Jim Jordan is a talented photographer from the United States of America who travels around the world, takes pictures for advertising campaigns, fashion editorials and celebrities. His photos can be seen in the world-class magazines such as Interview, Elle, Marie Claire, J. Crew and Vogue. His client list contains such companies as BMW, Warner Brothers, American Express, etc. He has photographed such celebrities as Charlize Theron, Leonardo DiCaprio, Drew Barrymore, Alicia Silverstone, and Robert Redford to name a few.
In this interview Jim Jordan is going to tell us about his way to success and share with our readers some useful advice.
AP: Tell us about the first steps you made in creativity. Was there someone or something that influenced your work or inspired you?
JJ: I have always had a passion for beauty. Growing up in Southern California, I would spend my high school days scouting the next great faces of the coming generation. I would find models, do their hair and make up, and then take pictures of them that I hid away in a little black box.
At a very young age, I began working as a celebrity hair and make-up artist. For many years, I traveled the world working with the biggest supermodels, actors and actresses, such as Cindy Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren and Farrah Fawcett, to name a few, and was behind the scenes with the most highly respected photographers. One of my clients was the owner of J Crew, named Emily. We got to talking while I was doing her hair one day and mentioned the she wanted to see the photos in my little black box. I had never shown these images to anyone and was incredibly uneasy about revealing them, but when she saw them, she absolutely loved them and asked me to start shooting for J Crew.
AP: Do you have any formal education in your sphere or were you self-taught?
JJ: All of my education comes from observing and learning. Having worked with photographers such as Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh, Steve Meisel, Patrick Demarchelier, to name a few, I was able to learn techniques from many of the best photographers in the world. My education come strictly from experience and I am still learning every day. I learn from my mistakes and use those experiences to better myself as a photographer.
AP: What genre are your photos? How would you describe them?
JJ: I have a very distinct style, but it does not reflect only one genre. The genres I shoot include, but are not limited to, celebrity, fashion, lifestyle, kids and advertising. I use an incredible software called Media Pro 1 by Phase One to organize my images, and create catalogs to break down each genre of my work.
AP: How would you describe your works?
JJ: My style is very clean cut. I like a balanced, open, airy feel to my images with brilliant, bright lighting.
JJ: I have a lot of great equipment that I could not run my photography business without. For natural light, I use California Sunbounce reflectors and scrims. They also make a great tool called the Wind-Killer, that prevents the wind from destroying my set or ruining a model’s hair. For studio light, I use Broncolor and Pro Foto heads, packs and modifiers. I use my always reliable Pocket Wizard transceivers when using studio lights. Lexar memory cards are incredibly fast and are the only memory cards and card readers that I use during shoots and post-production. I use many different kinds of cameras, from Canon to Leica to Hasselblad, and use Phase One camera backs quite often. When the shoot is said and done, I use my Wacom tablets for all my post production because they are incredibly precise, reliable and easy to use.
To display my images to clients, I use an amazing web builder called LiveBooks, which allows me to make custom galleries for each client.
AP: Would you consider yourself as an expert in this sphere?
JJ: I believe I am always learning and am always challenged in every situation I’m in. I have had my challenges and learned from my mistakes. I would not call myself an expert, because I am still learning every day.
AP: What is the formula for success in your activity?
JJ: Success cannot be achieved without a vision. I have a vision, I know what I want the end result to look like, and I believe that it will happen. It is all about passion and the drive to get to the end result. I remain humble and coachable and do not care to look good or always be right. I also make sure to stay very organized and keep logs of all of my activity. My archive is completely categorized and every single image is keyworded. I use an incredible database called Daylite to organize all of my contacts and clients. Having a great website is also a huge key to success, as a photographer. I use LiveBooks for my website and they make it unbelievably easy to update and edit my site at the click of a button.
The hard part of the job is getting the clients. For this, I use an online database called Adbase, which helps me to find the best people who hire photographers at the biggest companies across the country. Last, but certainly not least, I use an amazing company called Photoshelter who allows me to display and sell all of my stock imagery in one place.
AP: Is there someone who supports you in your creativity?
JJ: My sponsors are a huge sense of support. Knowing that there are companies that appreciate my creativity enough to sponsor me is a great feeling. They provide me with many tools to expand and grow as a photographer. And of course, God.
AP: Would you like to wish something to AstrumPeople?
JJ: I much success upon each reader. I wish for them not to look around at how everyone else is doing it, because their journey will be unlike anybody elses. I wish for them not to listen to the voices in their head, telling them that they are not good enough, talented enough or that they do not know the right people. I wish everyone who reads this remembers who they are and whose they are and to unleash the giants within and realized their God given potential and creativity.
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