Carl Maynard runs the streets of Washington DC. Between catching sunrises and sunsets with the DC photography community at iconic locations, curating the @thefitdistrict Instagram account, and, well, actually running the streets of DC with the running group organizes, Carl keeps pretty busy. We stumbled across his Instagram (@carlnard) a long time ago through the Priime hashtag and noticed that he even started a #Priime_DC hashtag for the Priime users in DC. His Instagram feed is filled with his latest travels around the US, portraits of people in the various communities he's a part of, landscapes and scenes that play with light and shadows, or people in motion as he has an eye for fitness and movement. We catch up with Carl and pick his brain on his favorite places to shoot, his influences, and how he keeps up with the photography and fitness communities in DC.
How did you get in to photography?
While I can't really pinpoint an exact time of when I got into photography, I know it is something that has always been a part of me. When I was a kid, I think I went through more disposable cameras than anyone I grew up with. Constantly buying new cameras and getting the photos printed. The idea of being able to pause a moment and keep that memory forever was something that always appealed to me about photography. In recent years, like many of my peers, photography came back to light with the introduction of iPhone. After years of navigating an iPhone, a few months ago I decided to take it more seriously and pick up my first professional camera.
Favorite DC spots to shoot?
One look through my Instagram or camera roll, it's hands down Union Station. For me, it's a part of daily commute, so I'm there essentially every day. It has easily become my favorite place to take in sunset, which if you've ever taken in a sunset over the National Mall, you know that can be hard to beat. However, Union Station stands out to me as this place that has so much beauty both in it's architecture and it's positioning which allows sunlight to fill its walkways as the sunsets. Every time I stop to take a photo, one of the things that stands out the most to me is how many people have their head down. Most of them, granted are either on their way to or from work or even trying to catch a bus or train up to NYC. I think that plays a factor in why I love to shoot there so much. It's a place that is a constant reminder for me to slow down and enjoy such a simple thing, such as a sunset. On top of Union Station, I love how the grit of Washington, DC sits within eyesight of "classic" DC. Something that has really inspired my photography in the last few years has been the intro credits to House of Cards. I was so inspired by how they were able to capture the darkness of the city so beautifully.
What does your editing workflow look like?
Right now, a lot of my editing is taking place using the Priime app, so most photos get sent to phone, either straight from camera or from my computer. My photos/edits, tend to be a reflection what I've been listening to in that current timeframe. I've always been of the mindset that music can take you somewhere outside yourself and so its important to me that music is on while I am editing. Lastly, and something that may not make sense but what has really helped my workflow with photography is feedback and sharing as much as I can. There's something about making my progress with photography public that pushes me to improve.
We notice in your feed a strong theme of community building, particularly through fitness. How does photography play a role in this?
This is something that really means a lot to me in many ways. After years and years of making my personal fitness goals and runs around The District public on Instagram, I realized I wasn't alone. DC is a city that has constantly been named one of the fittest in the US but few see that side of it. I wanted to build a community around this and provide a platform for people to share their story and help inspire others. Insert, @theFitDistrict, an Instagram only community that is curated by what individuals share using #theFitDistrict. Along with this, it has given me the chance to use photography as a tool to help provide content for the feed as well. Whether it's the scenic National Mall or rainy roads, I'm constantly working with two photography minds. One for personal and one for @theFitDistrict. The best part about this whole thing this has been to see the way others use photography to share their story, whether it be a self portrait of their yoga poses or their trail runs, people are inspiring others with their story using photography and that means everything. I myself lead a small run squad out of my local spot, Maketto which gives me the chance to photograph both fitness and snag a quick #coffeeshop shot at the same time.
Favorite Priime styles?
I really enjoyed the Fall Style pack that was released recently and have found myself wanting to work with those styles more and more. I would venture to say Analog is my standout favorite but in recent weeks, I've become really drawn to Aolani, Crystal, and Davidson. One of the things, I love about the Priime app though is that there really is a style for everyone and everything.
You can edit your photos similarly to Carl. Priime is available to download on the App Store.