Russ Heritage is a portrait and headshot photographer. As an artist and image maker, his ambition is to create photographs that transform the way his clients see themselves. Formerly from Mississippi, Russ now serves clients throughout the greater Milwaukee area.
What inspired you to become a photographer?
We see thousands of images of ourselves on social media. Most of them are casual snapshots, and precious few are flattering. Meanwhile, we’re flooded with images of celebrities who tend to be captured in their best light. This “image inequality” takes a toll on our self-esteem. The way we see ourselves has a huge impact on what we believe we’re capable of, and on where we feel like we belong.
I became a photographer to help bridge this image inequality gap. I want entry level workers and CEOs to have equally powerful headshots. I want waitresses and baristas to have glamour shots that look right at home in fashion magazines. And I want up-and-coming bloggers to feel as beautiful as the people they follow on Instagram.
What's your dream project?
So many! Right now, my dream project would be to photograph the professional dancers of our city. Combining two fine arts – dance and photography – is a dance of its own. Capturing details that matter to me as a photographer, as well as the forms and stances the dancers must display, makes for a great creative marathon.
What's your favorite subject to photograph?
Perhaps not shockingly, it’s people! Portraits, glamour, headshots, fashion. Anything that requires a connection between subject and lens. I’m inspired every time I work with a client, and nothing beats witnessing their expression when they see images they love!
Do you create any other art, in addition to photography?
I worked as a professional writer for seven years prior to becoming a photographer, and writing is still a huge part of my life. I’m very passionate about storytelling, and it crosses over into my photography.
What other artists inspire you?
Sue Bryce and Lindsay Adler are huge inspirations. Look them up on Creative Live if you haven’t heard of them – they’re amazing artists and educators. My sister-in-law Susie (and her sister-in-law, Becky) are my heroes. They run a wedding photography business in DC and I’m always awed by the quality and consistency of their work.