Student Success: Jason Brewer
As a child, Jason Brewer was fascinated by his parents’ point and shoot film cameras. After years of using said tools to capture various snapshots of daily life, he finally decided to enroll at NYIP and develop his photographic passion in a more structured, cohesive way. Recently approached by Lumu Light Meter to be featured as a blog photographer, Jason continues to see the efforts of his practice come to fruition. We recently had the chance to chat with Jason about his experience at NYIP and his goals for the future, and here’s what we learned:
1. When did you realize that photography was the field you wanted to pursue?
Since I was a kid I loved to take pictures and coveted my parents cheap film point and shoots. It wasn’t until after years of just taking “snapshots” that I wanted to pursue it further and actually learn photography.
2. When did you enroll at NYIP?
I tried to go use various internet forums and sites to learn photography but I work better in a more structured linear learning environment. I felt NYIP would give me the structure to learn I was looking for along with the freedom to be flexible since I worked full time and my first child was about to be born when I started the course in 2013.
3. What is your coursework like?
I think the coursework is laid out very well. NYIP does not dive too deep into the technical aspects to make learning difficult for the average person. As long as you read, practice, and have the ability to get questions answered on the NYIP forums or by your mentor I feel anyone that is serious in learning photography will succeed.
4. Tell us about your feature with Lumu Light Meter.
I was approached by Lumu Light Meter for a feature based on a photo I took and posted on Instagram. (Full Image on Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/p19t9R) The Lumu Team liked that I used their light meter when taking my images in my feed and asked if I would answer some questions for a feature. I was really shocked and honored that they chose me! It was a great indicator to me that my photography was improving and people not only noticed it but liked it as well.
5. What qualities do you think a successful, aspiring photographer needs?
Have the ability to work and shoot even when not motivated to do so. If you work with clients, learn to be good at handling unhappy people.Try to not use friends and family when building your portfolio. Go and meet people!
6. After graduation, what are your plans?
Continue on my personal photo projects and also try to get back to shooting for clients. Mixing full time work, NYIP and two new children under 5 doesn't leave time for paying clients.
7. What do you always carry with you in your camera bag?
Every day I always have my Fuji X100T in my work bag. Other times I use my Fuji XT-1 with 35mm f1.4, 56mm f1.2 Primes and 10-24mm f4, 50-140mm f2.8 Zooms depending on what I am shooting.
8. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned so far at NYIP?
There were many interesting things to learn but for me being reminded in the portrait lesson to have patience when doing child portraits was important. To practice I was shooting monthly milestone shots of my son (now 3) and daughter (Now 1) so having patience was key to getting good shots when they wanted to do their own thing and not sit still for pictures!
9. If you had to pick one, what was the most memorable photography project you’ve ever completed?
The one I am currently working on called “Small Town Wisconsin”. I travel the state and tour the less traveled towns to find interesting and unique things to photograph in them.
10. What’s the most rewarding part of studying photography?
Seeing improvement in my images that is related directly to what I learned in the lessons and have others notice it as well.
11. What subject is usually your favorite to shoot?
Daily Life (Street and Events) and Outdoor Still Life.
12. If you could give one piece of advice to our current and prospective students, what would it be?
Get a good mentor (locally or on internet) in addition to the NYIP mentor so you can continue to get honest feedback on your work after you finish the course. Without it you will not continue to improve because 1) you are your own worst critic and 2) your friends and family are too nice to be honest with you.
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