Jamey Hoag is a photographer based at Los Angeles. His urban / street photography is full of amusing moments, situations and contradictions. It is the portrayal of decay and disintegration in such a humorous way that the viewer is swayed away to the lighter aspects of life and look at what patches our lives and world together amidst breakings. Seems like I’m taking the assessment of his images to a different level but I really enjoyed looking at his photos while having an ample food for thought. I asked him a few simple questions to know about his work and preferences and here he goes:
Please tell us about yourself:
I live in Los Angeles, I have a family, I work, I sit in traffic and I make photos, purely as a creative outlet.
The landscape here in Los Angeles changes pretty quickly it forces me to make photos on the spot and keep my camera handy all the time.
I think the biggest thing for me has been humor in photos. I enjoy when things are made in a sort of “half ass” way, recently I came across a license plate that was duct taped to a car. Or when things grow or develop in their own without any outside influences.
I’m not sure how I would title my photography. May be everyday walking photography? I suppose I’m not a huge fan of such titles, I don’t really think about it to be honest.
Besides the outdoor world, what else do you shoot/like to shoot? How do you view your evolution as a photographer?
Photography is a sort of meditation, therapy or peace for me. I like to get out and walk get interested in things most people would probably consider mundane or maybe boring. As far as evolving I’d like to get better at the editing process, it’s tough.
A majority is spontaneous, however Los Angeles can be tricky, lots of cars, people and the landscape changes pretty quick. It all depends but I would say 80% of the photos are made spontaneously out on a walk or driving some place.
Why did you make ‘Grow Strange’? What after that?
‘Grow Strange’ was an idea that I wanted to create based off the photos I was making. Around the same time a few good friends of mine had a zine fair and wanted me to create something so I created ‘Grow Strange’ kind of quickly. All the copies that didn’t sell at the fair I sold at a couple book stores around LA. It was a great learning experience based off something that was created so quickly and spontaneous.
Tell us about the equipment (camera and lenses) you mostly use and why. How does fast changing photography technology affect you?
I use a few different cameras, 90% film. Fuji GA645, Nikon F100, Olympus MJUII, Fuji X100S.
I’m not really interested in camera gear and don’t keep up with the new technology.
I enjoy photographs as a story told in a book form. I read recently about developing a visual language which made a lot of sense. I don’t see a lot photographs being pieced together with that in mind including my own. Something I’m working on constantly and probably a reason why I don’t post on social media outlets as often.
Photography as a career choice would be great and even better if given creative freedom.
I’m shooting a few different things but I’m really working on fine tuning my editing / story telling skills, this is something I personally feel I can improve on quite a bit and developing my own narratives to be told through the photographs.
I really like Jason Fulford’s work and J & L Books along with other publishers like Iceplant, Mack among others. Raising Arizona is an amazing movie I come back to all the time.
Something to say to our readers or aspiring photographers:
Get comfortable walking shoes and have fun.