Gerry's Journey

From "Art Kid" to Successful Photographer & Cinematographer
Season: 1  |   Episode: 1  |   Date: 2021-08-26
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Recognized for his experimental and unconventional techniques, Gerry has worked on several feature films, TV series’, short films and photographed portraits of personalities like Robbie Amell, Jessica Barden, and Adrian Holmes. Gerry has been a Format Member since 2017.

Watch or listen to learn:

  • How Gerry grew from “Art Kid” in rural Canada to internationally published photographer and cinematographer
  • Why learning business skills has been essential to his success
  • How he adapted his business when the global COVID-19 pandemic hit
  • Who he looks to for inspiration and his goals for the future

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Explore more of Gerry's work

Gerry is an internationally published portrait photographer and cinematographer born and raised in Northern Ontario, Canada. He is known for his portraits of actors, authors, public and corporate figures.

As a cinematographer, he has recently completed principal photography on the feature film Swan Song (2021), and is currently prepping work on the upcoming feature Fidelity (2022), which combines live-action and animation.

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Episode transcript

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the photographers journey podcast for the photography community. I’m your host, Lucas dredger and I’m also the CEO and co founder of format. On this podcast I’ll be interviewing a diverse range of successful photographers from around the globe, about the journeys as artists and entrepreneurs will talk about their stories, their work, their inspiration, and how they have grown their businesses.

Welcome to Episode One of the photographers journey. This is our first episode in season one called photographers COVID and the future I’m talking to photographers about their photography journey, how COVID has impacted their professional lives and their outlook for the future. I hope that the stories we share with you will be a source of inspiration for you as you continue on your own journey through the pandemic and beyond. It’s my pleasure to welcome our first guest, Jerry Kingsley Ajay. Hi, thanks for having me. So Jerry is an international published portrait photographer and a cinematographer born and raised in Northern Ontario, Canada. He’s known for his portraits of actors, authors, public and corporate figures. As a cinematographer. He has recently completed Principal photography on the feature film, swan song, and is currently prepping work for the upcoming feature film fidelity, which combines both live action and animation. Can you just give us a short rundown how you became a photographer? Yes, sir. And well, I like it growing up in Northern Ontario, it was at the time, like in the 80s. And 90s was pretty rural. And I was a little bit north of Sudbury in a town called hanmer. And I was always kind of an arcade, I was always drawing pictures and, you know, sketching and everything. And growing up, I was always, you know, doing that in class. And I was always doodling and worrying about that stuff more than anything else. And, you know, it just kind of progressed over time. The problem that I always had up here, though, is that art was always kind of discouraged. For a lot of kids in terms, it was like a fun thing to do. And oh, you know, entertain yourself go color, but it was never like, oh, you’re going to be a career artist was never really a realistic thing for someone living so far up here. Typically you work a government job or a school job or, you know, go work in the mines until you retire type of thing that’s kind of like the old old school mentality. And so over time, I kind of just, you know, was interested in various things. And wasn’t until my dad, he, he was working as a salesman for a company, and they gave him a Polaroid camera. And this gray kind of blocky looking ugly ugliest camera you can think of, you know, the kind of like 90 style. And I didn’t know what this thing was. And then he was showing showing it to me and he had to take these pictures of his like sales displays and send it back to his corporate head office. But I would always end up stealing these, this camera. And I would take pictures with all the time when I arranged my lash and figures and toys, and Kanye, they used to do that all the time and create all these little kind of fantastical worlds, it was really fun. And it wasn’t until about grade six, we’re actually had a teacher, you know, actually give you some really positive encouragement to say, you know what, you know, I don’t care what you do, just make sure you do something in the art world. And then as you go into high school, and that really became more discouraging, and that, you know, how do you make ends meet as an artist and stuff like that it was there’s really no pathway up here to really, to really do it successfully. So you really have to go to somewhere like Toronto or Baker Center to really kind of compete at any level to have a career in it.

