MEET. Rebecca Joelson

© Rebecca Joelson

Meet San Diego based photographer, director and producer, Rebecca Joelson.

Who are your top 5 favorites that you’re following on Instagram?
I am inspired by a lot of people I follow on Instagram. It’s a great platform to see art in many forms. Some of my favorites are: @aestheticamag @aphotoeditor @dustinlane @foundartists @partoscompany

What is your camera of choice?
I’ve been using Fuji’s GFX50s, both as my work camera and travel camera. I love the look and the resolution medium format provides. The color straight out of this camera is stunning.

What do you listen to when you’re shooting?
It depends what I’m working on. Most of the time I ask my subject what they would like to listen to in order to put them in a comfortable and safe space. Some of my favorites right now are Leon Bridges, Trouble in the Wind, and Dr Dog.

Who were your biggest influencers?
My biggest early influencers were Jill Greenberg for her lighting and Annie Leibowitz and David LaChapelle for their environmental portraits. I’ve found that I enjoy creating expressive characters and love telling a story through color, locations, and cinematic lighting.

What were you doing before you became a Photographer?
Before I decided to pursue photography as a career, I thought I wanted to be a teacher. Straight out of high school I thought a career in the arts was unrealistic. After earning my degree from SDSU, I never pursued teaching. A few years after graduating, I took a couple photography classes at City College, followed my passion, and began my career in photography.

What 3 words describe your photography style?

When were you first introduced to Photography?
Growing up I had a variety of different film cameras. None of the adults in my life were photographers so I think the interest came from being nostalgic and interested in recording memories. Having a camera was my way to document my life as well as those around me. I still enjoy documentary photography a great deal although most of my paid work is more preconceived and less documentarian.

If you weren’t a Photographer, what would you be doing?
Though I began my career as a photographer, throughout the years I’ve grown from shooting stills to also shooting motion. I’m a photographer but I’m also a filmmaker. I love both and can’t see myself not creating images in one form or another. Lately I’ve been directing a bunch which I really love. I’m quite opinionated with what I see and how I’d like to see it so directing is a solid fit for me. My years as a portrait photographer have given me a lot of experience communicating with my subjects which I think ultimately has made me a strong director. I also love to write and have been writing short films and creative treatments for commercial clients for years. The goal for 2019 is to shoot more of my personal work I’ve written.

What do you do when you get stuck?
When I get stuck, I stop and review what I’ve just shot and then I shoot more and always seem to find new perspective.

is your best marketing advice for your peers?
My marketing advice is: Do good work and be cool to everyone. People talk and a good reputation will take you far.

What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back 10 years? 20 years?
Travel more, always take your camera with you, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes, that is, as long as you learn from them.

Check out more work from Rebecca Joelson!