We first noticed JerSean Golatt when he shared a photo with his Camps Bay on Instagram: the backpack (of course!) had survived a mountain hike, his pants had not. Once we started following him on social networks, his creative composition, travel adventures and ever-present optimism kept us intrigued. The young Dallas-based photographer doesn’t always follow the rules and he’s willing to take some risks in pursuit of the right end result: a philosophy we can certainly get behind.
JerSean wears the CAMPS BAY BACKPACK.
ONA: How did you get into photography?
JG: I was born in San Francisco, California to parents who are creatives: my mom is a fashion designer and my father is a musician and artist. So growing up in a very creative household is the reason for my artistic eye. I grew up looking through Neiman Marcus “The Book” catalogs instead of coloring books. At the age of 14 I received my first computer and installed on it was Photoshop 7.0. I spent all my waking hours on Photoshop making stuff: business cards, album covers, flyers, you name it! From all that devotion to learning design, I realized my keen sense for negative space and composition. That translated into photography when I would borrow my friends Nikon D50 to shoot friends, random people and things around my neighborhood. That soon turned into everyone calling me “the guy with the camera.” I realized i could make a living shooting photography, and I did just that in the beginning of 2009.
After a semester of college, Idropped out because I just knew it wasn’t for me: I just wanted to shoot. So I purchased my first DSLR, a Canon 7D. I connected with a model friend and we set up my first test shoot. I was nervous as a freshman on the first day of high school, not really sure if i could really pull off clean images. Once I started shooting, I was getting really good shots, even though i knew they were nowhere close to what I really wanted. But I knew I was on the right track. She loved the images and showed them to her agency, they liked them as well and I got a few more test shoots from that agency.
ONA: What camera do you shoot with? What is your “go to” lens of choice?
JG: My current camera is a Canon 5D Mark II. My go to lens is the Canon Zoom lens – 24 mm – 70 mm – F/2.8.
ONA: What sort of project drives your creativity? Follow Up: What is your dream project?
JG: I love shooting lifestyle fashion: anything that allows me to have fun with my subject and try different scenarios of a story. My dream project would be to release my own world travel photography book.
ONA: What is the hardest thing about being a photographer?
JG: One of the hardest things to learn and what I’m still learning is the accounting side of the business. When photography is your full-time gig, you are your own boss: that means you have to keep account of all your expenses and earning. When those things are taken care of, it allows you to keep shooting and doing what you love to do without hiccups.
ONA: Describe your style of shooting.
JG: As a Christ believer i feel like my attitude towards photography is shaped in a way that I enjoy and see the best and beauty in everything. I say that to say, my approach to each shot has formed my style of shooting, I may not technically be spot-on in every shot I take, but there’s a reason for every thing I show and don’t show in a frame. Because of my background in graphic design, I shoot with a consideration for space. I love playing with negative space and different compositions because I envision the end from the beginning of a project.
ONA: In one sentence, what advice would you give to a photographer just starting out?
JG: Wake up early in the morning, stay inspired and keep shooting.
ONA: How did you hear about us?
JG: I heard about you guys through Andrew Ryan Shepherd. I’ve been following his career for a while now and I saw him tweet that he had an ONA bag. I was complaining about how horrible my bag was and saying to myself what I would give to have a bag that looked good and held all my stuff perfectly.
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