Tyler Shields is an American professional photographer living in Los Angeles, California and while he may boast no formal training in this field, his astonishing and at times controversial work is garnering rave reviews from all over. He uses many varying styles and to put it bluntly, is a rock star in the world of photography. This all said, we recently caught up with Tyler for a quick Q&A. Here’s how it went…

It seems that everyone these days wants a piece of you, including PureGrainAudio.com. Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. First things first, 40 days of no sleep, why? Everyone has asked why, but how the hell did you do it? Are you fully recuperated by the experience?
Tyler: Well I won’t say I am fully, but I am getting closer, I feel a lot better that’s for sure and as for 40 days, when I did the math I knew I could get to 36 but I wanted to make it a solid number, I wanted to push myself beyond what I thought I could do.

Are you disappointed it didn’t make it to the Guinness book of World Records, or was it more of a personal goal?
Tyler: I didn’t do this for them or for any record book, I did this for myself and anyone who is inspired by it.

What made you want to literally shoot someone at the release party for your book ‘Collisions’? Where did the idea come from?
Tyler: Well people are scared of life so I wanted to show them death. It takes a lot to do something like that, pull a gun in a crowded room of people that was 50% for me and 50% for them I wanted to shake people to the core and it pissed some people off and some people loved it very much.

Who is the first person you show your proofs to (other than the “client”)?
Tyler: You know the “dude you have to see this” kind of thing. [laughs] My assistant Jordon sees everything first, but a lot of the time people want to see stuff I have this thing called the vault and people always ask when they can see the vault, it’s all the top secret stuff no body has seen yet and some stuff people won’t see until I am dead.

What is your favourite music to listen to? Favourite bands?
Tyler: The Beatles, The Doors, Arcade Fire and Radiohead.

Do you listen to music during shoots?
Tyler: Depends on when and where we are shooting, but if I can, I do.

Will you venture out of LA for a shoot?
Tyler: Of course. One day I was with Juno Temple and Shiloh Fernandez and it was Juno’s birthday and I said let’s go to Paris in the morning. So we did and there you have the Eiffel tower photos.

Did it hurt to burn the Louis Vuitton bag? (What did it ever do to you!)
Tyler: It didn’t hurt me. I think those bags are amazing, but in the end that bag will live on forever now in that photo.

Typical day for Tyler?.
Tyler: You never know what’s going to happen or where I might end up. I love adventure and I hate planning for it.

Here are a few of my favourite photos, and I know they speak for themselves but can you briefly talk about them. “Garret Dillahunt, Ali Cobrin, Izabella Miko”.
Tyler: Controlled chaos after 40 days of no sleep.

“My Chemical Romance Gerard”.
Tyler: Harry Houdini Halloween magical guy Gerard is.

“Back to the Future Hallowee”
Tyler: Halloween costumes are serious business around here.

“Serj Tankian”.
Tyler: Sweet guy.

“Tyler Shields”.
Tyler: This photo almost never happened and because I said “okay, let’s go out at 1am.” It changed my whole life.

“Train Jump”.
Tyler: She was scared so I helped her get from one car to the next.

“Ashley Greene”.
Tyler: “Its simple just untie yourself before the train comes” her “ok”.

“Spray”
Tyler: You can take a lot more then you think you can when you have to.

Is your book still available? Is there another on the way?
Tyler: ‘Dirty Side of Glamor’ is on the way.

Can prints be purchased?
Tyler: ‘Dirty Side of Glamor’ is on the way.

Talk about the romanticism/eroticism with ‘Love is Forever’?
Tyler: I am big into love and I think throughout life people can fuck it up even if it’s perfect. You can know it’s perfect and still fuck it up. Love is a weapon and it can kill you if you let it.

What sparked your love affair with photography over videos?
Tyler: The greatest love I have ever known is my work. It’s something I have to do and it is my whole life, which makes me love it even more.

Talk about ‘Love is Louder’?
Tyler: Brittany Snow is wonderful and I am very happy to be a part of something like this, it takes more to hate someone then to love them.

You were up in Toronto recently during the film festival, is it true what they say? Canadians are the nicest aren’t they? How was Canada to you? And how was it without being with a cell phone with Lyndsy Fonseca?
Tyler: I love Canada. I bought some security guards a pizza and we hung out. Fonseca Hated it that I didn’t have a phone. Bill Murray loved it, he had no phone either, but I think somewhere inside Fonseca wished she could go no phone. It was a wild time and I loved every moment of it.

Would you ever direct a full-length film? Can we expect any more music videos coming in the near future?
Tyler: Movies are coming. I am starting that now and it’s very exciting! Music videos for sure and video portraits of course.

Will you ever shoot Betty White?
Tyler: I’d love to. Betty if you are reading this call me, I want you to punch me in the face.

What’s next for Tyler Shields?
Tyler: Being punched in the face by Betty White?  [ END ]