We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeremiah Klein and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeremiah, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind our brand’s success has been inviting people into what we are passionate about. It is such a simple truth yet it took a few of our early years in photography to truly believe it. When you are excited about what you do, people want to be a part of it. Understanding the values we hold dear as a wedding photography brand has helped shape the details of how we operate. One of those big umbrella values is treating people the way we want to be treated. Consequently, we want to be treated like a guest so we dress like a guest. We keep things positive and fun so couples can enjoy their day. We love capturing those real moments so we create a comfortable environment for people to be themselves. All this to say, it took us a while to clearly spell out our personal values which blended into our brand identity. The closer those things line up the more our company has celebrated success.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My love for photography started in 1998 when I was introduced to photography from a buddy with a camera in a water housing. A year later I purchase a camera and my very own water housing. This was back in the film days so every time you clicked the shutter it cost money. It was expensive so there wasn’t to many surf photographers making a living at that time. My parents let me to live at home as long as I was in college. Living rent free, I worked as a waiter at a restaurant next to Disneyland where all my tip money went to surf travel, film and upgrading camera equipment. My excitement for wave riding created an opportunity to work at Bodyboarding Magazine in 2000 which was amazing because they paid for my film and processing allowing me to experiment and really learn how to technically use a camera. In 2002 Surfing Magazine hired me as assistant photo editor where I organized an endless amount of slides and prepared images for reproduction in the magazine. After cutting my teeth in the photo department I left in 2006 to focus on making images for the local newspaper and focus on building my wedding photography business. In 2008 the magazine world called me back and became the photo editor of Water magazine which was owned by Surfline.com. After one issue, the magazine was put on hold and greatfully transitioned into the photo editor at Surfline.com. Around 2011 it was realized that I was a better photographer than photo editor and became staff photographer. Currently I am senior staff photographer of Surfline.com and a brand ambassador of Vissla apparel. Over the years I’ve learned that a photography book or video and only take you so far and the best teacher is hands on experience and making mistakes by experimenting and creating. Surround yourself with people who inspire you and they will bring out the best in you.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Living in San Clemente is such a blast. It’s a sleepy town but arguably has some of the best food in Orange County. In the morning I would take them to Bear Coast Coffee across from the pier. From there I suggest walking the beach trail north to enjoy the ocean views. For lunch go to Rider’s Club on the north end of town. They make yummy burgers and without a doubt the best carnitas sandwich with beer on tap. Don’t forget to ask for the beets which taste delicious with their chips. For the afternoon I’d go to San Onofre State Beach where you can park about 10 yards from the water and enjoy soft playful waves that are good for beginners but still fun for the seasoned veterans. Call in an order of OG tacos from Sanchos Tacos along with the churros. Pick them up on the way to Las Ramblas Trail Head where you can hike up some hills and see all of Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano along with a killer sunset. To top off the night with an adult beverage you should go to Lost Winds Brewing Company. Happy hunting!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am a product of some very talented photographers and without their help in mentoring and teaching my career would not be where it is today. In the mid 2000’s Steve Sherman in the surf industry and Russ Hoover in the wedding industry really took my hand and shared their knowledge of capturing light. Also, Pete Taras and Mike Stonis are very talented image makers who helped to inspire me to purchase my first camera.