[Q&A] JP the Photographer

Random Observation/Comment #360: On the surface, the most simple things look mundane and uninteresting, but diving deeper, even the most simple things can be its own art form.

see lemons with jp

JP, my photographer friend and table tennis coach/rival, shared his experience with photography and art with Credit Suisse earlier this week. I was so inspired that I felt the need to summarize some of his lessons learned and overall approaches to his art.  Below, I am providing summary answers to his questions – these are not word-for-word quoted responses from JP.

  • Who is JP?
    • Originally from France, JP has been a professional model and actor for 20 years. Moving from in front of the camera to behind it, he has found a passion for capturing the unique essence and personality of the subject he is shooting.
  • How does JP’s photography lifestyle/headshot service operate?
    • JP specializes in lifestyle and commercial photography. A client contacts him through recommendation/word of mouth and they discuss the purpose for their photos. People may want photos for model portfolios, Facebook, LinkedIn, commercials, passport, dating photos, etc, so JP’s job is to use his professional experience to tailor the photo to its purpose.  The photo shoot is outdoors throughout Manhattan and is only for 2 hours.  JP delivers from 20-40 fully edited photos for ~$500 for the entire process.
  • What makes JP’s service different from others?
    • Creating a comfortable environment is key to JP’s process and capturing that perfect moment. In those 2 hours, the one-on-one photography shoot will go through 3-4 outfits and 4 or 5 locations around Manhattan. JP is a friend first and photographer second.  He focuses on building a relationship with the subjects so they stay loose and maintain a strong energy. At the right moment, he’ll casually just ask you to stop and teach you how to pose.  JP doesn’t provide 300 photos for the subject to pick their best – that’s just extra work for the model. Instead, JP will narrow it down for you and give you the best 20-40 unique shots from the full session.
  • What obstacles does JP face while photographing models?
    • It’s difficult to work with people that tell an experienced photographer how to do their job. The most difficult part about photographing models is that they have their own egos and want to see how they look right after the shot. This extends the photography process and will make the model self-conscious. Instead, JP will take control and you just need to trust that he knows what he’s doing.  If you do, you will not be disappointed.
  • What else does JP do with photography?
    • JP has a unique reflections artwork that is completely unedited. It uses a special lenses with mirrors that I’ve been dying to see. Samples of these photos in the gallery below.
  • Do you think photography is a dying art now with photoshop, CGI movies, and inexpensive high quality cameras?
    • Certainly, technology is making photography easier for the common person to take great photos, but the camera does not make the photographer. The camera must be an extension of the photographer’s eyes and hands like a table tennis paddle is an extension of your arm when you play. The intuition and eye for seeing the right photo before taking it is the real talent that separates a good photo from a great one, and I think this talent cannot be replaced by technology.

JP’s style is niche and unique, and I feel like getting to know him and his business better reveals that his entire process – from spending 2 hours taking one-on-one photos to spending 6 hours editing and narrowing down his top picks – is an art in itself.

JP’s portrait photos can be found here: http://www.jpkadphotos.com/jpkadphotos.html

~See Lemons Chill with JP

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