Like so many photographers that I find it was through JP’s blog, which led me to his site which resulted in this interview.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is JP Agustin. Born and Raised in Los Angeles, CA. I’m 28 years old. Before photography I played professional paintball for seven years. Currently studying photo on my 3rd year at Art Center College of Design. I also enjoy studying cinematography and wouldn’t mind making motion pictures, but for now still images is my passion. When I’m not taking photos, I enjoy traveling the world.
What made you get into photography?
I got into photography to document my travels. I started with a digital point and shoot camera or those kodak disposables. My paintball teammate is a photographer and was using a 5D and was taking the same pictures as I was, but his quality was better and he was able to do more with the camera in terms of controlling shutter speed, fstops etc. He also showed me how light and composition can change everything. I bought a used Canon 10D from him and just went buck wild.
How did you get started?
Well after my paintball contract expired, I moved back to LA with no game plan really except a camera. I met with a buddy in downtown LA who was dating a fashion designer at the time and he asked if I wanted to shoot her collection. I agreed and studied lighting and fashion for two weeks. I bought a Canon 5D from a product photographer and assisted him twice to learn strobes and basic technical work. I rented the lights and shot the collection with models from craigslist and hair/makeup crew from my cousin who is a make-up artist. It was a success for someone whose only been working with studio lighting for less than a month and first fashion shoot. After that I wanted to build a portfolio and just make images. It’s been 3 years since then and have loved every moment.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
Fashion, Beauty, Fine-Art Nudes, and Hip-Hop
What gear are you using?
Canon 5D II
Hasselblad H1 with Phase One 30+
Hasselblad 500 C/M
Capture One, Photoshop CS5
Whats your favourite lens and why?
For my Canon, I’ve been diggin the 16-35mm F2.8L II. The wide angle capabilities offers a dynamic fresh look.
For my Hasselblad, the 120mm F4 Macro offers sharpness and close-up capabilities. Perfect for beauty shoots.
How are you marketing yourself?
Facebook, editorial, blogs, web site, and most effectively word of mouth. I think 90% of my jobs come from referrals.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
This fine-art nude photo I shot with a large format 4×5 view camera with b/w film. The darkroom print is amazing.
I’m also inspired by sculptures and wanted to shoot the image in that quality.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Shoot a shitload. Don’t wait for a perfect time to start a project. Just dive in and learn as you go. Also having connections matter so party and network a lot =)