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Jonathan Kemp (Photographer)


PODCAST EPISODE | WRITTEN INTERVIEWS
PORTLAND, OR

Photography was never the goal. I didn’t pursue it, it just fell in my lap, but as soon as it did I ran with it and pushed for it as hard as I could. I ran a music website in high school, which turned into writing show reviews, which turned into wanting photos for those show reviews, which turned into getting a gig shooting for a local venue. After shooting at Murray Hill Theatre in Jacksonville, Fla. for a while, I built a relationship with the band Silent Planet and they took me on my first tour in January 2015. I’ve pretty much been touring full-time ever since and learning as I go. (I essentially much haven't been 'home' in the last year and a half.)

One of the biggest joys for me in touring with bands as a photographer is getting to capture moments that, without me, would just blend into every other day of every other tour. After a while tours start to blend together, so having photos and videos is really cool for keeping those memories alive - on top of helping the band build their social media presence. I have a huge passion for helping brands improve how they interact with their customer and giving them the tools they need to do that.

I do everything from taking photos on tour (which includes shooting shows, candids, band promos, merch look books, etc.) to shooting for clothing companies and brands off tour to shooting bands recording in the studio to shooting portraits just for fun. I tend to get bored pretty quickly, so I try to mix it up as much as possible and constantly change how I approach shooting.

I never went to school for photography. I just picked up a camera and started learning on my own. I've done every level of touring, from van tours playing to 50 kids a night to bus tours playing to thousands a night. I enjoy the work that goes into carving my out my own path and building my own brand just as much as building other people's brands.

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