Focus: Aris Jerome
We interviewed Aris Jerome about his life and photography and he shows us some work.
Where did everything begin for you in photography? Some people grow up shooting their friends skateboarding and things like that, was there anything in particular that made you want to start documenting?
I used to be the kid in high school with the camcorder. Filming at my friends parties and what-not. After high school I got into music videos when I decided to buy a DSLR. So my first interest was film. I was 19 at the time shooting local artists in Northern California. I would take photos here and there but when I moved to LA I really got an interest in shooting models. I would tag along with photographers Solmaz Saberi and Joseph Tran filming behind the scenes for them. Then one day they asked me to do a photo set with a model. That was almost two years ago and pretty much how I started shooting models.
And what about now, what do you like capturing most?
Right now I've been doing a lot of portraits. I really love natural lit photos so I try to use as much natural light as I can. Also cinematic photography. Since I'm into film I really like when photos look like stills from movies.
Is there a certain vibe you always try and maintain on set? A lot of your beauty photographs seem so tranquil and chill is that maybe a result of how you connect with your model?
That's definitely how the vibe is at my shoots. Usually it's just me and the model there so they are completely comfortable. Then it's like we're just hanging out and nothing is forced. I try to keep a small amount of people around during shoots for this reason.
The naked body and art have gone hand in hand since forever, a theme you tend to work with often. Whilst a lot of photographers these days go down the path of erotica, your formula is much more pure and genuine. What is it that you like most about this style?
That's why I like nude work because you can go as far as erotica and then you can go another direction and have people not even realise it's sexual or "explicit". I can appreciate both but no matter what I'm shooting I like it to be mysterious and leave questions in your head.
Whats it like being a creative in LA, is it super competitive? Does that help push you to do better?
I love the LA area because you can find any type of artist. I'm inspired by a lot of other artwork so I love it. As far as competition I really choose to just focus on my own work. I don't really like to see other artists as competitors. Instead I'm motivated by them.