Photographer Spotlight: Golden Czermak
March 3, 2021 • News
An incredible talent in front of and behind the camera, I recently caught up with Golden Czermak (FuriousFotog) to discuss how he gets over creative block, the most rewarding/challenging aspects of his business, how he came up with the FuriousFotog name, and more!
Also, check out our previous interview together from 2013 (wow how time flies) here!
CJC: How did you come up with the FuriousFotog name?
GC: Back when I began, I had a very rough time integrating into the local photography scene. I suppose it was a matter of photographers being territorial in who they shot (“owning models”, how they shot, and where they shot). I never held that belief being more community driven and based on the sheer volume of criticism and outright bullying in groups that I personally experienced I think it (at least in 2012) my outlook was rare.
So, looking at company names it was really a matter for me to try and keep away from the typical “First Name Last Name Photography” many of them used and establish myself as a total brand including photography, graphic design, and more. “Furious” was a word I kept coming back to, not because of being angry (though it sure fit) but being energetic and driven to push past adversity.
CJC: What does a typical day look like for you?
GC: Pre-covid and hopefully again soon, it involved waking up, doing my morning workouts, and then preparing for photoshoots that day. Typically, I try to kick off at 9/930 and run until lunchtime so clients and I can get both studio shots and location shots with good lighting. Of course, if the day was perfectly overcast then I had free reign of the downtown locations instead of being limited to certain walls that full sun dictated (hence the time slots being set how they were). After shoots, I’d sort and upload to galleries and focus on editing before the afternoon/evening workout session.
Presently I do most of the same except for shoots being spaced way more apart for safety. On the now more prevalent “off” days, I focus on marketing and learning new techniques for editing, compositing, and designs. I’m also working on a graphic novel project for one of my books – something that is taking a long time to complete but will be worth it in the end.
CJC: You’ve been in business since 2012. What do you wish you had known then that you know now? What advice would you give your former self?
GC: That it doesn’t get any easier working for yourself. You end up working all the time (there is no proverbial “clock”), so it’s even more important to balance both work and personal time so you don’t get overloaded, anxious, or even depressed.
CJC: What is something most people don’t know or might be surprised to learn about you?
GC: Hmmm, that’s a tough one since I think most people who follow me know of my obsession with beards and the things they’re attached too. Haha. I would say being into food as much as I am, too, most would be surprised to learn that I don’t really have a huge sweet tooth and that chocolate is my least favorite.
CJC: Photographer, Author, Model, Designer… Is there something creative wise that you haven’t done but would love to do?
GC: I’ve covered a lot of bases there, haven’t I? I would say the top two things I would love to see more of is me being in front of other people’s camera’s more and getting more LGBTQ+ couples in front of the camera. As you know firsthand, too, though we shoot them there are far fewer of those couples out there in similar shots, locations, and themes that we see straight couples in.
CJC: What do you like to do in your downtime?
GC: I’m a huge foodie so love to cook and eat, lol. I’m also a huge gamer (I love single player open world games) and also hugely into domestic and international sci-fi, fantasy/supernatural, and horror film/TV shows.
CJC: Do you ever experience a creative block and how do you get through it?
GC: All the time, coupled with fatigue. The key is having that work/life balance I mentioned earlier to push through and focus attention elsewhere. The muse often returns but for me the key is doing something else until that time.
CJC: What do you find to be the most rewarding and challenging part of your business and what hurdles have you overcome while striving towards your goals?
GC: The most rewarding part of the business is seeing my photos transformed and presented on book covers, even more so to get a copy of it and hold it in your hand.
The most challenging part is continuing to push past the hate that exists out there on seemingly every level. People jealous of your success, mad that you posted person x, y, or z, or that you shot two men together, or any other of countess reasons their own insecurities and failures manifest into attacks against you. What I have learned over the years is to let that roll off you – it doesn’t define me. The work does. At the end of the day being good, kind, driven and ethical will take one much farther that hate will and I will back my brand on that front any day of the week.
CJC: If one of your books were made into a movie, which would you select and who would you like to star in it?
GC: The Secret Life of Cooper Bennett will always be my favorite (it’s the novel that’s being made into a graphic novel). There’s something about that story and the world I set up that resonates with me – it’s the same universe that my Journeyman Series is set in – and to see it brought to life would be surreal to say the least.
As for stars, I think Cooper would be best played by Mena Masoud.
If the Journeyman Series were ever made into a series of films or TV show, I think it would be best served animated in the style of “Suits” from Love, Death & Robots on Netflix.
CJC: In 2013 you mentioned your biggest accomplishment to date was “Achieving several goals relatively quickly – magazine publications, online publications, work featured on (local) television and multiple book covers featuring my photography.”
What would you say is your biggest accomplishment all these years later.
GC: Remaining in business, especially post 2020. It’s amazing that I’ve now crossed the 1500 cover mark with over 1000 reveals, and as my motto goes #keeprising because limit is only a word. I am super thankful and super blessed.
CJC: Any final thoughts you would like to share with the CJC Photography readers?
GC: You’re a shining star in the industry we share, so it’s nice to be interviewed by you and have your readers take part. Receiving support over the years from you and those like you, in stark contrast to the local photography issues that helped form the brand into what it is today, is a true testament to community. Something that will get us much further than the divide that seems to be everywhere we look these days. Thank you for your time and this opportunity.
Connect with Golden via his social media below:
1 Comment • Add a comment
On Thursday, March 11th 2021 at 9:09 pm, Dana Leah said:
Great interview guys! Two of the nicest and most talented people in the industry I’ve had the pleasure of both working with professionally and meeting in person.