William is a 500px Licensing Contributor based in Pennsylvania, USA. His style ranges from capturing candid lifestyle moments to documenting real life in urban America to beauty and fashion. Working with a number of commercial brands throughout his career, William is able to apply his diverse experience within photography to a broad range of dynamic photography concepts, creating truly unique photographs.

Q: You shoot portraits, weddings, events, commercial content for brands, and urban and landscape photography. Do you feel this variety has made you a stronger photographer?

A: I definitely feel as though shooting a large variety of content has made me a better photographer. It keeps me learning, and keeps my creative process constantly evolving and prevents it from getting stagnant. Every year my photos look vastly different from the previous.

Barber Shop Hangs. by William Trostel on 500px.com


Q: Are there any skills that you use or tips that you’ve learned photographing weddings that come in handy when shooting commercial content?

A: One of the bigger things I’ve learned from weddings is lighting. There are many types of lighting that can be utilized during weddings depending on the time of day. Taking all of that in has allowed me to transfer a lot of that knowledge into other forms of photography such as commercial content. Lighting and, how to use it, is everything, and cannot be overlooked.

Cyborg by William Trostel on 500px.com


Q: What’s your favorite type of commercial photography to shoot?

A: Fine art portraits, for sure. I love working one-on-one with a model and creating work using the body as a form of art. Bold outfits and colored lighting and backdrops have been my latest ideas of interest with my work.

Gab 8 by William Trostel on 500px.com


Q: You have a great eye for authenticity, is this a trend you see growing within commercial photography?

A: I feel that this is a trend, but at the same time, it’s not. In the world of social media, everyone is trying to be unique and stand out. At the same time, social media allows us all to gather ideas and motivation from others. My work is my own, but my ideas are bits and pieces of ideas I’ve gathered from other people. We all feed off of each other. Art and inspiration can come from anything, including other mediums of art, not just photography.

Ash. by William Trostel on 500px.com


Q: When you are working with a client, what would a typical shoot day look like?

A: Because I shoot many different mediums of photography, this greatly varies depending on the client and what they desire.

A recent portrait shoot I completed, for example, started as an inquiry via the musical artist. From there, we went over some image examples from sites such as IG and Pinterest, as well as any ideas we had in our heads. On the day of the shoot, I arrived at my studio early to set up lighting and equipment, so when the individual arrived, we could get started immediately. Post shoot, I selected usable images and created a proofing gallery for the individual to select their final images as part of their purchased photo package. Finally, I edited the images and delivered them.

Q: When you’re not working, what do you spend your time doing?

A: I love working out at my local gym as well as traveling!

Q: You are currently based in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, how does the city you live in inspire your work as a photographer?

A: Lebanon is right in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. Having nature to shoot gave me a lot to do when I was first starting out. My surroundings gave me a reason to keep active—just grab my camera and go. Even today, I will usually go on a hike and use my phone or a film camera. Along with that, recently, acquiring a drone has allowed me to capture even more of my surroundings and vast landscapes.

Up. by William Trostel on 500px.com


Q: Tell us more about your series “Gabrielle”. What were some of the concepts you wanted to achieve with this series?

A: This shoot was actually planned at the last minute, and had no real goal in mind. Going into this shoot, we had two ideas—what we wanted Gabby to wear, and the location. Everything else was completely on the spot. The sunset ended up giving us incredible colors, which, in my opinion, really made the shoot what it was. Once I had the images and knew how the sunset looked, I uploaded them to Lightroom and knew I wanted to go for a very deep, melancholy look, and not over-do the editing. So, I chose images where the model looks unhappy or uneasy to give that feeling of sadness. The end result is what you see!

Gab 14 by William Trostel on 500px.com


Gab 6 by William Trostel on 500px.com


Q: Are you excited about any current or upcoming projects?

A: I’ve recently started a YouTube channel with my username, “William Trostel Photography.” That’s been my main focus during the lockdown as a result of Covid-19 here in America. I’ve begun to document the things I see on a daily basis, and the things I’m doing with my camera(s) and turned them into a YouTube series called “Isolation”.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: Once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, wedding season will come at me full blast.

I expect to spend the rest of the year working weddings and doing things related to wedding photography. Along with that, I’d like to continue my YouTube channel and see growth with that. I’m excited to make some travel plans as well!

Not on 500px yet? Click here to learn about Licensing with 500px.