Studio: J Erickson Photography
Location: Los Angeles, CA
What made you get into photography?
I have always had a camera in my hand since I was very young. I took a camera with me everywhere photographing everything and I would even do mini photoshoots with wardrobe, hair and makeup, and sets with my friends before I even realized what exactly I was doing. After getting a version of Photoshop 2 for free and a black and white darkroom class at a community college in my area. I realized how much I loved photography and that it was something I wanted to pursue as a career. I’ve never looked back since.
How would you describe your photography style?
I would describe my photography as colorful with a pop. I love vibrant, eye catching colors and bring that into my imagery when every possible. Everything has a vibrancy in it, even if I’m photographing someone on a white backdrop there’s a color to be found in the subject. Light is also very important in my imagery, whether I’m outdoors or in the studio it’s the medium of my story. Using a play on light, shadow, and color to tell a story.
Any photographers or artists that you looked up to that helped influence your style?
There are so many things that I look too for inspiration. I try to find inspiration from everything around me and am always going to gallery shows and other events to keep the creative juices flowing. I really love work that tells a story in it and find a lot of inspiration in my fellow artists and how they grow and change. One of my favorite photographers who I am always check in on is Eugenio Recuenco, I love his sense of story that he conveys no matter the medium be it commercial, editorial or video. I also look to the photographers and movies of our past such as Herb Ritts, George Hurrell, Brassai and Irving Penn and movies like Gypsy, Casablanca, Blow Up and old B movies from the 50 for mood, lighting, and creative juices.
Did you study photography in school or are you self-taught?
While I did attended art schools, I have also learned a great deal as I go from assisting fellow photographers and trial and error I have done myself. The Art Institute of Seattle help me tap into my creative soul and Brooks Institute of Photography gave me the lighting knowledge to hone my craft. These were both stepping stones to my future and I am still learning today from articles, seminars, and my own creativity endeavors constantly growing.
What do you feel is the most challenging thing about starting a photography business?
Everyday is a challenge, I struggle with myself and the photography industry as a whole. Wondering where the next job will come from, marketing myself and hoping you’re doing it right, keeping my creative self growing while landing commercial work. There are so many talented photographers out there and we’re all trying to make it. This is a tough business. I have no problem putting in the long hours, though, I might make mistakes along the way. I learn from them and through perseverance it has gotten me to where I am now and will help me achieve my future goals.
What do you love most about being a photographer?
There are so many things I love about photography. The fact that I get to do what I love everyday is one of my greatest joys, not everybody gets to be so lucky. The amazing people that I get to meet and capture in front of my camera and the beautiful objects that I get to photograph are another amazing part of my job. I have seen, touched, and been a part of things that so few get to experience. All the while I’m creating art and beauty, it’s such a wonderful experience I’m thankful for every day.