We had the good fortune of connecting with Jason Hernandez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jason, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
This issue is always a top priority for me. Work will always be a part of life as long as there are bills to be paid. For one thing, I think it’s quite easy to get caught up with when we start emphasizing our goals and aspirations over our own health, our relationships, and for the sake of acquiring (assets, notoriety, money, etc.). This mindset will eventually get the best of you and you’ll realize that despite achieving these goals, you’ll feel quite empty and will most likely not have anyone to enjoy them with. In another area, in the past, it was much easier to distance yourself from your work in that you typically had to get in your car and drive to a separate physical site (ie office) to work. Now that most of us are working from home, it’s harder to know when to stop working. The typical start and end of a workday is less definitive because it’s quite easy to open the laptop backup and resume working. In these times, it takes much more of a concerted effort and discipline to maintain the work/life balance. It’s certainly not easy, but well worth it for your health and your family when you stick to a routine as much as possible, and maintain focus on the things in life that are irreplaceable: your family and friends.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a photographer, I strive to bring my audience into the frame in hopes of giving them the sense of being there with me. One of the ways I go about doing this is to provide unique perspectives (when possible!) and keep editing and color adjustments to a minimal. This way, the scenes I capture are presented as close as possible to how they looked in life. It’s always a challenge to accomplish this since social media has popularized many destinations and people flock to these spots and capture the view in the same place everyone else has or can (ie. there’s a guard rail restricting observational points). Last year I purchased a drone which has vastly expanded my ability to get beyond the typical compositions that have already been done. Not only is it enjoyable to fly, the perspectives it provides (even to highly photographed locations) allows me to take my art to the next level.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love giving tours of LA to friends from out of town! For a fun filled day in LA, it would have to start with a sunrise from the Griffiths Observatory trails. Views of the sun rising over the local mountains to the east are exceptional and the city of LA lights up like no other. On clear day, you can see all the way down to Palos Verdes and even to the port of Los Angeles. A quick drive to Downtown LA for breakfast at The Pantry would be a next great stop. After chowing down, a visit to Skyspace LA would be in order. Views from the observation deck nearly 1,000 feet up are spectacular and give an incredible perspective of the downtown LA skyline. Lunch would have to include a trip down Pico Blvd to Sky’s Gourmet tacos where the shrimp tacos are out of this world! Don’t forget about the black beans and rice, and a hibiscus lemonade to wash it all down. A day in LA isn’t complete without spending some time driving through the beach cities of the South Bay. Manhattan Beach is my favorite pier to walk on and exploring some local marine wildlife on display at The Roundhouse aquarium at the end of the pier. Staying for sunset would be a definite must followed by an amazing dinner at The Strand House.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to give a shoutout to Matthew Partsch, someone I met through Instagram. Matt is a phenomenal photographer and I admire his work which spans from wildlife, sunsets, to landscape photography. One of the things he said to me once was, “Your work is not complete when it exists in digital form only. It is brought to life when you print it out.” This has been a huge impetus in getting my work printed for display in my own house, art shows, and even to sell. It’s so true! I remember in the days of high school photo class where it was such a thrill to create a print. Though the photographic process has changed from those days (analog > digital), it’s still exciting to be able to physically hold your work vs it existing solely on a screen. Thanks Matt!
All landscape images were taken by and owned by me. My portrait photo was taken by Anysia Beck, and is used with her permission.