Art Producers Speak: Jonathan Kozowyk

We emailed Art Buyers and Art Producers around the world asking them to submit names of established photographers who were keeping it fresh and up-and-comers who they are keeping their eye on. If you are an Art Buyer/Producer or an Art Director at an agency and want to submit a photographer anonymously for this column email: Suzanne.sease@verizon.net

Anonymous Art Buyer: I nominate Jonathan Kozowyk. Not only is he very talented, he is very easy to work with.

I told you I took pictures of my dog. — this was the first time she paid attention to her friends barking across the street. I guess it is a good example that I always have a camera close by.

I told you I took pictures of my dog. — this was the first time she paid attention to her friends barking across the street. I guess it is a good example that I always have a camera close by.

Part of an ongoing personal project, I try to work on something everyday.

Part of an ongoing personal project, I try to work on something everyday.

Austin Dorr, I wanted to photograph this man the very first day I saw him, years later I did in a personal project about the marina where I was living in at that time in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He wrote his name on everything he owned on the dock. On the door to his workshop right in between the American Flag and the Jolly Rodger, he wrote in sharpie, “If a man is too busy to go fishing, he is too damn busy.”

Austin Dorr, I wanted to photograph this man the very first day I saw him, years later I did in a personal project about the marina where I was living in at that time in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He wrote his name on everything he owned on the dock. On the door to his workshop right in between the American Flag and the Jolly Rodger, he wrote in sharpie, “If a man is too busy to go fishing, he is too damn busy.”

From an ongoing personal project on humans and their relationship with flight. I was interested in it, so I pursued it. I love learning about what gets people out of bed at 5am on their day off — it is not just hobbies at that point.

From an ongoing personal project on humans and their relationship with flight. I was interested in it, so I pursued it. I love learning about what gets people out of bed at 5am on their day off — it is not just hobbies at that point.

From an ongoing personal project on humans and their relationship with flight. I was interested in it, so I pursued it. I love learning about what gets people out of bed at 5am on their day off — it is not just hobbies at that point.

From an ongoing personal project on humans and their relationship with flight. I was interested in it, so I pursued it. I love learning about what gets people out of bed at 5am on their day off — it is not just hobbies at that point.

Commission for a Community Sailing Program in Boston.  I actually hopped into Boston Harbor against my better judgement to get this one, happy I did though… they tell me the water is totally safe these days…

Commission for a Community Sailing Program in Boston. I actually hopped into Boston Harbor against my better judgement to get this one, happy I did though… they tell me the water is totally safe these days…

The Rev. Edward Sunderland from a commission for Saatchi Wellness and Crossroads Community Services in Manhattan. He is a social worker that works with people in need and the people who volunteer in shelters and food pantries. This was a pretty moving project that I was proud to be a part of.

The Rev. Edward Sunderland from a commission for Saatchi Wellness and Crossroads Community Services in Manhattan. He is a social worker that works with people in need and the people who volunteer in shelters and food pantries. This was a pretty moving project that I was proud to be a part of.

Johnny L. Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops. Commission for Forbes, we went fishing at sunrise.

Johnny L. Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops. Commission for Forbes, we went fishing at sunrise.

More personal work that I believe in. I have been photographing police officers and their K-9s for the past 3 years.

More personal work that I believe in. I have been photographing police officers and their K-9s for the past 3 years.

Farmer from a recent editorial commission.

Farmer from a recent editorial commission.

Personal project on Rally Racing in America, later the project got picked up by Maine Magazine, and I got to go finish up the project with a home town hero story about a local racer that just got sponsored by SCION.

Personal project on Rally Racing in America, later the project got picked up by Maine Magazine, and I got to go finish up the project with a home town hero story about a local racer that just got sponsored by SCION.

Personal work. A man after a plunge in a frozen lake in February in New England.

Personal work. A man after a plunge in a frozen lake in February in New England.

How many years have you been in business?

I’ve been working in the industry for a little over 12 years. I started out assisting, and have been shooting on my own for about 3 years now.

Are you self-taught or photography school taught?
I went to Massachusetts College of Art for Graphic Design, but knew I wanted to make photographs. After I graduated I pursued my passion for photography and I was really lucky to apprentice some talented folks.

Who was your greatest influence that inspired you to get into this business?
I learned a ton from assisting Tibor Nemeth, Jason Grow, and Michael Prince.


How do you find your inspiration to be so fresh, push the envelope, stay true to yourself so that creative folks are noticing you and hiring you?
Really I find inspiration in everything around me. Sometimes it is from the creative people I work with, people I am photographing, or places I travel to. I try to absorb it all and then reinterpret it to show how I see the world. Within my work there is an element of timelessness, which I also feel is important. I always try to infuse that into whatever I am doing. I want my work to feel genuine.

Do you find that some creatives love your work but the client holds you back?

Of course, that can happen, but I believe there is always a nice middle ground that can be reached, I am not a diva, I know that I got hired for a reason. When I am shooting I have a good understanding of what the agency and client need to walk away with at the end of the shoot. But I always try to get a something that I personally love out of each job.

What are you doing to get your vision out to the buying audience?
Lately I have been making a ton of little small run books and send them to creatives I want to collaborate with. Also visiting agencies and magazines to share my latest projects.

What is your advice for those who are showing what they think the buyers want to see?
I guess that approach can work. But I have been really trying to push myself to show work that I love as well. I try to pepper in some of what they may need to see, but I think it’s important for people to know that you bring something to the table.

Are you shooting for yourself and creating new work to keep your artistic talent true to you?

Yes. I try to make pictures everyday, even if I am stuck in front of the computer doing post work, bidding on projects, or even while on phone calls. Sometimes they are just pictures of my dog or of people around the neighborhood.


How often are you shooting new work?
As much as possible. I have a few personal projects always going on. It ‘s a great way to stay loose and get motivated. I used to get caught up in thinking that I needed to “finish” a project, but lately I’ve been allowing myself the freedom to start a project and just let it take it’s course.

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Jonathan Kozowyk is a commercial advertising and editorial photographer. He was formally trained at Massachusetts College of Art and Design where he received his BFA in Graphic Design. After graduation he set out to pursue his passion of photography.

Today Jonathan is based in New York City and is lucky to travel often for commissions all over the world. Jonathan enjoys collaborating with creatives to capture genuine moments big and small.

In his down time he likes to surf, ride his skateboard, look at maps, and spend time with his beautiful girlfriend and his furry dog.

Contact:

 
+1 347 901 2427 
jonathan@jonathankozowyk.com

APE contributor Suzanne Sease currently works as a consultant for photographers and illustrators around the world. She has been involved in the photography and illustration industry since the mid 80s, after founding the art buying department at The Martin Agency then working for Kaplan-Thaler, Capital One, Best Buy and numerous smaller agencies and companies. She has a new Twitter fed with helpful marketing information.  Follow her@SuzanneSease.

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