So I ended up, you know, going getting into it, and I liked kind of the web design, graphic design type stuff. And I spent a lot of time in digital art and you know, growing up in the 90s, and that I started building computers, you know, like 200 megahertz processors with audio memory, you know, and I’d go to yard sales and build all this stuff. And I really got into computer computer technology and information technology. And that built up my first kind of career. And I spent about 10 years working at that professionally. And I was a computer technician and working on IBM Systems and HP systems all across Northern Ontario. And in 2008, there was that major financial crisis and the company I was working for was a national IT company, and they kind of went completely out of business. And at that I was at a pivotal moment there where I was able to really kind of stop and think and be like, Okay, well, I was still kind of doing photography as kind of a hobby as a hobby with some friends. And I thought, well, since I really have, you know, an opportunity here a window to go into a new direction, I’ll just, I’ll just take it and see what happens. And there wasn’t a lot of people kind of doing it at the time, a lot of the older, older guard photographers were kind of at the tail end of their careers. So I thought to myself, you know, you know, I’ll get an odd job for now. And then I’ll just kind of build up that that profession until until something happens and just kind of see, see what happens, right? And kind of go on that on my journey and just kind of have low expectations for everything, just kind of follow it. So from there, I kind of just kind of built it up and built out. Awesome. And so there’s a there’s a there’s a you know, there’s I think there’s a large gap between you, you know, taking the leap and saying, you know, I’m going to try this, you know, no major expectations. I’m going to try this as I go and then landing kind of your first gig where, you know, you start to feel Hey, you know, maybe I made it maybe this is Yeah, maybe this is the validation moment. Yeah, remember, what, what was the kind of the pivotal step

from getting from, you know, a I’m trying this, I’m getting into it, too. I made it.

Well, you know what sometimes I still feel like that today, to be honest, you know, you never kind of really lose that feeling. But I noticed, but I knew I knew really, I was on the right on the right track when I was showing up for photoshoots. And I wasn’t really worrying too much about all this minor details, I would just kind of show up and do my thing and just do the shoot. Once that happened. I was like, Hey, I wasn’t really messing around with my lights. This time. I wasn’t really kind of making with the camera and stuff. And I just kind of went in float. Everything kind of worked. And I was like, Huh, I didn’t have to put any additional thought in all the all the anxieties and self consciousness that would normally come with them, you know, somebody early in their career. So I don’t know if there was necessarily kind of like a moment. But I find still today, though, you know, I’ve been doing this for probably just over 10 years now. And I still have days where I’m you know, you’re, you kind of have that imposter syndrome, where you’re like, Oh, it’s terrible. And you know, even though people tell you, it’s great. You still inside as an artist, you’re screaming inside being like, I should have done this. I should have done that. Yeah. So that’s just kind of like the curse of being a perfectionist and being hypercritical of yourself. Yeah, I think that from what I know, that never goes away, right? Yeah, well, and you know, what a really good book that I read was Joe McNally’s hotshoe diaries. And I was reading Joe McNally, he was an inspiration of mine for years. And, and I watched a lot of his interviews early on. And he was even saying to you, when when he was doing photo shoot, even like, you know, after like three years, he would still have butterflies sometimes where he would go and work with certain certain people, or you’re a big a big asset or something. And he would just be like, well, I don’t know how this turned out. But, you know, so so it was really, it was really a, you know, a good thing for me to read in here. Knowing that, you know, the people that I you know, aspire to at the top levels still have these same exact apprehensive apprehensions that that everybody does, you know, and, you know, photography is a pretty wide.

You know, there’s lots of different kind of segments of photography, right? landscape portraits. How did you know that what you’re doing today is what you want it to do? Like, how did you actually gravitate towards this part of photography? Yeah, well, by doing it by figuring out what I hated, and what I didn’t like doing, you know what I mean. So when you first started, the first thing that I really enjoyed doing was going out and doing star trails, I had a few buddies, we used to go until all hours of the night do single exposure, star trails, and we’d have fun. And but when I started getting approached, and people were saying, hey, well, you know, I guess it’s a standard way of getting into photography is for probably most people

are familiar with his friends and family saying, hey, you take good pictures, let me pay for minimal surveys and family photos and stuff. So similar to similar story that I started, you know, I had a, you know, had a cousin of mine, I shot her wedding. And then I had other people that asked me to shoot their wedding. And I did that for for three years. And I was basically doing the whole wedding and family thing. And I quickly learned that just based on my temperament and the type of projects that I wanted, that this was not kind of my thing. You know, you really have to, you know, so it was it was through that experimentation, that trial and error, really figuring out what I enjoy doing and what I didn’t enjoy doing. You know, being a guest at a wedding every weekend wasn’t really appealing to me. So the wedding every weekend work and when every weekend, you know, isn’t really, you know, the most appealing thing. So after doing that for a few years, I was like, yeah, you know, it’s okay, but I don’t think it’s for me.

