decade, often donating signed work to charities for fund raising auctions.
While Alan had always taken photographs, he really began to increase his shooting around 1992. Suddenly people were noticing and commenting on the photos. It wasn’t long until he had set up his first photographic exhibition in Dallas, Texas. This showing led to the first jobs of his blossoming photography career. Photography became a natural extension of his art.
Alan built up a business in Texas until January of 2001 when he relocated to Los Angeles, where there is more work available for what he does best. It’s a natural connection for this artist and city. “People always told me I had an LA style to my shooting and now that I have been here awhile, I see that it’s true. Even though I have been shooting close to ten years now, I feel that my career is just starting.” I really have no future plans except to keep earning a living as an artistic photographer.
Which artists inspires you?
Obviously Warhol is a MAJOR influence as well as photographers like Avedon, Scavullo, Bruce Webber, Greg Gorman, and Herb Ritts.
What unlocks your creativity?
Accessibility!!! If I have access to a camera and a person, my creativity is unlocked.