We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeremy Deputat and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeremy, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Everything you do in life is a risk. I was raised to have no fear (within reason) and take risks, and that has shaped such a big part of me today. I normally don’t take a short term risk, like not looking when I cross the street, that’s a dumb risk, but I feel like longer term risks are necessary to evolve and push forward in life and your career. In my past career, I worked as an art director for 10+ years with a solid job, benefits, etc. When my passion for photography really started to consume my life, I made the decision to quit my day job and pursue a photography career. I didn’t have any clients, didn’t have a plan B, didn’t have tons of savings to fall back on, and really didn’t know how I was going to pay my bills. I wasn’t nervous though, because I believed in myself and my creativity, and knew if I worked extra hard and gave it everything I had, things would eventually work out. If I wouldn’t have taken that risk to quit my job and become a photographer and run my own business, I wouldn’t be traveling the world doing what I love and still probably stuck at my desk in that depressing office.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a Los Angeles-based photographer and art director shooting commercial & editorial for brands around the world. When I started, I was living in Detroit making fake press passes to get my camera into concerts and starting to build relationships with artists I wanted to work with, so when I actually knew what I was doing and could create quality work, I’d already have a relationship and it would be easier to get access. The biggest challenge while I was working to get established was getting my work seen and standing out from the thousands of other photographers. Instagram had just started, and my strategy was taking my printed book to meetings I would setup with art buyers at agencies, which allowed them to view my work and also meet me in person. Social media has allowed everyone’s work to spread much faster, and although I do book work from my IG page, I still feel like the best working relationships some from live interaction. The best piece of advice that really stuck with me was when a client said ‘You know how to get to the top fast? Attach yourself to a rocket ship.” From that moment, I looked at everything differently, and now every move I make is calculated and if it’s not going to help me reach my goal, I don’t waste my time with it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well that really depends on who is visiting me lol but LA is one of the best cities in the world. Anything and everything you could ever want to buy, eat, or experience is here.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Dennis Dennehy. He was VP of Publicity at Interscope and soon after I quit my job, I flew to LA, bum rushed his office and begged him for some work. He was the first person to really believe in me and put me on. He helped me solidify relationships with some of the clients I still work with today and although I’ve told this story many times, he’s the one that really jumpstarted my career and I’ll never forget that.
My bio photo: Brian Kelly