Is there a better way to kick off our artist of the month feature than with Jacob Loafman? Probably not ! If you are an active member of the VSCO Group you will know this Taco loving guy from Saint Louis.
He is one of the most active members of the VSCO group so he is the perfect pick for our first monthly feature !
How did you get into photography ?
First off, thanks to you all at Lookslikefilm for the feature. It’s truly an honor and I’m so grateful you asked. I’m Jacob Loafman from Saint Louis, Missouri, USA. I’m 30 years old and I love eating tacos.
I got my start in photography back in the high school darkroom, actually. I loved every second of the process from shoot to develop to print. I continued with photography through 2004 or so, then life just kind of happened and I fell away from the art.
In 2011, I saw some of Kyle Thompson’s self portrait work on Reddit and it sparked the old flames in me. So, I picked up a Canon XSi on eBay w/ a kit lens and started taking self portraits. THEY WERE AWFUL. I mean, embarrassingly bad. From there, I started progressing over the next 6 months or so and the typical requests for family portraits from friends began.
A year later, I began charging for sessions, as I realized I should be charging for my time.
6 months later, I had grown quite a bit and officially started my business. Here I am in 2014, with about a dozen weddings under my belt and bookings for 2015 are already filling up quite nicely. It’s kind of surreal how fast it’s all happened, but I’m forever grateful.
How would you describe your style of shooting ?
My style of shooting is a mixed bag of sorts. I love classic portraits, but I think what makes me stand out, if even just a little bit, is I really, really strive to create interesting, original photographs using the environment around me. It’s difficult to stay fresh in this industry, with the amount of talent that is currently out there. It’s good, though. It pushes me to try new things and get creative. It’s the reason I buy children’s toys off Amazon and incorporate them into my work. I do a lot of shoots in downtown areas, because I love just parking the car and walking around with my clients. Nothing is planned. Everything is winged. My clients are a little curious about this at first, but I ask them to just trust me. They do and appreciate the laid back style of my sessions. It’s really just a bunch of laughing for a couple of hours. I also love to play with light in different ways. Dabs of hard light are my favorite. Other than that, I don’t know. I just kind of go out into the world with my gear and make some interesting photos.
How do you edit your images ?
My editing is also a mixed bag. I mix the gritty with the clean. Sometimes, I’ll incorporate bold colors in my editing. Other times, I like to desaturate and add some muddy brown tones with gritty shadows. I really edit for the mood of the photo. Sometimes that calls for super moody, emotional tones. Other times, it’s the more bold, colorful tones.
My black and whites are typically dark darks with pulled highlights and lights. Almost an underexposed feel, but not quite. My main starting points with VSCO for color are Fuji 400H+1+ and Portra 160+1+ from the 06 pack. For black and whites, I’m mainly using the Tri-X+3++ now, also from the 06 pack. I sometimes go back to pack 01 for the TMAX 3200.
What is in your Bag Jacob ?
- Canon 5D MKII
- Canon 6D
- Canon 5D Classic
- Canon EOS M
- Sigma 35 1.4 ART
- Canon 40 2.8 pancake
- Sigma 50 1.4 1st gen
- Canon 85 1.8 USM
- Canon 135 2.0L
- Canon 22 2.0 EF-M
- Couple of old 50s for free lensing Video Light
- Yongnuo YN560-II flashes
- Yongnuo wireless triggers
- Prisms, mirrors, glasses, fiber optics, convex lenses, lamps, tacos
How do you see your future ?
I feel like 2015 is going to be the biggest year of growth for me. I’ve made a lot of progress with my work in 2014, so I’m looking forward to even more in 2015. On the business side of things, bookings are looking very good and I have a few commercial clothing line shoots lined up for spring and summer. My focus will be on booking more destination weddings and hitting marketing and advertising pretty hard. I’ve also had wonderful success networking and creating true, lasting friendships with photographers from around the world. It’s very special to me. Like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I have a large self portrait project in the works for the first quarter of 2015 that I’m very excited about. I try to take as many as I can between sessions, but this fall/winter has been super busy.
Do you have any advice for starters in photography ?
If I could give one piece of advice for anyone starting out, or anyone in general, it would be just to be yourself. Don’t try to emulate what others are doing. Do your own thing. Do whatever you feel is needed to do to TRY and stand out from the rest. Get creative. Innovate.
Try a different perspective on a shot. Try freelensing a 135mm lens. Climb a tree. Shoot through light up toys. Just anything. Always keep yourself on your toes. Oh, and stop comparing your work to someone else’s work. It doesn’t get you anywhere. Let it inspire you, rather than frustrate you. Stay inspired.
Some final words about Lookslikefilm ?
LLF has been a wonderful website for me. It’s given me great exposure among some absolutely incredible photographers.
I’m honored to even have a photo next to theirs on the site. LLF has a great future ahead of them. It’s a cool new platform that showcases photographers in a different way. Pure photography, no fluff.
I know they have some good ideas looking ahead and I’m excited to see where it goes.