With a few jokes, Johnny takes us into his life for a little. Sharing how and why he got into photography. It amazes me that he still only has a flickr account as his web presents, however don’t let that fool you his work is definitely worth a look.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Jonathan Adel William Yacoub, but most people just call me Johnny. Some other people call me “Cobra in the pants” but that’s another life I don’t feel like sharing. Bad joke. I know. Im 18 years of age, and I reside in the small town of Chino Hills in SoCal. I attend the University of California Riverside as a biology major. One day I hope to be a dentist and wedding photographer. It’s sort of my ultimate career goal, come check up on me in 6 or so years and see if I made it. I like to think of myself as a “unique person”, but nowadays everybody thinks their unique. So I guess I’m just. Johnny. I’ll tell you what a Johnny consists of. It’s mainly; photography, automobiles(I drive a STI), playing French horn, adventures, fine dining (taco bell), my homies, girlfriend, film production, race track days, watching movies, and just going to places and meeting new people. Im pretty damn friendly, or at least I like to think I am. In high school I was in band and ASB, I know those two stereotypes don’t connect. I just scratched the surface.
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What made you get into photography?
My friends, and I think this awkward underlying influence from my mom. My buddies used to collect a poop load of cameras and they would always go shooting in canyons and stuff with polaroids and old range finders (Hipster I know). And going on these epic adventures just made me happy. Plus, I enjoy taking pictures and reminiscing later. Sigmund Freud talked about how memories in the past can disappear but only survive in some form of favorable conditions. Photography is that condition for me. My mother used to have an old-school SLR when I was a kid, and she would always take pictures on vacations, trips to Disneyland, soccer games, and whatever else I did as a kid. Sometimes I just look back on those pictures and nostalgia hard mann.
How did you get started?
I previously stated that my friends used to collect cameras, that was triggered my sophomore year in high school when a few buddies and I would go to Thrift Stores and see what cool junk we could find for ,literally, pennies. Soon enough we were collecting cameras, but I didn’t want a twin reflex, Polaroid, or rangefinder. I really wanted an old SLR. One day I stumbled upon a camera bag with a 1984 Canon A1 SLR with a 28mm 1.8, 50mm 1.4, telephoto lens, and tit load of filters. All for nine dollars, no you didn’t misread that, and no I didn’t mistype that. For reals. 9 dollars. That’s what gave birth to my photography career; from there I bought a XSI, and got a summer job taking pictures of kids for a YMCA program. I got the money to then upgrade to other things a year or so later.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I like to think I’ve gotten decent at portraiture. For freelance work I mainly do Senior photos, and headshots. So it’s what I’ve gotten the most experience in. Id really like to step up my game and get into Weddings, and automotive photography. I just don’t think I have the photographer balls to venture out into those areas quite yet.
What gear are you using?
The easiest way to do this is just list everything I guess.
and a 430exii.
Whats your favorite lens and why?
Damn, I hate to be that guy. But I have to say the cliché. Like every other natural light photog, I love my 50mm 1.4. It’s on my camera like 85% of the time. I got it used for a super duper cheap price when I first bought my 5D and I moved away from using my 24-70 and started using solely primes. This lens made me sell my 70-200 and buy a 135L. But ill be honest and say that my 45 tiltshift and 135L are starting to see more time on my camera.
How are you marketing yourself?
Im only 18, and photography isn’t my priority. So I don’t have a website, but flickr seems to get me a lot of attention. Social Networking is the best way to go, I just post my pictures on Facebook and that usually gets me a heap of messages and inquires. Word of mouth is also powerful, don’t underestimate it. As of recently like 50% of my shoots have been all referrals by other people.
Whats your favorite photo you have taken?
Sorry, I can’t just chose one. It was honestly hard to narrow it down to 3 haha. I find myself improving on every shoot I do and finding new favorites.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
I feel like im in no position to be giving professional advice here, but I’ll give you my 2cents. There are two things that frustrate me in the world of photography. Don’t get gear crazy, you honestly don’t need a shit ton of gear for you to produce good pictures. If you’re just starting out, buy an entry level DSLR and 50 1.8. Learn the insides and outs of that camera, as well as lighting. Oh god. Lighting. Learn how to use the sun, correctly lighting your images is much more important than all the other junk you read online. Also learn how to take critiques and criticism. Don’t be arrogant and cocky, there will always be someone out there better than you. I spent a lot of time on forums having people rip apart my work.
Visit Johnny Yacoub – flickr