In our latest Pioneer article, we caught up with Sam Ciurdar, an awesome photographer and videographer from Idaho. One of our founding principles has always been to showcase and champion people from around the world who do things a little differently. We’re fortunate to have worked with Sam on several projects and we wanted to celebrate his skills by acknowledging his efforts.
Sam Ciurdar: A Pioneer Spirit
What's Your Definition of the Word Pioneer?
A pioneer to me is someone who is doing something new, something unique and fresh, something no one has really seen before. I feel like being referred to as a pioneer is very flattering and I'm humbled by it - even if I may disagree with being one!
Tell us your story. How did you begin your career and what led you here?
I have always known from an early age, maybe 5 years old, that I wanted to be a filmmaker. As I grew up I was fascinated by movies and would even steal my dad's high-8 camera and tinker around. In high school, I would as my teachers if I could turn in my “book reports” as a visual report, and I would create short films on the books we read. Once DSLRs became the new norm in shooting video, I naturally bought one. As I progressed in my storytelling I start also taking more images as well, since I had a camera that could do both photo and video. I did that for a long time. I created a portfolio that contained some of the worlds leading brands on it, which has led me to land more photography projects. In tandem, I would direct commercial as well - which has led me to be represented in the commercial space. I do all this, while also trying to get my first feature film financed.
What Is Your Wardrobe Essential? The piece you couldn't live without...
That would be a harder question before working with &SONS - but now it's easy. I find myself always wearing one of your jackets or cardigans. With us being in full-blown Winter in Idaho, I am having to go for some more of my outdoor apparel for warmth. But in the Fall and early Winter, I was living in &SONS jackets and cardigans. Amazing quality.
Tell us a bit more about your creative process. How does it begin?
It always starts with some dialogue. Whether that be with the client, or whomever you’re collaborating with. Sit down, find out with we are aiming to create. Layout expectations. Once everything is aligned, you move on.
What Three Words Best Describes You?
Hardworking, enthusiastic, dedicated.
Who inspires you?
In terms of films, I love the work of David Fincher.
In Your Work, What Values Do You Cherish The Most?
Communication. It's a simple one, but it seems to be one that many don't prioritise. Sometimes it feels like pulling teeth. When communication is strong and smooth, projects flow nicely and result in some of the best content.
What Do You Do For Inspiration?
It depends on what I’m working on. If it’s for photos, you look at some work that fits your style, not to steal ideas, but in seeing something visually, it can spark new ideas that otherwise wouldn’t have come to you but staring at a blank canvas. If it’s for commercials or films, it’s watching a lot of content that would be similar to what you’re creating. I also love listening to music, or walking in nature - these spark the most originality for me.
What Brands Inspire You?
Honestly, any brand that is in the outdoor space, or good fashion. That’s why I really enjoy what everyone at &SONS is doing!
What Is Your Favourite Piece From The &SONS Collection?
The cardigans for sure. I’m a sucker for elbow patches and leather, this has both!
What Is Your Favourite Album, Artist or Spotify Playlist?
I have a playlist I started called “Oh, this is gonna be good!” which has music I love listening to!
Any Recommendation On The Best Podcast To Listen To?
I jump around a lot, nothing I’m married to, unfortunately.
Get Sam's Look
Photography Credit; Sam Ciurdar’s images of 2 models in our Black and Green Carver Jacket.