Updated: Apr 5
Considering how popular photography is right now (especially with Instagram) I think we need to take a moment to highlight true photographers and filmmakers behind the lens.
I think people really don't understand the amazing and relentless work involved when it comes to any sort of production, video editing, photo editing, etc.
Some of the softwares and equipment photographers and videographers use are insanely complicated.
You gotta be so patient and committed...
You know that feeling when you're trying to figure out how to add stupid page numbers to your stupid essay assignment thats due at stupid midnight?
It's not like you've never added page numbers to your essays before, you've always done it, but for some reason you can't find the damn button and you wanna scream.
I mean, sure just like with everything else online today, you'll probably be able to figure out new editing softwares or programs pretty smoothly, but you're taking about days, weeks, and months of commitment.
And every now and then you'll come across a "Best Cameras" list online and think to yourself, "Man, I'd like to get into photography or videography" until you see how much a Sony will run ya.
Not only will learning the programs of complicated editing softwares take you hours of commitment, but you really need great equipment to produce great work.
Talk about overwhelming....
Give it up for Justin Lawson.
The guy is one of the badass photographers/filmmakers I'm talking about.
Oh, and he's doing so much more than just photography/videography.
Peep our interview:
Justin, tell us more about how you got into film & photography?
Well actually, I got into photography while I was in film school.
I think that’s pretty funny, but I started doing it mainly because I didn’t have any money to make the films I wanted to make.
Also, I was wearing a lot of hats at the time so I was making clothes too and I wanted to shoot all the promo for my clothes.
For now, I mostly stick to photography, film, and graphic design, but I have a feeling I’ll be coming back around to clothes again in some time.
I truly adore the way photographs can capture moods and moments, and I mean I’m a storyteller at heart so I had to find my own way to incorporate stories into my photos.
I’ve been shooting conceptual series for about 2 years now and it’s been a relieving process, finding ways to navigate and craft a style in that realm.
It’s a fun journey for my eye and my mind, and I notice the people in front of my lens dig it too so it’s a win/win to me.
Could you tell us some of your favorite things you've got to work on over the years?
Actually, back in November I got to work on a shoot for the cover of Flaunt Magazine.
I was assisting Kat Irlin, a PHENOMENAL photographer, and she was shooting Natalia Dyer, and that experience was a really good class for me.
Learned a lot of keys that day.
Also I’ve been shooting something called “His Last Moments,” which has been really fun and has led me to a lot of evolution in my way I take photographs and craft worlds before I even present them to an audience.
I’ve had some incredible help from Kyah Harris, my wardrobe stylist for the series so far.
She’s brilliant and has helped me craft the clothing of that world and giving it a timeless feel.
How would you best describe your style when it comes to photography / film?
Oh, I prepped for this question!
So, I heard some months ago that the best way to describe my style would be “Conceptual Fashion/Editorial Photography,” but I’ve also been called “Ethereal” which I don’t quite understand that word enough to see in my work yet (laughs), but I take it as a good thing.
I won’t bore you to death, but I’ve had this entire internal monologue/battle thing about wanting my work to feel immortal through timelessness, but I’ll save those words for my work or something like that.
Justin, what sort of advice would you give aspiring filmmakers?
They’ve probably read this 100 times, and I don’t even know if I’m in the place to give advice, but I’ll say just forge a world that you’ve never seen before and create stories that genuinely mean something to you.
Something that you can feel in your gut.
Use that medium wisely.
It’s a tough one to master, but when you find the keys and use the tools, you have something incredibly powerful.
Do you have anything that is new or upcoming that we can expect to see from you Justin?
Well, I’m finishing my “His Last Moments” series, which I’ll be making a book of.
Also, I’m finishing some other projects with some brands I adore so I expect that to go well since our hearts are in the work.
Very important to have heart in the work.
I have some films I’m writing, and when I get the resources to fund and cast my intricate horrors and bring them to screen, I expect you’ll see those too.
My filmmaking is very different from my photographs, but also very alike.
They are mostly horror, but they are still beautiful.
I also have some visual art pieces I've put together titled "Exhibit Two."
That's more nightmare based imagery.
But all my work coming should be fun and I'm interested in the responses I'll get!
What is the most useless talent you have?
Hmmm... well I’m REALLY good at catching things.
I don’t know why, or how, but I’m just good at it.
It has rarely helped me, so it’s borderline useless, but either way there it is.
What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?
I don’t know if this is an abstract one, but I really hate when people say “nevermind” super often.
Like no, you had something to say, you found it important enough to say it one time before so, please, like, tell me.
I’m very insistent about clear communication.
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
Super speed, easily.
It’s the best power.
Especially since it comes with new ways to traverse the planet and time travel, but also the perception is just as fast as the powered person, so the most normal things could seem like hours.
The Flash has it good and bad at the same time.
The Ring or The Grudge (horror critics around the globe await your answer!)
I might be slightly biased because I just finished the new Ju-On show on Netflix and actually liked it quite a bit so I’ll go with The Grudge for now, but I flip flop between those two often.
I’m usually leaning towards The Grudge though.
I do adore The Ring though, oddly enough it holds a special place in my heart.
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