Featured Photographer #50: Johnny Patience

June 15, 2016

Featured Photographer #50: Johnny Patience

What did you want to become in your childhood and are you that person today? I wanted to become a stuntman when I was really little, then an archaeologist when I was around 10 or 12, followed by working in advertising when I was a teenager and finally a psychologist before I finished school. In a way, being a photographer incorporates aspects of all of these jobs.

Featured Photographer #50: Johnny Patience

Where did you meet photography or where did photography meet you? Photography started as a creative outlet for me about 8 years ago. I didn’t plan to become a professional photographer but looking back today I wish I would have found and pursued this path earlier in my life. I feel that photography is what I am meant to do.

Featured Photographer #50: Johnny Patience

What do you do when you don’t have a camera in your hand? I almost always have a camera in my hand. My wife Rebecca and I moved to the United States half a year ago and I started a 365 on the day we arrived at our new house. I am shooting daily since then and share my photographs on my blog. I also play guitar and I love reading books, but usually I’m somewhere on the road traveling, exploring and working on a photography project.

Featured Photographer #50: Johnny Patience

Your personal story with photography in 12 words. Be a little less serious about life and a little more serious about art.

What are your superpowers and weakness (and how do you overcome them)? If I could pick a superpower it would probably be eating six scoops of ice cream without feeling sick to my stomach afterwards.

My biggest fear for a long time was flying on an airplane - which is a problem if you primarily shoot travel. I overcame that after flying 22 times in one year. Now I enjoy long distance flights.

What attracts you to the work you shoot? My work is about going to the deepest, most vulnerable place in my heart, expressing what I find and sharing it with the world.


Featured Photographer #50: Johnny Patience

Featured Photographer #50: Johnny Patience

The longer I shoot the more I feel that a good photograph is really given to you much more than you are making it. There are so many things that need to align at once for a picture to be good that it’s something I feel is really out of my control.

In your opinion, where is the social barrier between the photographer and the subject? That depends on the subject. Generally I don’t like overly sexual or crass photographs that exploit the subject to create some sort of shock value.

What annoys you the most in this profession? Photographers taking inspiration from other photographers without giving credit.

Featured Photographer #50: Johnny Patience

What’s in your camera bag? I shoot film exclusively and I work with a minimalist approach to gear: one camera, one lens and natural light. I don’t have very much equipment and know exactly how a shot will come out before I take it, how my film stock will render the tones and how my lens will interpret the scene. I love working with these constraints.

My camera bag currently contains the following:

  • Leica M2
    Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2

  • Leica M-A
    Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2

  • Hasselblad 501CM
    Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80

  • Hasselblad 503CW
    Carl Zeiss Planar T* 2.8/80

  • Kodak Portra 400
    Kodak Tri-X 400
  • Lumu light meter

If you could carry only 4 pieces of equipment to a parallel universe (no photo equipment on the other side) for a year, what would you choose? One of my Leicas, one of my Hasselblads, film and my iPhone.


Featured Photographer #50: Johnny Patience

Featured Photographer #50: Johnny Patience

When do you rely on your instruments and when on your feelings? I always try to rely on both.

Pearls of wisdom for fellow photographers to be? Shoot from the heart, not from the hip.

Ansel Adams or Annie Lebowitz or Martin Parr or Alec Soth? I try to avoid looking at too much photography, I don’t find it helpful to take inspiration from people working in the same field. I find a lot of inspiration in other art forms like music, literature, paintings. I think Quentin Tarantino is a genius, for example.


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Featured Photographer #50: Johnny Patience



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