And do you remember how you actually, what was? How do you get your foot in the door into, you know, shooting personalities? at some sets? What was the first kind of gig there? Yeah, it was. Yeah, it was really kind of weird, because it sort of just happened, I opened a small little portrait studio, and I was just doing this, this kind of dramatic, more creative portraiture. And, you know, I caught the eye of a local director and a couple producers, and they approached me and they said, Hey, you know, we need we need some some photos done here. Can you can you can you do this for us. And it’s basically just something as simple as that. They like my style. And I got the one gig and it led into, you know, into one into another into another. Shortly after that I got picked up, I was teaching photography at the local college, and then University’s film program ended up hiring me there to teach the photography class as part of their Motion Picture Arts program. Yeah. And that kind of really got me connected with a lot more people in the film industry as well. And then it kind of just grew and grew and grew from there. Well, they say that, you know, people recognize good artists. So it looks like it was meant to be someone walked into your shop and actually saw great work, and they wanted to work with you. And so congratulations. That’s, that’s a pretty great story. And so, you know, you’re you, you recognize as a photographer, and a cinematographer.

It sounds like that’s something that potentially is a transition for you. Are you looking to transition all the way to cinematography away from photography? Or is that something that you want to kind of continue doing both both at the same time? Yeah, it’s, you know, I absolutely love photography, and I love doing what I do, especially with the photoshoots that I’ve done, but I mean, you also have to understand the markets that you’re that you’re realistically realistically in. And I do this as a full time career. I don’t have any other side gigs or anything else. So I am either doing what I do teaching what I do, or a combination of all of the above. And ideally, my might, you know, my handy place would probably be being able to do the photography and a feature film all

Kind of managing that entire project all in kind of under one house, you know, so I get to do the photoshoots that I want to do, I get to shoot the, you know, the films that I want to do. And I can kind of do the whole package in one. Like that would probably be like, you know, the best, you know, the best case scenario if I had a choice. And from a comfort perspective, where are you with cinematography right now? Is that something that you just started recently? Or are you full into it? And you do it very often? Well, so right now, it’s, it’s, it’s scaled up, you know, tenfold in the last two years was kind of like leading that way. But but the idea was, three years ago, I did my first short film. And and and then, you know, I’m working with this one director, now, BP Paquette, he’s, he’s, he does some really interesting kind of art stuff. And he was looking for somebody to do really, you know, interesting experimental techniques with, you know, you know, optical illusions and various set buildings and stuff. And he approached me, he asked me to do this, to shoot his movies for him. So,

you know,

my goal now, basically, I think I would, I would say, is to build to continue building my photography, portrait side of the business to have that kind of maintaining itself, but to also take on like, one, you know, feature film per year. So that way there, you kind of have the one project when you’re in your production time, then the rest of the time, you can kind of fill it, and then just, you know, do photography stuff. And then the best thing for me would be having the ability to not be dependent on trying to chase after clients, but more. So just picking and choosing the clients that you want to work with, I think that’s kind of the best case scenario to be in. That’s great.

