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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.

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.

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?

Blog 1802 Jonathan Rodrigo Neubau Eyewear 1
16 Feb 2018 · neubau eyewear