5 Strategies To Take Stunning Photos, With Jonathan Klip
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jonathan Klip, award-winning internationally recognized photographer. For over 20 years, he has traveled the world telling stories through breathtaking and timeless images. As Managing Director of Recrea Corp., Klip leads a team using innovative technology to produce inspiring and powerful photography and audiovisual content for major global brands.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I started taking pictures when I was a child. I was always enthralled by reflections, colors, shapes and the simple act of being able to capture these things in a single frame. In high school, it became more exciting and my favorite hobby leading me to study at the New York Institute of Photography. Soon after, on my job in event production, I met with execs from McDonalds and they asked about my photography. This conversation led to them hiring me to take food photographs and that was the beginning of my photography career. Most recently, I was proud to have been selected by Mexico’s Secretary of Environment to exhibit my photographs of “Entre Guerreros” for an official gallery exhibit at “El Bosque de Chapultepec”.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I have a lot of stories, but one of the most significant happened in Morocco. I was photographing some Bedouins in the Sahara Desert and I remember a boy watching me. He had big black eyes and a confused expression like he didn’t understand what I was doing with the camera. After spending a lot of time taking photos, I approached him and showed him the image that came up on the “little screen”. That’s when the child stopped, looked very carefully at the photo, and asked, “who is that boy?” His words surprised me but it was at that moment I really understood the power of the camera. Photography is about telling stories, showing the best side of the world and the best way to communicate, because in just one single image, you can say so much.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I was doing my first photo session alone in my studio and I was really nervous. The model was in front of me, the lights, the temperature, the background, everything was just right for me to start taking photos. I got the camera ready, but when I looked through the viewfinder everything was black. I stopped, moved the lights, adjusted the flash, and nothing! Everything was black for over 30 minutes but I didn’t want to say anything because I wanted to look like I had everything under control. Tired of waiting, the model asked me when I plan to take the lens cover off the camera! At that moment everything made sense to me and I felt utterly embarrassed and quickly answered, “Of course! Just let me finish getting the studio ready, because I don’t want the lens to get covered in dust.” Lesson learned: Never let them see you sweat!
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
We produce the impossible and we don’t say no to anything. We are willing to do whatever is necessary to capture every image, whether a photo or video, for it to turn out perfectly for our clients. That is how we approached an event with 2,000 people with less than 24 hours to prepare. We were responsible for the entire set-up from chairs, tables, tents, sound, decorations, and filming a presentation video. We did it successfully because of our focus and passion for our work and our unrelenting determination. I’ve always said impossible things are just illusions to make us strive harder.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Focus on what you love and enjoy what you do. Follow your heart and the money will come in on its own.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Internationally renowned photographer, Ira Block, is a very good friend, mentor and inspiration and that is when I traveled across the world discovering beautiful countries through my camera lens. Now, as Managing Director of Recrea Corp, I work with a very talented team using innovative technology to produce powerful audiovisual content for major global brands. Each person is tremendously skilled in multiple areas of photography and production. They make it possible for me to focus on the perfect image to tell the perfect story.
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
I’m starting a series of photographs about the indigenous people of Mexico. They are small groups of people who, despite being part of the earliest origins of Mexico, have been forgotten. I will be traveling a great deal throughout the country, and it will likely take me at least 2 years to complete.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
My photography work has always been based on bringing “goodness to the world” and here’s why. Since the beginning, I have been dedicated to searching and creating stories, through meaningful images, to inspire people to be the best version of themselves.
Can you share “5 Things Anyone Can Do To Take Stunning Photos”. Please an example for each.
Look for a clear background without distractions.
If you are in a market, and your purpose is to photograph a specific person, be sure to wait until the background is clear, no people passing, no strong light, etc…
Eliminate things that are distracting or take attention away from the object. For example, when taking a portrait, a vase of beautiful flowers may seem like an enhancement but they won’t be, especially if they have bright colors. Remove everything that will take attention away from the main subject.
Be careful about reflections. Too often, photographers make the mistake of missing reflections, even subtle ones. Pay attention to drinking glasses, sunglasses, mirrors or windows which could have reflections that will negatively impact the photo.
Be very careful about focus, always focus on the eyes. When capturing images to express moments in our lives, don’t focus anywhere else but the eyes of the subject.
Don’t rush. Wait until you “feel” the perfect moment. To achieve beautiful, inspiring, powerful and memorable photography, you need to feel the exact moment to capture these images. If you are taking photos of the waves in the ocean, set your camera ready and take all the time needed until you experience the feeling of the moment. When this happens, the photo will tell the experience better than any words could.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Through my photos and my actions, I hope my influence is encouraging people to take the time needed to live life. We are so preoccupied with pursuing objectives and achieving goals that we forget to enjoy the day to day. It’s been said that life is about the journey, not the destination and I truly believe that. Similarly, with our youth spending so many hours on their smart phones, I believe they are missing the beauty that surrounds them. But taking phones away isn’t the answer. Instead, I speak at schools and conduct community workshops teaching how phone cameras can be used to capture details that will inspire. Introducing photography and helping next generations discover the power of their cameras to communicate and tell stories is another way I hope to be bringing good into the world.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Twitter @Jonathanklip and @RECREAMKT
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!