Every week I talk to a new photographer on Instagram. They share their favorite locations, camera gear, and the best practices to have on Instagram. This week is Jakob Peter, a 16 year old urban photographer located in Vancouver, Canada.
What inspired you to start photography? Are there any specific photographers on Instagram that inspire you?
Ever since a young age, I've always been interested in photography and capturing moments. I remember we had a photo contest in the 4th grade and I wanted a camera so badly, so right after school I grabbed all my saved money and my mom drove me to Best Buy and I picked up my first camera. I believe it was some $100 Nikon point and shoot. I used that camera to death. I brought it to school everyday and captured moments all around me, and it gave me a chance to view things in different angles and perspectives and that's where I think I really got into the type of photography I do now, just by trying to find different perspectives of the ordinary world around me. Some specific Instagrammers that inspire me would be @RyanMillier, @JayScale, @TheNdrw, as well as @13thWitness. I really enjoy the art these guys create and they inspire me to shoot different things and experiment with the art of photography.
You seem to really enjoy urban photography. What do you love about shooting the city?
I think what I love about the city is the amount of variety and different perspectives there are to shoot; and for me, the city never gets old. I also love shooting urban photography because of the different views people take on it. Many people might go to the same shooting location, but the photos can end up so different because everyone's shooting style and editing styles are so diverse. My mind is all over the place so shooting in the city is so appealing to me because there is always something different happening. Whether that be a new street performer or a new building there's always something new and different to see.
What is the most favorite picture you have ever taken? Why?
This is such a hard question to answer because I feel like I'm always getting better and learning more everyday; I shoot a photo and I'm proud of it but then a month later I wouldn't even consider posting it. But I guess I'll talk about a semi recent photo I enjoy. This photo was taken at the Vancouver Seabus terminal. I really enjoy this photo because there are so many aspects of it that many people won't necessarily pick out. The first thing I love about it is that it was taken in a place that many people see and use as their comute and transportation everyday. I thought it was cool to take an ordinary place for many and turn it into a canvas for me. Secondly, it shows my main shooting buddy, Miguel (@hobbytopassion) repping the brand Peace Collective, which is a brand that creates Canadian-based patriotic apparel. After taking this photo and I really appreciated what it meant to be proud of who I was as a Canadian and how the subject was showing his pride in where he was from in the middle of a somewhat busy area of the city. Lastly, I really loved how he has his camera on the side to show what we love to do, and that is capturing the beautiful city we live in.
What do you love most about taking photos in Vancouver? Any favorite spots in Vancouver?
Vancouver is such a unique place to shoot cause you can be right in the heart of the city and then in 20 minutes you could be in the middle of a forest. I think I love shooting there just cause I can call it "mine". This is where I'm from and I get the oppurutnity to create art using the place I live and the city around me every day, which I think is so cool. If I don't have any specific places to shoot one day, the Waterfront area and Gastown are places that never get old for me. Each day there are new things, new people but the same beautiful, old buildings. I love to capture the lifestyle of the people of Vancouver and the different creative outputs people share.
You seem to have a dark/cinematic edit to your photos. What draws you to that kind of editing style?
When I'm out shooting my main mindset is "Shoot what most people don't see." I love to spark curiosity, especially people from Vancouver and make them say "I didn't know that was in Vancouver!" I think the reason I make it cinematic looking is to show more than what the human eye sees. I like to bring out things in my editing that normally people wouldn't pay attention to whether that be the colors on an old building or the shape of the clouds in the sky. Normally people wouldn't pay attention to that, but that's why I want to bring it out and show people the little things.
What camera gear do you shoot with?
I currently use a Canon 7D and I shoot most of my photos with a 24mm 2.8 lens. Yes, it's a pancake lens, but it's sharp for the price. I really enjoy the focal length of the 24mm because it requires me to move around to get that shot whether that means getting really close to the subject or getting on the ground to get the compositon that I want.
What advice would you give to the starting photographer?
My advice for anyone starting photography would be KEEP SHOOTING. No matter how bad you think your photos are, keep practicing, keep shooting and keep editing. Be happy and confident with your shots, but never think they are perfect. There are always ways to get better and compose a better shot. Connect with local photographers as well as distant photographers, because it's super important to be supporting and teaching each other new things and boosting each others passions.
Lastly what advice would you give to the beginning photographer on Instagram trying to expose their work?
My biggest piece of Instagram advice would be, stop worrying about likes and followers. I used to be so caught up in the likes and follows that my happiness and passion would be based on how many likes I got. It took away from my passion and actual shooting and made me just focus on the popularity. The more you worry about your own work and your own self confidence in that, that's what's going to make you a better photographer not crowd sourcing your self-esteem through likes and follows.
To see more of Jakob's work go here!