I love to photograph anything that makes me feel alive. I grew up totally enamored by the female heroes in video games like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Secret of Mana. It didn’t matter if it was in a 2D format or something beautifully sculpted in newer technology.
I follow musicians and need a song to connect to my “self” in order to photograph them. I love to photograph people that have a fantasy-like aesthetic about them. Strange is beautiful.
I don’t know or care what label people would place on my work as a whole, but I certainly feel it would be a blend of editorial and fashion, though I do shoot nudity very often (which I still consider editorial in a sense).
I traveled exhibiting my work in art galleries all over the east coast and have been fortunate to be published in some great magazines. “Resume” aside… I just want people to feel something…
Whether it’s the “engineered” shade of blue I present, the raw emotion and character exuding from the subject, or concept that feels like a reflection of your life. The work is often tailored towards my idea of beauty, intimacy, sex, peace, strength, and/or vulnerability.
Gear does and doesn’t matter. Gear provides you with the tools to either get the job done in a literal sense, or aids in the process. I used to carry large strobes, battery packs, multiple lenses and bodies, and a myriad of little trinkets. And now… I have the simplest setup for my day-to-day sets.
I love my gear at the same time. I love the fact that I had so much in the past that I know what I need and when I need it, and how to use it. I get to bring light into form so I am certainly infatuated withthe new technology I get my hands on as well.
What is inside my ONA Bowery kit bag?
Mirrorless Sony A7 – The image quality and dynamic range of this camera is gorgeous. I am most attracted to the EVF (Electronic View Finder) because I shoot mainly natural light, where seeing the changes in live time is extraordinarily convenient. I fell in love with this camera from day one. I can unexposed to maintain highlights for rally dramatic shots.
I really have no limits with this camera. I also film behind the scenes videos of my photoshoots, and the video has proven to be super useful. It’s not the “best” in terms for video, but it gets the job done well.
Zeiss 55mm f/1.8mm lens – Outstanding lens. Not many lenses available for my camera when I bought it (new system), so I have been holding out for a 135mm or something close. I enjoy one or two lenses at a time. Always fixed focal lengths.
The way this lens and the Sony a7 “communicate” is magical. Sharp from corner to corner and colors are beautiful. I love the build quality and in fact, the entire aesthetic is sleek. I trust this lens to never miss a shot, and it doesn’t. The focus ring is smooth (manual) is beautiful for video. If I had to select a word that helps me express this lens, it would be “sexy.”
Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 Lens Hood – Rarely remember to reattach it, but comes out during these hot Miami 1pm afternoons.
(2) Sony a7 batteries – Last much longer than the knockoff batteries I have.
(2) Wasabi batteries – “Just in case” batteries. Always be prepared. I bought knowing they wouldn’t be as good but man… I have been saved by them in the past.
Wasabi Battery Wall Charger – Has been so important to me. Helped when I only had 1 battery and was often running low.
(2) 16gb Sandisk 30mb/s memory cards – Great cards. Never failed.
Ted Baker leather wallet – I wish you could see the inside of this wallet. It’s a masterpiece of art and color. It’s always in my bag on shoots and it’s usually taken out for food, coffee, or snacks at Whole Foods. Again, the inside is so pretty. It’s important to me to surround yourself with yourself. If you are going to have a wallet, let it do something to your heart strings.
Pelican CF card case – I love this little case. It carries my SD cards and protects them (used to have CF cards, but I don’t anymore. Case has still proven to hold its value.
Hanae Mori Daytime Cologne – A wild blend of citrus, woodsy, and oceanic notes. The lemon draws people in. The lavender keeps them there. I spray this before meeting, as it seems to make people happy. I really believe in lifting moods through all senses.
Passport – It usually just sits in my bag because that is its home!
About 100 business cards (16pt, Rounded Corners, Satin Finish and Spot UV on the “J”) – I love these cards. They are also waterproof and this is the only card I found people to save for a long time because of how it makes them feel (touch and sight).
ONA Bowery (Field Tan) Messenger bag– I LOVE THIS BAG. I don’t even like capital letters like that without specific kerning, haha. This bag fits everything I need for my mirrorless setup. I even use it to travel back and forth for non-photography related purposes since it looks like a nice fashionable men’s bag. The strap removes to place in bigger bags. The waxed canvas is durable, the leather detailing will ensure a personal “look” throughout the years, the lock-mechanism is well-designed, and people find it charming.
I used to carry tons of equipment (from lighting to heavy dslr cameras and multiple lenses with a huge hiking camera bag), and now I like to just feel comfortable and peaceful when my camera is by my side. Like a gentle hug.
Inside Jason’s Camera Bag:
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