Tag Line: #shotbyJD
Social media: @jdthecombo
Favorite Restaurant: Cheri’s Brooklyn
Favorite non-work hobby: Watching Atlanta Braves baseball or the Los Angeles Lakers
Favorite artist on repeat: Snoh Aalegra
The eye for photography can be inherited or it can be an innate ability to capture art through the lens of a camera. Fashion and beauty photographer, JD Barnes has that eye for photography. Despite the fact that Barnes lost his sight in his right eye, he captures art each time he picks up a camera.
Barnes, a native of Montgomery, Alabama currently is based in New York City where he is known for his editorial and fashion photography. His imagery has graced the covers of noted fashion publications such as Essence, Harper’s Bazaar and L’Officiel magazines. Barnes says he loves the art of photography. “I love exploring and pushing my limits. If I had to describe my preferred style I’d say I want to tell the truth through images, even as I stretch reality.”
What inspired you to pursue photography?
I started as a model; photography was my way of taking what I learned and expanding on it, continuity in the field I suppose.
What do you hope to accomplish with your pictures in today’s society?
To show the world that anything is possible. Even a kid from Montgomery, Alabama with one functional eye can shoot editorial fashion campaigns. There are no limits if you set your mind to what you want.
Where is your studio?
Currently, I shoot out of my personal studio, Grey Wulfe Studios in Bushwick and Spark Studios NYC (@sparkstudiosnyc) in Maspeth, NY.
Who are the great photographers for you?
Glen Luchford, Solve Sundsbo, Txeme Yeste, Dana Scruggs, Steven Maisel, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, and Gordon Parks.
How do they inspire you?
Sometimes they discourage me! Such amazing work! But they push my limits creatively and mentally and for that I’m grateful.
What is a great photograph?
A great photograph is one that makes the viewer think … one that elicits an emotional response.
What’s your preference, film or digital?
I love film, but digital has really allowed us to push the limits of photography a lot faster and the instant feedback helps you understand how to correct yourself or enhance your ideas quicker and more efficiently.
What is one passion project that you are hoping to pursue in the future?
My passion project is always my next project.
What advice do you have for aspiring photographers?
Stop limiting yourself. Take inspiration from the people you admire but don’t copy them. Develop your own vision. Never settle, never get comfortable or complacent in your work, study! Learn from the greats, and develop your eye in a way that allows you to create your own personal masterpiece. Nothing good comes fast. Being a great photographer is an exercise in patience and perseverance. It definitely won’t come from social media likes, lol.