Interview with:
JP Purdi

JP Purdi

Where are you born and when?

I was born in Texas in 1975

Where do you live?

I live in the Greater Houston, Texas area

When and how do you start your path in photography?

I distinctly remember picking up a camera at the age of seven and taking photos of a homemade hot air balloon we were launching as a science experiment. At this time I was living in central New Mexico not far from Santa Fe. Growing up in New Mexico I was surrounded by art and artists alike. Most of our school field trips were to art schools, art workshops or galleries. I couldn’t help falling in love with the world of fine art. As a family we would frequently visit Santa Fe and another nearby artist hotspot by the name of Madrid. I fondly remember all of the years I was able to spend with some truly wonderful and creative people. I greatly appreciate the time they all took to impress their passion on a youngster such as myself. As the years progressed I shot just about every style of photo imaginable with emphasis on portraiture. I love making images of people. Having the ability to record a certain gaze or smile forever pulls at something deep within my soul.

Who were the three photographers that inspired you at the beginning and who are the three ones that inspire you now?
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I always loved the French magazine photographers. I never knew their names but loved the work. Now, I draw from Helmut Newton, Sally Mann, Imogen Cunningham.

Did you go to a school or are you a self-taught?

I am self taught

Do you make photography as a living?

I do not shoot as my primary source of income.

What do you like in photography, what is your motivation?

I love the entire process. I like working with models, scenes, and processing images digitally or in a darkroom.

What do you want to express or arouse in those who watch your images?

I would love to give someone the feeling of awe for an image I saw as a child. That one image has captured my imagination even to this day.

What are your preferred moment(s) in the creation process?

I love experimenting with new ideas. I love seeing something taken from concept to completion.

What are your three most representative images, and why?
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1) - The strong composition and earthy feel of this image.

2) - The melding of the old and the new.

3) - This is the closest I have ever come to executing the image that spurred me to becoming a photographer. It has a very similar look and feel. It is missing the background but the other elements and feeling are present.

What equipment and/or techniques do you use?

It is not a matter of brands/lenses, it is mostly about analog/digital, preferred light (natural/flash), how much post-production, etc.

I enjoy different equipment at different times and go through phases. At times I love the speed and ease of digital photography and then I will really want to work with analog. I have an old box camera for the 1920’s that I really enjoy working with. I also have several Polaroids I like to shoot and try new ideas with.

How and why your work as changed since you started?

Early on I found a mentor that is an expert in the field of figure study. After my first nude 365-day project, My Nude Year, he gave me some feedback that has changed my direction. He simply told me to stop shooting pretty pictures. It has taken me a while to get my head around this seemingly simple statement. This recommendation has caused me to grow and think more about the photos I create and the concept behind them.

What do you think about the fact that nowadays photography is mostly enjoyed on the Internet?

I think it is great. It allows a greater audience to enjoy photography that may not have done so otherwise.

Why did you decide to join the nudeartzine project?

I was able to see some sample images online of the publication and felt it was a good fit for my work.

Would you have an insight or advice to give to whomever is watching your work and wants to learn photography?

When you are first starting out search for content related to composition and work on the basics until you truly understand them. Once you have the basics down you can begin to explore.

What are your plans in the future?

I am currently wanting to learn more darkroom skills. I am very limited in my knowledge of darkroom work and would love to learn more.

On what page our readers can find more of your work?

You can see my work as well as special projects on my website

Would you like to add something else?

Enjoy the process of either shooting or consuming photography. Pause and take time to take it all in.

Last updated 09/02/2022 06:02:33

Books by JP Purdi

Cover of Best of 2021 a nudeartzine book}
Best of 2021 a nudeartzine book

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