JOE HILL

I've done this by not living the normal life: settling down and a steady job. Once I knew what I wanted to do, I left that world. I went to Europe to follow a girl and my life changed. I lived in Europe for six years. When I arrived there I thought I had a good portfolio (laughing). It was culture shock. I threw it all away and got to work. Photography and fashion were my life 24 hours a day. I was surrounded by it. I did what I wanted and lived my life. Experiencing life. Senses open. I guess some would say I just never grew up. I like old cars, trucks, and motorcycles. I don't drive a Prius. I'm happiest when I'm working, shooting! My therapy is working on motorcycles. 

 

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Stubborn ignorance, and love of what I do. I knew I didn't want to go back, so I figured out where my place would be. It was more about being engulfed by fashion when I arrived in Paris. --Which I loved. It was then about pinpointing and embracing what I loved in fashion icons, and all the amazing new scenery. Coming from what I was used to as a small town photographer, you had to do a little of everything as a photographer to survive. Now I could just focus on what I loved. It was an amazing experience that I would recommend to all photographers. It was my college.

 

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If you had complete confidence all the time I feel you wouldn't learn. You're never totally confident when you jump off a cliff into the lake or the sea. Those butterflies are what push you to the edge and for your feet to leave the rocks. I had blind faith when I went to Europe, not confidence. You do need confidence to create your art, but then when you show it into the light, you're standing on that cliff again with butterflies. 

My whole career has been people telling me, "You do so many styles well. But we don't know what your style is." People always want to put you in a box. Most people want to look at your portfolio and see the exact shot they want for that job or assignment. If you do many thing well, they don't know how to take it. --Usually because of their own indecision.

I was once in a meeting for a job in Paris with my agent and three clients at a table. They decided to show me a photo of what they wanted me to shoot for the job. I said, "I don't like to copy other people's shots." They slid the photo over and said, "We found this photo and want to do this." I looked at my agent and we started to laugh. They had found a picture I had done and didn't know it was mine. I always remember that because it just shows how clients make decisions.

I think my multiple shooting looks have become more of a sensibility than a specific technical aspect. I'm all about light. To me, no matter what the photo is about, if the light sucks the picture is crap. It took me many years of people telling me my lighting was so nice and then looking on some of these sites... I realized what I just took for granted was a gift. I realized I see light differently than a lot of people. It's hard to explain because for me it is the norm but looking back, I've always been attracted to light. Sorry got a bit off topic, if this doesn't make much sense to your question let me know and I'll rethink it.

 

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I've always told stories in my photos. So, for that reason people always told me that I should get into directing film. It just took so much to get it going. In the past, before digital, it was so expensive to shoot 16mm or 35mm film, with processing,film transfer, colour balance, editing, etc. Now, as a photographer/director, a camera, a computer, and a vision are all you need.

 

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Funny thing is I never shot a nude the whole time I was in Europe. Europe helped me to see nudes in a more relaxed way. In Europe, you see breasts and bodies in magazine ads. Girls are topless at the pool. It's just natural for them. I was the one that was not used to it, coming from a conservative part of America. I only started shooting [nude] after being back in America and seeing that it was silly to not look at it as in Europe. Also, it was always a dance between myself and the model to ask to shoot a nude and to do the shoot. I'm not your typical outgoing photographer. For me, it's about getting a beautiful, sexy image and making sure the model is comfortable with what we are getting. Mine are not T & A; they are more in the moment and about a beautiful subject.

 

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The most difficult aspect of my work is trying to be a business man and selling myself and my work. I know I'm good enough and I know I can deliver the goods, I'm just not a salesman. I'm not grateful for that aspect at all.

 

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I'm a little skeptical of the future. But I'm a cynic. I've always been that way. 

 

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The end of civilization will be caused by: Some idiot who wants everyone to think his way. Just like prohibition, censorship, and one sided thinking. How's that for cheery and positive? (laughing) That's why I try to make beautiful images.

 















01 // Gwendolyn S. // gwendolynsweet
02 // Britt
03 // Andrea Murray // andreamurray_la
04 // Uncredited
05 // Kat Kepler // kat_kepler
06 // Eugena W. // eugenawashington
07 // Emily Elicia Low // emilyelicialow
08 // Andrea Murray // andreamurray_la
09 // Alla Glushchuk // allaglushchuk
10 // Danielle Duvale // danielleduvale
11 // Uncredited
12 // Daniella Filer // daniellafiler
13 // Briana Ashley // brianaashleyxo_
14 // Desiree Yuzon // desiicat
15 // Gypsy

 

Joe Hill // iamjoehillphotography // joehillphotography.com

 

JUNNNKTANK is an online zine which has existed in one form or another since 2006.
For over a decade, the focus has been on highlighting the efforts of inspiring individuals and artists from around the world.

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Submissions are always welcome to junk@junnnktank.com.