WEBITORIALS

JASON CORTEZ

Jason Cortez is a filmmaker and photographer from Washington D.C.


He brings a cinematic realism to his work that lets the model tell a story with just an image. One day, a friend said his work reminded him of Peter Lindbergh’s work and Jason was instantly fascinated by Peter’s work. Feeling validated by his pursuit into fashion photography.


He’s been focusing on Black and White photography as he sees this as the rawest and truest form to tell the truth through an image.


He’s influenced by Peter Lindbergh, Damon Baker, and Todd Hido. As a latinx artist he strives to bring honesty and realism to fashion photography to show off not just garment and model, but the world that encompasses them

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Moevir Magazine April Issue 2020 featured edition

[IDENTITY ]

https://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1773559


Photographer: 

Jason Cortez @jasonjosec @negativs_ 


MODELS: 

Livia Elgart @livia.marni 

Braxton Bonner @brax.mp4 

Kat Amato @kat.aamato 

Conor Armstrong @spaceboy_jones 

Sasha Avilov @ssasha 


Production Assistants: 

Mike Rose @_mike.rose_

Kellie Harlow @kellieharlow

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This series is called “IDENTITY,” I wanted to focus on different identities of artists I’m friends with. I became fascinated by each of their own unique beauty and energy they bring to projects that I wanted to work with each of them. It was miraculous that I was able to shoot everyone in one day.


I wanted there to be almost no make-up and no retouching on any of the photos, I wanted them to just bring themselves and a positive attitude. These images were to show the truth in their eyes and their own specific identities. It didn’t matter whether they’re supermodels or not, I believe it was important to show them the unfiltered natural beauty they each displayed during this shoot is who they are in everyday life as well. 




Tell us something about you. Maybe your life, profession, habit, dream. 


 I used to not like doing photography. For some reason I found it more intimidating than filmmaking. I’d see other people’s work and I never thought I could do it. One day some friends and I got together and had a photoshoot. Since then I caught the itch to do more and learn from each shoot and process. I take what I love about filmmaking and cinematography and I apply it to photography. 




Could you share how do you expand your vision of art, fashion?


There’s always something in my daily life that I take and use it as inspiration. Either a photo on instagram or one of my photography books. Most of the time it’s listening to people talk about life and seeing life unfold in front of me. I watch a lot of news, films, and shows. I throw all of that together into a pot and use it in someway for new ideas and concepts I’d use down the line. With fashion it’s subjective and it comes back to one’s identity and I use what I wear on daily basis which is mainly black jeans and a t-shirt as an extension of my artistic perspective and seeing how people dress around me only helps me expand my knowledge on clothes, colors, and textures.




Is art, fashion important in your life? Why?


Art is what keeps me going everyday. Listening to a new song, a new film, or a new concept for a shoot. I’m bad with words and feel that the truest way to express myself is through art. Without art our world is nothing but empty walls and empty minds. I find myself in the car, at work, or even in the shower coming up with new ideas in order to say what i want. Trying to verbally express what I feel is often difficult and it’s important for me to create an image whether it be a motion picture or photography to express those feelings and see how it’s received with fresh minds.




How do you think about your work? Is it what you like, or simply saying a dream?


I love doing this. It's honestly one of the biggest surprises in my life. I’ve worked with extremely talented artists that I’ve learned a lot from. My ultimate dream is to just do art as a whole, whether it be feature film or photography. Being able to express yourself so freely and to be accepted through your vision should be anyone’s dream. 




What will be the suggestions to new photographers?


My advice would be to be honest, don’t do things simply for Instagram likes or for the sake of doing them. Give your ideas and concepts some thought and be open for collaboration with your crew and model. Your camera doesn’t matter, even just using a film camera works. Watch lots of movies and look into fashion photographers or any photography you want to be immersed in. There are infinite amounts of resources on the internet to pull from, but ultimately you need to take pictures of anything and everything around you. 




What is your favorite camera? Why?


The current camera I love and use is the Fujifilm XT-1. The quality of the image is beautiful and it retains a film-like quality that I love. The color feels very natural and textural that I cannot go back to using Canon or Nikon. The lens quality is great, they feel heavy-duty and the clarity and auto-focus I get from it is top notch. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to try it out and since it is mirrorless it weighs much less than a DSLR and is much more travel friendly.




How do you prepare your new shoot?


I usually create a mood board for a concept and reach out to a model I may know that I believe would love to be a part of the project and we brainstorm ideas on the direction we want to go in and the outfits and the overall mood of the shoot. I then create a playlist with music that matches the mood and help during the shoot and makes us feel comfortable. We scout locations and studios and see what fits the bill, once it’s all locked in we shoot. I strive to make our set as fun and comfortable as possible so everyone feels good. I believe a positive set brings out the best photos from a shoot.




What is the most important thing for creating new work?


The most important thing is for me to bring something out of the model they didn’t expect and for me to properly express the idea I had through them. Sometimes I’m surprised by the end results that sometimes go above and beyond all of our expectations. I want to be able to explain and discuss the image and meaning behind it and what our intentions were behind the image. It shows the audiences that the artists behind the work put a lot of thought into the image rather than just shoot without purpose. 


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