That transition, if you’ve already gone through it, if you could go back to kind of younger self, maybe a few years back, before this transition, before you got into cinematography would have would you have told yourself something that would have sped it up this process that made you more successful at this point? That advice to your younger self? Yeah, I think one of the main things, just thinking about it right now is probably just, you know, don’t necessarily put too much stock into what everybody else thinks, you know, don’t worry about what you know, what what other people are doing, and really just kind of focus on on yourself and, you know, compete with yourself, and make sure that you’re on that path, I find it’s really easy, it’s easy to kind of get lost in the weeds and kind of get sucked into, you know, some of these social platforms, and then you spend your whole day, you know, on there rather than really working on your craft, and, and then, you know, I understand why I mean, we’re kind of fed a narrative that we you have to have these presences, you have to constantly be tweaking your algorithms and doing all this hashtag and stuff and, you know, it’s a great complement to it to your to your system. But if that’s your all day and all be all, to me, I’m that this it’s, it’s to me, I don’t think that’s sustainable, because how much time do you actually have to really get better at your craft to, to, you know, have more meaningful conversations with your clientele, I can more of the the traditional way of, you know, meeting people face to face, you know, going to meetings and, you know, working based off referrals, but not necessarily just throwing a bunch of money at a tech giant and hopefully they, you know, they’ll they’ll ingratiate me in the streams, you know, or whatever, whatever it is. Have you ever actually gotten a job through the tech giants, the Instagrams and social media? Was there ever an opportunity that came through that those channels? Yeah, I mean, there there are, but I find like most of that most of my major clients do not, don’t come from those, those areas, like they’re not the demographics, like some of the portrait stuff, I’ll totally get through Instagram and like, Hey, I like your work, and I want to work with you cool. And they’ll do some like, you know, basic portrait packages, but for any I find for any really serious, large, large contract or large project has never originated from from a social media platform. It’s always been through just you know, you know, referrals, working with other clients that were associated with them, and just doing good, reliable work that people can say, hey, you’re dependable, you’re, you’re, you do quality stuff, and we can rely on you. That’s always been, you know, the most important thing, the hustle. That is a good segue to my next question. So at format, you know, we’ve always realized that and recognize this early on that the photography journey has two paths, right? There’s the artistic journey, you know, becoming a really good artist, composition, color, you know, art theory, etc. The entrepreneurial journey, the business side, the referrals, talking to clients, client relations, looking back at your personal journey as a photographer, and both of those kind of pillars, art and entrepreneur, how would you? How did you approach both at the same time? And how do you think you did on both? Do you do you think you’re better at one than the other? Did you spend as much time on both being an entrepreneur? Because you are in some way an entrepreneur and an artist? Yeah, for me, for me, it’s pretty funny. It’s, it’s like, I’m definitely not a business person. I don’t have a business mindset. So I have people that can kind of help me with that when I need it. For me, it was always more of the art side of things. And probably one of my biggest failings was just being very poor business starting up, and it’s so overwhelming that even if you read all the business one on one books, you know, it really took me several years to really figure stuff out really how to how to manage everything as a business because as an artist, it’s like you don’t think about these things. You’re just thinking about, you know, the scene, the emotion, what you’re trying to convey in your in your work, and it

A lot of times the business side, it’s there, but you kind of you forget about it, and and then it creeps up on you. And then all of a sudden, it’s like you got to do your taxes or you got to set something up, you’re like, Oh, wait, I shouldn’t have this all organized. But it took me about, you know, good two to three years initially, and to really kind of get myself into a workflow that was, you know, kind of like a one stop that is as simple and you know, I can kind of do this and maintain it and have a nice little, little, little home and business and I don’t have to really think too much about it. For me, it was just keeping the business side simple, because it was the most confusing thing for me. Like my recommendation for people starting out that are having this this difficulty is just yeah, go on even YouTube and watch some business one on one stuff, you know, basic stuff, you know, how to manage your clientele, how to manage your contacts, how to you invoicing properly and, and those little things are is find really helpful. Yeah, you know, staying organized, simplifying your life, right, that must go a long way, and allows you to focus on your art a lot more than than you normally would write. And oh, yeah, like now, now that I have all everything kind of in a workflow, I have more time to spend on the actual things that are more meaningful, like the actual craft and practicing the work, the tips that you would give yourself? Yeah, yeah, don’t be so hard on yourself, especially with equipment wise, I found that there was a quote, I forget where I found this quote was, you know, if you want to be good photographer stand in front in front of interesting things. And it’s really I really thought about that. Because, you know, I, actually another another story, I was, I was working on a film new romantic and it was starring Jessica Barden. And one of my one of my most famous photos of her is in portrait, I and I had her in studio and she was eating, you know, we were having lunch, and it was in between the big shoots. And she was just no, we’re just having fun. And I said, Hey, well, let’s just go do some some photos right against the white wall, I’m just going to do some things similar to the photo that you saw of Robbie Amell, just want a white kind of nice black and white kind of striking image. And she’s wearing a sweater, and we’re just doing this is photos. And it was like with an old Panasonic gf one like 10 year old, little tiny little Micro Four Thirds camera that I just had taken around. And if you if you actually look at the images, and you compare it to like, you know what I normally use, like a da 50, there’s almost like, when you’re looking at it online or something, there’s almost no difference in terms of quality, right? So really, I’m looking at these two images. And I’m like, it’s not about the camera, it’s about the image itself, it’s about the subject is about all these things. And the camera is just a tool to get the job done. And if you’re, you know, if you’re a good work, you know, if you have a good craftsman, if you’re if you’re a great good craftsman, you should be able to create a solid image with any tool that you have, you know, and but all I have to say the whole meaning in terms of saying in front of interesting things, it’s like, yeah, you can have the most technically perfect image. And you know, it’s it, but it’s something that’s uninteresting. Well, it’s not going to be noisy, no one’s gonna care how good technically the quality is, right. So you really have to kind of stand out and stand in front of interesting things. That’s why that’s most important is to get out there and actually do stuff. You know, that’s how you create the images. And that’s how you get the, you know, get the visuals that you want. Tell me a little bit about your work. So I’m looking at your website, Jerry Kingsley comm I believe it’s a format website, and I’m looking at your personalities work. Tell me a little bit about kind of the section, what you’re trying to capture through your personalities work and how this work is usually shot.

