Every person has a story to tell of how they capture the magic they see before them with their photography. We are celebrating this with our Instagram PixStorytellers. Each week, a new photographer will join us on Instagram sharing their ideas, tips, and tricks for getting the best shot. This week we introduce you to Jason Madden aka @jasonmaddenphotography Instagram who specializes in landscape and wedding photography.
How did I start in photography?
It’s quite a long story, but I’ll keep it in a nutshell. 5 years ago I was battling an addiction to substances, and it was November of 2012 when I decided to get sober & clean. I was a musician at the time and had been for many years prior, and I would say, I still am. While in recovery, I spent a lot of time outside in the sun, walking & exercising to get my mind right again, and I had this little Samsung phone which was about 3mp. I would snap here and there, not really knowing anything about proper photography. Fast forward a couple of years later, a friend of mine gifted me a higher grade Samsung phone which had about 8mp, and better quality photos. I started to take photos of the Verrazano in Brooklyn which is where I live and post them online and people started to respond quite positively to how they looked and how I edited. After selling some prints and making my name from using a cellphone, and creating everything from digital art on it, to regular landscape shots, I purchased my first DSLR around February of 2016. From then on, I shot everything I could. After a short while, I was getting contacted to do paid work, commercial work and was selling prints left & right weekly. Things happened very quickly for me, and it was exciting and still is. I am now a wedding/engagement photographer, and I shoot everything else as my hobby. I happen to have a big passion for romance, and thoroughly enjoy shooting that genre! I just shot my second full wedding in late 2017, and there’s no stop sign in front of me. Photography has become a tremendous, if not the biggest, part of my creative conscious.
How did you find your groove?
Honestly, I didn’t search for anything or look for anything. I let the world and the universe guide me and my new found eye for capturing the world through stills and video, and I eventually fell into a pattern which gave way to my strengths, and my weaknesses.
What’s in my camera bag?
7-8 old film cameras
Canon t3i with a kit lens, a 50mm, and a 10-18mm
Canon 5d mark iii and a 24-105mm
ND filters, cleaning kits, intervalometers, and remote triggers.
LOTS of batteries!
Advice for those starting out?
Don’t EVER start photography for the money, because you will fail and be absolutely broke and uninspired and ultimately create nothing but crap. Start it because you have a passion in your heart for it, and if money comes, it comes. Money should never, ever, ever be a reason anyone starts the arts. It is a byproduct, and if you’re good enough and genuine, the law of attraction will reward you with monetary gain for your work. There is nothing I hate more than newbies who start doing photography for the sole purpose of trying to make money from it. There has never been a success story from it, and I find it personally insulting and embarrassing to those of us that do it from the passion we have for it, and from turning our emotion into an outlet. To me, you’re exploiting the art and should be called out for it. Other than that, shoot everything and everyone, do free shoots, give your work away from time to time, and draw from your emotions, whether it be pain, sorrow, joy or happiness. Show the world something different, and real, and it will reward you 10 fold.
Thank you, Jason! Make sure to follow us on Instagram for his takeover. Click HERE to follow along!