I'm a 31 year old doctoral student and photographer. Between law school student loans and the odd job or three, I somehow manage to pay the bills, and indulge in whatever hobbies or vices I find myself interested in at the moment.. my schedule also lets me travel abroad, which is as equally if not more impotent to me as photography is. I'm an LSU grad, a 2L in law school as of the Fall '14 semester.. Doctor of Jurisprudence, here I come! For the last 5 years, I'd been breaking my back saving money to finally stand on my own two feet (instead of doing like so many others and asking their parents for financial assistance), but now that I've purchased my first house, I'm ready to accomplish my next goal - living an upside down life. School, then real life, then back to school while still working... The mistakes and accomplishments I've made since graduating taught me how little I really know about life - it's a theory that I have - the more mistakes you make (and LEARN from), the fewer you make in the future. Some people might call it "maturity".. Either way, if I stumble, I get up and put my feet back on the path to keep moving forward. I recently (well, a few months ago) came back from a few weeks in Beijing, Thailand and Cambodia... Randomness seems to be the best way to describe me.
I've been around the world seeking the one photo that will define "me" multiple times - so far, to every continent but Austrailia, and Antarctica. I've slept on a streetcorner in Rome next the Coliseum using only newspaper to keep me warm (and fought a homeless man at 4am for the boxes I used to make a shelter... yes, there's a long story behind that)... I've had a baby octopus suck my arm 50 feet under the Aegean Sea in Greece while diving... I've stolen pieces of the Pyramids in Egypt, and I've tried kayaking across the Mississippi river alone, only to sink halfway across and have to swim the other half (if you want to try to visualizing what that was like, imagine your head is the only thing above water and you have the length of 5 football fields of nothing but choppy waves on either side of your face.. then take 10 minutes out of your life and read my recollection of the experience - it's long, but extremely intense, which reflects my personality. I'll add the link at the bottom of this post.
All of that has made me realize that life is too short to not meet new people, go to new places, and try different things... and that the one photo you chase is the one that might just be... quixotic.
I have the experiences and photo/writing work has gotten me published in several regional and (just a very few) national publications (hey, let's all be honest for a change instead of everyone being a Sports Illustrated photographer).... Over the years, I've assembled a fully equipped Alien Bee mobile studio, including multiple strobes, pure sine power packs, triggers, muslins, the works. Throughout my 6 years as an undergrad at LSU, I earned my paychecks primarily by working event photography. A few of the more notable events that I was the official photographer for were "Beatdown on the Bayou" (MMA), "Louisiana Legends", hosted by (former) Governors Blanco and Treen, Shell Oil, Boy Scouts of America, Exxon Mobil (my job was to shoot their CEO, Rex Tillerson repeatedly... I apologize that it had no effect on dropping the gas prices... not to mention the District Rotary International events and yearbooks, as well as events with the current Rotary International President based out of Japan (Gary C.K. Huang), as well as much, much more, however those just pay well. My interest and passion remains and always be portraiture. I enjoy shooting females more than males, because they please me more aesthetically, however I do shoot males as well on as needed occasions.
I have been fortunate enough to pay my own way to tour the World Press Photo Exhibit in the Netherlands each year from 2004-2009. I take photography as seriously as I take my legal education - and I believe (and sincerely hope) that my dedication is apparent in my work. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not Ansel Adams, or even David Humphreys or Wes Kroninger (the last two I apprenticed with), but I am constantly trying new concepts and coming up with different ideas in an effort to continue growing in an area of life I feel is vital to me. I believe that a photographer's work is given shape and style by their personal vision. It's not simply technique, but the way they look at life and the world around them. That being said, I see things differently. Some things are small and easily overlooked (for example, when is the last time you actually spoke to a homeless man sitting on the ground playing with his dog, let alone captured a candid shot of him? Some things are big - models posing, buildings standing tall, etc... the "hero" of the shot isn't necessarily the most important thing in the photo, to me... the most important thing is the IDEA that the photograph is trying to convey to the viewer. To me, that's why a guy with a point & shoot camera who buys a top of the line Nikon D3x will still take pictures that may as well have come from his point & shoot... photos come from the heart, from the interaction between the model and the photographer, and if it's not 1110 degrees outside. My apologies for writing a book just now, I tend speak my mind rather than bottling it up like so many others do - which is why I appreciate models, MUA's, etc who aren't scared to critique me or call attention to something I may have missed. The closest way you can come to reaching perfection is by working as a team. ---- Sorry, I'm really done writing my diatribe, now... ---
I am very interested in portfolio development. Questions, comments, and critiques are appreciated. Help me help you! I am extremely open minded when it comes to models (and let's not forget all of you massively talented and capable MUA's out there!) who have ideas for a session. If you have something unique or fun to bring to the table, I'd love to hear about it. I am open to virtually any type of photography.
As promised, here's the link to my idiotic decision to paddle (and sink) the Mississippi River:
http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthrea … =106413341
Thank you for reading this; and I trust that you like what you see. If so (or if not, your feedback is equally of value - so let me know) feel free to get in touch either on here or via text at 225-252-1506.
Jeremy "J.B." Spencer