Q&A: Photographer Paul Octavious’ vibrant images find Pantone colors in real-life scenarios


posted Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 2:22 PM EDT


Chicago-based photographer Paul Octavious sees color everywhere, whether he's standing in an empty alleyway or in front of a lush field. But Octavious doesn't see just any colors, he sees specific hues and tints that align with the industry-standard Pantone Matching System, which is used by printers and designers to ensure color accuracy. As part of his new photo series titled, appropriately, The Pantone Project, Octavious has been photographing himself holding Pantone swatches in front of real-life scenes that match the specific color. His series, which he shares on his popular Instagram feed, was recently featured on Junk Culture.

We caught up with Octavious  today and asked him a few questions about the project and why color is so important to his work.

(All images used with permission of the photographer.)

Imaging Resource: Can you give us a little background on you as a photographer?

Paul Octavious : I'm originally from Connecticut where I went to college for Graphic Design. I picked up photography as a hobby during college and and it soon became my profession. I'm currently based in Chicago, IL, freelancing for various clients around the country.


IR: Explain "The Pantone Project" photo series and what you are trying to achieve with it.

PO: With The Pantone Project, I am on a mission to match all the Pantone colors to things I find in everyday life. The Pantone Matching System, which is used in the printing industry, assures that you get the right color when the file is printed. Colors are indicated by the Pantone name or number.


IR: What does color mean to you as a photographer?

PO: Coming from a design background, color represents so much. So I carry that over into my photography work all the time.


IR: What sort of gear do you use?

PO: This project is being shot currently all on my iPhone 5. When not shooting with my iPhone and posting to Instagram, I'm shooting with a Canon 5D Mark II and various lenses.


IR: What intrigues you about shooting with a smart phone vs. a digital SLR?

PO: I use mobile photography and Instagram as a sketchbook for new work and capturing my daily life. I'm always humbled that people follow my adventures and want to come along for the journey.