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Chat with Commercial Photographer Joey Lawrence

This week I found a video interview with photographer Joey Lawrence. When he first hit the photography scene he was only 16, that was 2006. By 2009 he was living in NYC shooting celebrities, traveling the world, and had an instructional DVD. Who can say they did they all before they were 21?!

I have to admit when I first saw his work, I had two reactions.

  1. I was really, really impressed
  2. I was also a little pissed off!

Here was this kid doing what I had done for almost 20 years, and hitting the big time almost over night. I admit, I was a little jealous. But I soon settled in to really liking his work, regardless of his age, and allowing it inspire me rather than get mad about it.

Originally from Lindsay Ontario, Canada, Joey L (his working name) moved to New York to further his career. He shoots posters for movies, Hollywood actors and travels the world working on persona projects in India, Indonesia and Africa. Pretty much a dream job of what most photographers aspire to – and he’s only 24!

Here’s a short 8 minute interview with Joey where he talks about his philosophy, and gives advice for newbies just getting started.

 Some links to see more of Joey L’s work:

  • His personal projects including those mentioned about in remote villages, people from dying cultures
  • Learn from Joey, his educational site
  • How he got started, you can see his first photo contest entries on DPChallenge starting in 2004 when he was barely 15. I think this is helpful to understand that we all start at the beginning, and it takes hard work to make your dreams a reality.
  • I highly suggest you go into the video section of his site and watch “The Perfectionist”, and the Behind the Story video on it. He talks about his dad and how he encouraged him and gave him his drive to do things right the first time. A very heartfelt homage to his dad.

There is also a full length documentary on his journey back to Africa to actually show the people the photos of themselves. I couldn’t find it online, perhaps you can and share a link with us. But I did find this one below showing just how much he goes through to get this shots. Please keep this in mind as you look at his images and say to yourself, “I wish I could do that” and think long and hard about whether you have what it takes to do what he does in this video below.

I hope you find his work inspiring and it gives you some ideas. Maybe you won’t be jetting off to the rain forest of Indonesia any time soon, but perhaps you can think about how to use his tips, his energy, and philosophy of relating to the people he photographs, in your photography.

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Darlene Hildebrandt
Darlene Hildebrandt

is an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and hobbyists how to improve their skills through free articles on her website Digital Photo Mentor, online photography classes, and travel tours to exotic places like Peru, Thailand, India, Cuba, Morocco, Bhutan, Vietnam and more. To help you improve and learn she has two email mini-courses. Sign up for her free beginner OR portrait photography email mini-course here. Or get both, no charge!