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Blog 1802 Jonathan Rodrigo Neubau Eyewear 2
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Artist of the month: Jonathan Rodrigo documents people and places across the world

24-year-old Barcelona based photographer Jonathan Rodrigo has achieved more by his age than most people do in a lifetime.

Tour­ing the world with his cam­era, he has shot cam­paigns for the likes of Reebok, LG USA MOBILE, Seat and more. His lat­est cam­paign was for Adi­das Orig­i­nals’ icon­ic Adi­col­or cam­paign’ which went viral on the inter­net. His port­fo­lio is both diverse and excit­ing, rang­ing from pho­tographs of music gigs to skate­board­ing pros to com­mer­cial com­mis­sions and land­scape images. No sur­prise that neubau eye­wear hired him to shoot beau­ti­ful stills for their newest lookbook.

Here, Frame of Mind spoke to the young cre­ative to unlock some of his suc­cess secrets. Read on to dis­cov­er where Rodri­go gets his inspi­ra­tion from and how he deals with social media fame in the inter­net age.

When did you first start tak­ing pho­tos?
I guess I start­ed tak­ing pho­tos as a kid when I would bor­row my friends’ cam­eras when we were skat­ing or surf­ing. Since I couldn’t afford one I always tried to get the best shots. I was nev­er con­scious that I had been tak­ing pic­tures as a kid until the moment I got my first iPhone. I was hyped on the pow­er of cre­at­ing some­thing and being able to retouch it and share it with­in five min­utes. That made me real­ize I was in need of a prop­er camera.

Blog 1802 Jonathan Rodrigo Neubau Eyewear
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Your port­fo­lio is real­ly broad and diverse – do you pre­fer tak­ing land­scape or por­trait pho­tos and why?
I was trav­el­ling around for a bit cou­ple years ago. At that time my main craft was land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy and get­ting the best per­spec­tives and sit­u­a­tions no mat­ter what. Trav­el­ling gives you the chance to meet peo­ple from all around the world; meet­ing so many dif­fer­ent peo­ple made me realise how pow­er­ful human sto­ries can be, in a visu­al way too. Dur­ing the last year, my goal and man­i­festo com­plete­ly changed which is why I haven’t been shar­ing any per­son­al work. Now, I approach how peo­ple act and feel in spe­cif­ic atmos­pheres and contexts.

You’ve worked with some big names (such as Nike and Mer­cedes), have you found it dif­fi­cult to main­tain cre­ative free­dom at any point?
Of course. That was what stopped me from keep­ing on mov­ing for a while. But at one point I realised that if I want­ed to make a prop­er liv­ing out of this job I had to par­tic­i­pate in the com­mer­cial area even if cer­tain clients would drain my soul and pas­sion for art. I feel like you must be con­scious you are adapt­ing your art for some­one else at all times. Once you know that, you need to know what is worth it and what is a waste of time.

A big les­son was real­iz­ing that well-per­formed mar­ket­ing is actu­al­ly ART. And as an artist, you need to respect it.

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Where do you draw inspi­ra­tion from?
I draw inspi­ra­tion from every­where and nowhere. There are some days when I find inspi­ra­tion in atmos­pheres that I stare at on a dai­ly basis when walk­ing around cer­tain areas. When I talk about atmos­pheres” I’m refer­ring to details which act in inter­est­ing or rare ways under cer­tain light­ing or com­pos­tion. Unre­peat­able and unique situations.

If you ween’t a pho­tog­ra­ph­er, what would you be?
I’m not just a pho­tog­ra­ph­er, I con­sid­er myself a mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary artist. At the moment I just show­case my pho­tog­ra­phy work but I do a lot of stuff behind that, which I hope to be shar­ing with you pret­ty soon. I enjoy shoot­ing but thats not the only thing I love doing. I love life and the ways you can express one­self in dif­fer­ent cre­ative ways.

Say­ing that, I strong­ly believe I would be design­ing some streetwear and sneak­ers. Or pro­duc­ing some music.

Your bio states that you have devel­oped a well known dig­i­tal per­son­al­i­ty”. How has social media helped this? Do you ever feel a pres­sure to please fol­low­ers?
Some­one wrote my bio for me. But yes, I guess social media helped a lot, espe­cial­ly dur­ing the begin­ning of my pro­fes­sion­al career. Hav­ing a prop­er fol­low­ing and some artists/​athletes I looked up to sup­port­ing my work kept me going through hard times.

At one point, I real­ized that social media plat­forms like Insta­gram and Face­book require con­stant upload­ing. But the con­tent I want to cre­ate is much slow­er and unless I low­er the qual­i­ty of my work (which I refuse to do), it is not what social media requires.

If you could only shoot in one city for the rest of your life where would it be?

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16 Feb 2018 · neubau eyewear