Yeah, so the personality section is, is mostly comprised of a lot of the gallery photography that I do. So usually, for a feature film, it’ll, it’ll, there’ll be two different versions that I do, you do set up more of an editorial style for the for the EP K, so they can use it for, you know, for magazines, or, you know, however, the distribution companies want to use it, a lot of times, I have no idea how they use the images, I just make the images and they do with them as they please, you know, but for me, I like for me, like my goal with my personalities is like in my time doing these photo shoots for these companies is that I’m able to actually get some really, really good portraits of these individuals, because they are individuals that are that are, are not only recognizable, but they’re coming to Northern Ontario, and they’re actually doing things in Northern Ontario, that, you know, is really not being captured. And we do a lot of good stuff up here. And there’s a lot of creativity in Northern Ontario. And it’s like, you know, part of what I want to do is like build this library of stuff that’s actually happening to people to who’s in what’s that are coming up here. A lot of times we kind of get forgotten about in Sudbury especially we’re kind of like the little brother of Toronto, and surely you will get a forget about us. But there is a lot of awesome creativity up here. And there is a lot of stuff that’s that’s happening. And, you know, I want to be able to capture all these things and all these people that are coming here doing great things. Yeah, I’m really, you know, as I’m looking as I look through your work, I really love it. I think that some of the images, the specific aesthetic and the mood. I don’t want to say style but aesthetic that you try to go after and I’m more specifically talking about the non black and white shots. Yeah, it’s like my I drew my initial inspirations when I was when I really knew that I wanted to kind of go after, you know, a market like this and that kind of commercial marketing advertising in the film industry. The two biggest inspirations for me early on were were Annie Leibovitz and end use of karsch music. karsch is a is a Canadian photographer. I don’t know a lot of people don’t really know him, but his work is like phenomenal.

Have one of his books here. And he’s shot like, he’s shot everybody like, you know, King James and you know, Queen Elizabeth when they were young, and when they were old. It’s like anybody, you know, john F. Kennedy and everything. So his portfolio is just absolutely just kind of fit in is what I look when I look through this. And I was just always inspired by his work and how they were just emotive, they were just simple, they were dramatic, they were just striking portraits of really interesting people. And oftentimes, like he that he has really good shot of Picasso, and he’s just there with one of his works of art. And it’s just kind of like, it’s black and white, but it’s Moody, you know, not much going on the background, but just a nice light. And it’s just always an inspiration and other photographer was Clayton. He’s based out in New York, he has like a really striking black and white aesthetic with really wide angle lenses close up and just kind of a little bit that just kind of creates like a,

an effect on

on people’s proportions, I would say, you know, so we kind of get some weird angles gets really close up. And I really enjoyed that stuff. And it’s like, for me, it’s just, it’s just, you never get to reinvent the wheel. And part of why I study more art fundamentals is really just to kind of get myself, you know, better as an artist that I’m using. I’m not necessarily, you know, I’m not trying to copy anybody or try to emulate anybody. It’s like I take inspiration from places but ultimately, one of my main pathways and my main goals is to try to try to use this and find my own style. And hopefully it’s unique and hopefully people will recognize it at that as that I believe there’s a interesting story. You know, as a photographer, I’m sure you’re facing challenges, different challenges every every time you want to shoot, and I believe there’s an interesting story with your one of your shots related to the Resident Evil movie. Would you like to share that story with us? Yeah, well, like I was telling you before so I do a lot of these of these gallery shoots for for these big feature films. So Resident Evil was one to note where it just just wrapped not too long ago in the film, half of it in Hamilton, half of it in Northern Ontario and Sunbury here. And initially I was supposed to do all the galleries as per usual. But because of the COVID restrictions and everything, it was really, really tight and it was really difficult to it was it was the first time that there was a big production of this size. While we were I think we were in between lockdowns like we’re currently under lockdown now. And we’re going into it for another 28 days, apparently. So, you know, might hurt a little bit.

