Shot By Josh Soskin

My name is Josh and I’m a writer, filmmaker and photographer – in no particular order.

When was your first picture taken? 

My first picture was probably taken somewhere around 1997 when I started shooting black and white film in high school. 

How do you put the person, place, or thing  in front of the camera onto  film, chip, or paper  the way you want it to?

I think just by instinct. Of course I have ideas about composition and light and human behavior, but my best photos are usually when I’m not thinking.  

What photographers have influenced you, and how have they influenced the way you approach your subject

In no particular order, I love Bill Eggleston (who doesn’t), Lee Friedlander, Larry Sultan, Annie Liebowitz, Cartier Bresson, Robert Frank. Jeez there’s so many.  Sometimes I think I just absorb and then unconsciously pull from them. Sometimes I’ll actually look at technique. Like lately I’ve been interested in how Friedlander used ultra wide lensing and vertical lines through certain frames. He did these really interesting things with banal settings.

What exactly do you want to say with your photos, and how do you make your photos do that?

oh jeez. I swear this isn’t a cop out answer BUT I don’t think this is usually a conscious thing for my art. I don’t really sit back and think “I’m interested in such and such theme or message so now I’m going to go shoot that.” I think in reality is – that type of stuff is inside of me at a subconscious level and it’s playing out instinctually in what I suddenly find myself shooting or how I find myself shooting it. With filmmaking it’s a bit more intentional, I write a film because I’m interested in a particular story or experience but what I love about photography is I just sort of make without being too intentional. I am definitely drawn to images that tell stories, and stories that resonate on an emotional level universally. I know I’m generally drawn to the timeless, both aesthetically and experientially. I know, mostly through other people’s reflections that I’m interested in the iconography of nostalgia and dreams. I’m interested in love (romantic and non-romantic). I’m interested in escape and our relationship to nature, god and solitude. I’m interested in motion, sport, human bodies pushing themselves. Dance, music, family, the banal, the exceptional, the poetic, the divine. It’s a big old mixed bag and really I love that at any given moment I’m going for different things in the bag and ideally without thinking too much about why or for what.

What photographic gear do you use to stay focused on what you do best when shooting?

Gear? i shoot almost entirely on film, 35mm mostly. I use digital with drones and thats about it. 

What I do best ? hmmmm…I don’t think I’m technically the most talented, but I’m spirited. I don’t give up. I’m passionate as hell. I’ll hurt myself for a photograph – in fact I just did haha. 

Any technology/software/hardware?

noooooooooooooooooooo.  I love film because I get to just shoot and the colors and emotion and grain it produces are far superior to digital.  Digitial is a drag. You spend hours trying to make it look like film. It’s stupid. Never looks as good.

I do some light editing in lightroom but nothing too crazy. 

What motivates you to continue taking pictures? Is it  political, intellectual or emotional?

It’s emotional I suppose. I love recording life. My life, other people’s lives. I love the power of the photograph. I love that unlike filmmaking which takes me years and lots of money to produce I can make a photograph whenever the fuck I want. It’s instant expression of the things I find interesting – and it makes my life more interesting. Chasing images or experiences that I want to photograph in turn makes me live a more interesting life. It makes me more observational, present, tuned in. That’s what I love. It’s totally a selfish pursuit haha.

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Shot By Josh Soskin