10 minutes with Jonathan Robert Willis

Interviews with Photographers March 3, 2011 10:35 am

Name: Jonathan Robert Willis

Location: Cincinnati, OH

Dream subject: I used to have a short list of people to photograph–Ryan Adams, Wes Anderson, Bill Murray. Though I would still like to photograph them, my values for great subjects have changed.  There are so many interesting but unrecognized people doing fascinating things with their talents and passions. Writers, artists, and scientists who do what they do regardless of recognition, and for the most part go unnoticed. The American spirit is what I love to shoot. I’m grateful my career allows me to spend time with those kinds of people. I get to live vicariously through a huge variety of explorers.

Dream location: I love small town America where things haven’t changed in years. There is something that draws me to the simplicity of that kind of environment, not to mention the nostalgia. That being said, I would also jump at the chance to shoot in Japan.

If cameras all turned to stone, I would probably be: An architect. In high school my favorite subject was geometry. I love angles and spacial orientation, and order in the environment. It’s always been core in my approach to photography and I can see how it  translates to architecture. I once had the luxury of photographing with American Master Architect Antione Predock whose work I find so inspiring. After the shoot, we talked for a few hours over lunch about how strong vision and discipline matter most, regardless of the medium.

If I started a magazine, it would be on: I am not sure. I love so many things: food, music, creativity and family. It would be something like that.

I am inspired by: Cooking. I would never cook for money and can’t photograph food to save my life (slight exageration there). But cooking for friends is kind of my love language.

I am discouraged by: Seeing people glued to the news and living in fear.

An editor is most helpful when: They remember they hired you for your vision and style, and trust you to deliver it. Giving clear direction never hurts either.

(See more of Jonathan’s work, here)

 

Jonathan Robert Willis

Jonathan Robert Willis

Jonathan Robert Willis

Jonathan Robert Willis

Jonathan Robert Willis

Jonathan Robert Willis

 

1 Comment

Leave a reply

required

required

optional