You know, so fun times. So the way they had to do it is like camera teams had to get tested, they had to hire their Oh, yeah, they had to hire their own doctor, their own COVID people there to do the tests on set, you know, camera team twice a week, and anybody going to have to get COVID tests every Monday, it was kind of crazy. So the opportunities for photography, were just like nil. Most of the work that I was doing on that was remote digital compositing. So they were sending me like cell phone images from the actors and saying, hey, or comp their faces into this and that. And ideally, you do the gallery, and then you’d have your assets to be able to build it with.

But I wasn’t able to do that. So finally, we had to kind of I got pulled in. And I was kind of trying to figure out how to do some of these, some of these photos that we’re going to appear in scene because there was like, I had to pick a picture that they’re gonna cut you. And, you know, we were supposed to have the actors in but we couldn’t do it. And so there was me, the art director and the director Yohan Roberts, and they were trying to figure out how we’re going to kind of do this and they said, Okay, well we just need is one shot of the one aggregate I’m going to be Robbie at the time. And he said, Okay, he’s here right now grab them and then we brought me in the hallway, I didn’t even have my my my whole setup. And he’s had my my Fujifilm X Pro two in hand, but I usually kind of walk around camera. And he said, okay, grab him grab me, we go there, we’re all messed up. They sit him there and against the wall, and boom, that’s the shot, I have like, six different ones. And that was it. They’re like, Cool, alright, your job’s done, you can go home now. So like, I had like probably, like, you know, about a minute to really kind of capture the photos. So there’s like pretty high pressure and it’s just insane. Like how, how, how complicated, it’s really made a lot of COVID made a lot of a lot of our lives and our sheets. And when that happened, that was pretty that was that is that is definitely working under the pressure. Well, it really speaks to your ability to, to do this job right to do the work that you need to do really quickly. You know, if there’s photographers that need to set up for hours at a time, and then there’s, you know, sometimes you can just you know, pick up a camera and still do a good job under pressure. So I think that speaks to the quality and kind of the sincerity of your work.

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Let’s touch on COVID. Because I think that’s a good way that you could segue a little bit about how it has impacted your professional life has, you know, it sounds like work potentially kind of dried up? How have you feel the time? Or? And have you found potentially other ways to supplement the income that you were gaining through photography during COVID? Yeah, so, you know, I was, well, like, last year, it was pretty it was, it was pretty difficult just because, you know, we kind of got I kind of got hammered in multiple ways where, you know, not only was I affected by being being forced, close, you know, my daughter having the the schools being closed, and you have to be a stay at home dad type thing with the wife working and all this stuff. So, for the summertime, you like how you supposed to schedule anything. So for the most, most of the time, it was just, you know, I was lucky enough that I had a few commercial clients like architecture firms that I was able to kind of go and do some interior photos and that so there was a few kind of side hustle gigs that were that were that were needed to kind of maintain, maintain something over time. But

yeah, apart from that, you know, like, if it wasn’t for my wife and her job, it I just kind of focused on my family and just focused on just keeping busy in that regard. But being working on working on these feature films to like, we were lucky that we had, we had, you know, funding for this feature film that’s going to carry us through without that. I mean, it would have been pretty dire, you’re making it work. How did you? Is there anything you’re doing on your photography or cinematography practice to make sure that you’re, you know, you’re always you’re not going to lose the touch? You know, is there anything that you’re doing specifically, I didn’t notice that you’re playing with the effects a little bit. Anything there? Yeah, no, no, I’m still doing like, I’m still able to do my photography and stuff. Actually, I’ve been focusing more a lot on personal work. So it’s been it’s been a lot of time outdoors now and I go for a lot, a lot of walks with my daughter and I do a lot of personal work. But I still do headshots, not for people. It’s just a matter of scheduling things between lockdowns you know, and doing a lot of stuff virtually now. You know, I’m

