I recently had the opportunity to talk with the folks over at Thrive Global + Authority Magazine on tips on how anyone could take stunning photos. Decided to share it on the blog as well, hope you enjoy!
As Seen On Authority Magazine
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jarrod Anderson. He is a Florida native currently living in New York City. A creative specializing in capturing visual stories via photography, his primary focuses are portraits + fashion photography.
Q: Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I stumbled across photography honestly. I’d picked up a camera a few years prior for another business I had started but never used it. I was talking to a friend soon after I moved to NYC + they suggested that I picked the camera up. I got amazing feedback pretty soon out the gate so I just kept going. It quickly turned from a hobby to a deep passion.
Q: Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
The coolest thing to happen so far in my short photography journey, I participated in a gallery with Peerspace + nine other photographers. Essentially we all got a Peerspace location of our choice to shoot at then came together in a joint gallery to present what we made. I was less than a year into shooting at the time but got the opportunity to display my work with some great photographers that I admire deeply. That was definitely a dope experience that I felt strengthened my desire to create + present to others.
Q: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
You just need one? Because I have several.
Nah, the funniest mistake was forgetting my battery for a shoot. We had planned a shoot in the city with two models, a stylist, a make up artist, I mean like a full production. We were having trouble getting started, from finding a place to change to the weather, then when we were finally able to get started I tried to turned my camera on + nothing happened. I’d forgotten my battery at the house on the charger by accident. Luckily there was a Best Buy like 4 minutes away. Ran in grab some batteries + was able to get shooting not too long afterwards. Now I have three camera batteries so I’ll never get caught slipping again lol.
Q: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I’ve been told that I’m a pretty down to earth person. A lot of the people I shoot aren’t actual models, in fact some of them have never taken professional photos before. I like to have conversations with my clients before we even shoot just so we can build that relationship without the camera. Once they feel like they know the real you, they loosen up + become a lot more comfortable in front of the camera. The images don’t come out awkward or forced, it just flows ya know?
Q: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Balance. It’s all about balance. You have to remember why you got started in photography in the first place + not lose that. Especially when doing photography full time, when often you can get caught up on making money. It’s good to go back to just shooting what you want to shoot + not worrying about clients all the time. That’s when you find new techniques or shooting styles that you can bring back into your client work.
Q: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
So many people have helped me along the way with this photography stuff, I don’t know who I can say helped me the most in particular. I want to say thank you to anyone who’s just supported me in general whether by sharing my work, recommended me to someone or just sent words of encouragement. All if it has been able to keep me going these past few years. Would not be here right now without all of you, so thank you.
Q: Are you working on any exciting projects now?
I am! A very big project that I’m equally both scared + excited to begin creating. It’s in the VERY early planning stage so I don’t want to share too much but definitely stay tuned.
Q: How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I used my photos for my people. Being a Black man, coming up I didn’t see many encouraging images of Blacks alot in media. Most images that displayed someone of my color was either an athlete, a thug or just hypersexualized. I want to photograph Blacks in ways that’s not typical shown to us.
Can you share "5 Things Anyone Can Do To Take Stunning Photos”.
Less is more sometimes
It’s easy, especially early in the photography journey to do to much to your images, whether if it’s using too many items + props to over editing the images. Often it doesn’t take too much to make a good image great. Try to really strip away all the unnecessary + distracting parts if you can. The less to interfere with your viewers attention, the better.
The rule of thirds
A common tip that most photographers learn pretty easily. Basically most beginning photographers are quick to position their subject in the middle of their shot. The rules of thirds says to divide your screen into three parts + instead place them in on the left or right side of the frame, taking up a “third” of the frame.
Now that I mention the rule of thirds, another common + useful trip is the use of leading lines. You can use them to draw a viewer's attention to a specific part of the frame, whether it's a person, or a vanishing point in the background of the frame. They can be used to tell a story, to place emphasis, and to draw a connection between two objects. Basically use lines to get your audience to look in the direction you want them to.
Develop your unique editing style
In the photography world, it’s sometimes hard to get your name out there but one of the quickest ways to gain relevancy is to develop your own editing style. There are a million and one ways to edit your photos. Try to work on a common theme that’s carried out throughout all your images. I personally like the faded + grainy look in my images so I do things like desaturate the photos some + add noise to give it that old school effect. Everyone is different + it can take a while to find your look, keep practicing + once you do have a style people will be able to easily identify the photos you shot!
Never forget why you started
After years of shooting, you may start to feel yourself falling out of love with photography. Know that you aren’t alone. Don’t feel bad if you want to take a break from photos for a while. I’ve felt a lack of interest in photography myself before. I figured out that it was because somewhere along the journey I got lost on why I started shooting. I originally began taking photos for the storytelling aspect of it but as I made the transition into full time, I started focusing more on clients and less on personal portfolio. It wasn’t until I took a break from bookings + focus more on doing what I liked personally that I redeveloped my love for the camera. Sometimes it great to take a second to reboot!
Q: You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
If I could start a movement, I would bring back arts + craft into middle/high school. After all the budget cuts from the government, the arts were the first to get cut + I feel like that slowed down the art movement. People start to loss their creativity as they get older but I feel like an arts + craft class would have kept people creating longer.
Q: How can our readers follow you on social media?
My brand is consistent on all platforms, follow me on Instagram or Twitter at @CreatedByJarrod or join my newsletter at CreatedByJarrod.com
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!