We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeremy Folk and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeremy, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I was never really an artistic person growing up. Math and science were always my strong subjects. I focused in the areas that would lead to a more stable career path, because that was my point of reference as a kid. My first real exposure to a creative field wasn’t until high school, when I begrudgingly took a photography class to satisfy my art requirement. Out of the options I had, photography seemed the least painful. (This was back in the ancient days of film and darkrooms.) But, as it turns out, this high school photography class really started it all. I began to understand the feeling of creating something. Especially something unique, from my own vision. When the pandemic started, it really forced me to slow down and introspect. I had a stable, well-paying job, a house, a family. But there was always something missing. I still felt that urge to create something of my own. That’s when I decided to start moving my passion for photography from a hobby towards a full time business.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think they great part about photography is that every photographer has their own unique perspective that sets them apart from other photographers. You can have five photographers using the same subject, and you will get five different photos. The way each person interprets light, color, composition, all comes together to create a unique final product.
It definitely wasn’t easy to get where I am currently, and I still have a long way to go. There is a big gap between people liking the work you put out there and getting enough people to actually pay for your work in order to make a living. There are a lot of ups and downs as anyone in the creative field probably has experienced. I think comparing my work to other photographers is the easiest way to lose focus. I just constantly have to remind myself that they also went through their own journey to get where they are today, and it probably wasn’t fast or easy either. I always hear the saying that the only artist you should compare yourself to is you. Take inspiration from others, but as long as you are improving, that’s all that matters. Of course it’s always easier to say than to practice.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m very much an introvert, so I enjoy places that are less crowded. I would much rather head to the mountains or up to the coast (not the busy beaches). But, to contradict what I just said, I also love the city. Street photography is one of my favorite genres, so I enjoy being somewhere where I can capture images with a lot of human interaction. I’ll be honest though…this far into the pandemic, “going out” has turned into “ordering in.”
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Definitely my wife Juliana. She continues to push me and doesn’t let me doubt myself when imposter syndrome kicks in. Actually she is also the reason I started taking portraits in the first place. Prior to meeting her I would shoot mainly landscape/cityscapes. About a year after we got married, she started acting again and needed a new headshot. I said I could take it for her, and it turned out horrible. I’ve been trying to compensate ever since!