one actually one of the one of the things that I have been spending a little bit of time on is actually going through my archives. So I had so much stuff that I never had an opportunity to go through a post. And now I actually do so I’m spending that time there. And I’m actually I’m going to be making a book with just my portraits. The suggestion of one of my former colleagues at the university, they kept bugging me and said, we could make a book, make a book, you got to put all your stuff in a book, and I figured, well, now’s the opportunity that I can kind of put this together and hopefully by the end, I’ll have something to draft and, and maybe put some for sale. But you know, like for me, for me, I don’t have any really any other hobbies, you know, photography and cinematography is my hobby. So what I’m not doing here, you know, I’m constantly just reading, watching, you know, YouTube videos, and mostly reading books and stuff. But I find just going out and actually practicing what I do in between the last lockdowns you know, I actually shot an entire short film for, for a new director,

Alan Moran called walks, and we actually just had to do the festival circuit. And I think out of out of 12 festivals, it was a selection, I think 10 of them, and it was a finalist at two of them. So, you know, there’s all these little things that you can do in between. And that was a fun little project, because we were able to actually test out a small production over two days in between lockdown still adhering to all the health and safety measures. So we were able to not only kind of get everybody together as a crew and practice it, but also practice it doing it safely and seeing how this works. So that when we do get to like a large scale project, you know, later on this year, we’ll already have gone through everything and have everything, our whole kind of workflow set up. Who are you 510 years from now? Do you have a goal for yourself?

Yeah, I think the only thing is like I’m just I just for my my five year goal is basically just to keep doing what I’m doing. And then just basically getting you know, you know, more projects, you know, getting getting new, new, better projects, and just continuing on, and just having fun doing it.

And if you get to give advice to other photographers that would want to follow in your footsteps.

What kind of advice would you give them? Well, I don’t come up to my job, obviously.

There’s a lot of stuff, I find that the one good thing is that I remember having conversations with photographers before, they’re really worried about competition. And I feel like there’s a lot of work out there. It’s really easy to kind of see well look at what they have, look what they have, you know what I think everybody gets their own version of whatever their thing is, you’re out there, you’re good and you work hard. People will recognize that and you will get opportunities that may not be the same opportunity is as as, as the other people you see, but everybody gets their own cool, interesting opportunities. And I see that happen every day. And that’s why I say it’s like, you know, don’t worry too much about what everybody else is doing what everybody else is saying. You worry about what you like what you enjoy what challenges you and if and I even even when I was telling all my students, my pa as I said at the end of the day is that if you are happy with what work you’re doing, if you had a good day’s work and you know you work your hardest and you know and you have that work ethic and you’re and you’re you’re confident that

yourself, work will come, you know, it will just be invariable that people will want to hire you, no matter what you’re doing. It’s like, and this is one thing I always tell my students kind of in my pa is, I say, you know what if I tasked you to go clean the toilet, and you do a crappy job cleaning that toilet, don’t expect a better job. But if you if I ask you to clean a toilet, and it’s the most polished, well clean toilet that I’ve ever seen in my life, well, I’m not gonna make you clean toilets. I’m gonna say, well, this person has to be doing other stuff because they do a good job, right? You know, so you got to scale it. And people kind of forget about that. But always do a good job, no matter how menial you think it is, because people are always watching and they take stock and they really do. That’s good advice.

where can our listeners find you on Well, I mean, the best place is probably on on my website, Joe. You know, Jerry Kinsey calm is the is the best place. I do have Instagram and Facebook and all that stuff, Instagram, I’m kind of I’m kind of waiting to see what happens if Facebook’s gonna get broken up by Congress leader talking, you know, but you can find me on there today. Jerry at work has a gr y at wr K. And, you know, I’m on there as well. So, all right. Thank you, Jerry, for joining us today. I really had a pleasure talking to you getting to know you loved everything that you shared with us. All of us that format wish you all the best of luck and bye for now and in the future. And hopefully we’ll speak again. Alright, thanks. Cheers. Thanks for joining me on the photographer’s journey. Join me next time at format comm slash podcast for another photographer conversation. as we learn more about how other professional photographers build their business. The sport is podcast Don’t forget to sign up for a free account at format that comm podcast listeners get 20% off the first year at format with a promo code journey when you upgrade your plan. If you liked this podcast, please subscribe and be sure to share it with your network. From all of us format. Thank you and remember we’re here to help you succeed. And I look forward to one day sitting down with you and learning how you’ve succeeded in your photography business. Until next time, thanks

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