- CHICAGO -
Alex Maier is founder of the Superdanger blog and also runs a creative agency called Tiger, based in Chicago.
Our latest photo shoot was made with Alex in his studio in Chicago.
See all photos in the slide above, and get to know Alex in our interview below.
How long have you been a photographer?
I have been shooting semi-regularly for the last 7 years. I do not consider myself a professional in any sense. I enjoy learning as many skills as possible and photography was one that allows me to be creative anywhere I go.
What kind of surroundings and events inspires you?
I love to shoot at evening events when I am a guest. I get to capture intimate moments and just look for interesting people or lighting. I love shooting live music, especially high energy acts. The lighting changes constantly, while the subject runs around on stage forcing me to make quick decisions on how to accurately capture the show. I also love any dark environment. Any shred of light becomes more important when surrounded by darkness.
What type of photography do you prefer?
I love to shoot portraits because I get to try and capture the subject’s energy. I love to shoot men’s tailoring and women’s gowns to capture people looking their best. I really like to shoot anything as long as I get to shoot it my way.
Do you have a personal style about your photography? Anyone specific that inspires you when it comes to photography?
My personal style is dark. Even when I try to shoot light, it will still come out dark. I am drawn to contrast and dark backgrounds. I enjoy shooting people in contemplative or even wistful moments. I am inspired by people and the energy they bring to the table.
Your blog Superdanger is full of beautiful imagery! Tell us, how did you end up starting your own blog?
I started my blog because my friend Matt Perrone told me to. I named it ‘Superdanger’ because I initially wanted to name my band ‘Superdanger’ but I was voted down. In spite, I gave it to the blog as I would not be deterred in christening something with that name.
Besides covering photography, you also cover fashion in your blog. Can you describe your personal style? From where do you get your inspiration style wise?
As I get older I become more obsessed about simplifying my wardrobe. Throughout my 20s I tried out many styles, oftentimes with disastrous results. As I grew older I realized that style is communication. Once I knew how I wanted to be received, I started to dress that way. Most of the time now I try to dress appropriate, as boring as that sounds. Secondly, I always aim to be well dressed, but not the loudest. When I was younger I took inspiration from the tidal wave of imagery from the #menswear bubble circa 2012-2014. I took it too far at times, but that is what life is about. You find your limits (when people say “whoa dude, what are you wearing?”), you find out what is best for you (you look good in that shirt!), and you start to hone in on your personal style.
Through your images we have started to get to know Chicago, the city where you have your base. Is the city different compared to NY and LA? What is happening in the city, how is the fashion scene, the creative landscape, the food scene, etc?
Chicago is a food town first and foremost. Then sports. Then about 50 items down fashion might show up. The city is cheaper than NYC by a longshot and is easier to get around than LA. However, every city has something to offer. I miss the crazy intensity of NYC. I love the laid back atmosphere and great weather in California. But still after experiencing all that, Chicago still works for me. I grew up here, my family is here, I feel like I am a Midwest guy through and through.
The part of you we know least about is your passion for music. Tell us more!
I studied piano and jazz trumpet from a young age, but my first real musical inspiration came from Marty McFly when he played Johnny B. Goode in Back to the Future. It still sticks out in my head as a defining moment that made me want to play guitar on stage. After being in a number of bands I started to do songwriting and some music production. I learned a ton but wasn’t able to make a living doing it, mostly because I didn’t know what I was doing. I still get to compose music for the videos I have created (link here to videos) but I miss performing on stage. Hopefully that will change this year.
What direction do you see for yourself and for Superdanger in the future?
I am going to focus much more on music this upcoming year. I have been writing music with my sister and we plan on putting out an EP this winter. At least, that is the plan. I could just hole up in my apartment and put out
Any exciting projects coming up?
I started a series called “30 Seconds With” in which I shoot a quick 30 second video of people that I think deserve the spotlight. It’s fun because I get to score the videos with original music which is another fun hobby of mine. It is a fun creative exercise as I only have around 30 seconds to tell a quick story visually and aurally.
Finally, tell us about your favorite place in Chicago!
Here are some of my favorite places in Chicago:
Lula Cafe: One of my favorite places to get brunch in the city, although they have a great lunch and dinner menu as well. Food is quick, coffee is hot, and the service is great.
The Mutiny: Great dive bar that has live metal music and free pool. What more could you want?
Chicago Lakefront: Biking, running, tanning, drinking, etc.
My Home: Because here, I can create anything I want.