Behind the Camera with Photographer Eric Striffler
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and for photographer Eric Striffler this holds true as he uses his trained eye to uncover artistry all around him. With a portfolio that spans fine art, portraits, fashion, interior design, sports, food and lifestyle, Striffler has been an in-demand photographer for editorial publications as well as clients who want to savor his images in their homes for a lifetime. Striffler’s advertising and editorial images have appeared in numerous publications including Town & Country, NY Times, Businessweek, Elle, Conde Nast Traveler, W, Vogue, House Beautiful, Elite Traveler, Time Out New York, Robb Report, Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Palm Beach Illustrated, Hamptons Magazine, New York Observer, Avenue, The Wall Street Journal, Travel & Leisure, and Architectural Digest.
His style secret? “It’s about the vibe and the energy and the joie de vivre,” says Striffer, “It’s about communication and making people feel comfortable. The more comfortable they feel, the better the photo is going to come out. The highest compliment is when someone says, ‘No one has captured me like Eric has.’”
Striffler has a long lens on the Hamptons, having grown up here and based here most of his life. These deep ties to the area’s natural beauty and his spiritual connection with the East End infuse his work. His immersion as a surfer, paddle boarder, hiker, and yoga aficionado add veritableness to his images. Striffler’s mother was an amateur photographer and early influence, his childhood days spent perusing coffee table books of Avedon instead of Archie comics. Striffler says, “I was mesmerized by anything that was a gripping image from an YSL fashion ad to WWII documentary photo.” He honed his craft at college at the University of Rhode Island and mastered the art of 35mm film, dark rooms and all, before embracing the digital age. While he appreciates the amazing images which can be captured by anyone on an iPhone, he also honors the training, experience and equipment of a professional which surpass a mega-followed Instagram account. “For me it’s about seeing something in the world and capturing it with my eye then getting it printed and framed and my client gets to see it every day,” explains Striffler, “I didn’t just see it, I captured it for them.”
While some photographers only flourish in the uber stylized world of high fashion, Striffler excels at capturing a natural look. He explains, “Soft and flattering directional natural light is a common denominator of mine. I want to capture the natural and organic element of what’s going on, not anything engineered or artificial.”
Striffler is also not afraid to get his feet wet, literally. For his stunning ocean images, he wades right into the waves to capture the break at the perfect moment. The sensual nudes he conjures on the beach also portray these mermaid-like beauties at one with the beach and the sea. “I love texture and bringing the outside in,” says Striffler, “Through the image you are experiencing the ocean in your home, and you can almost hear the sound, thinking ‘I’m there.’”
One of the favorite parts of his job is meeting new people who often become friends. Striffler says, “I walk down the street and bump into people I’ve met throughout my career. If I was working in a cubicle that wouldn’t happen.”
So, what’s on Eric Striffler’s bucket list? Travel: The Pyramids, the Great Wall, Antarctica, Easter Island. “My batteries are recharged every time I go away” says Striffler, “I can’t imagine going somewhere without a camera.”