We had the good fortune of connecting with Jim Krantz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jim, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
At an early age, I was discovered what I loved, I have never stopped doing it.
What should our readers know about your business?
Being in the creative arts is not only a passion but the reality of this is that in order to put all of your energy into maintaining a life in the arts, you have to be creative in many ways, including commerce and business so you can support yourself. Basically, we are all alone and have to find our own way. Once you realize this as a fact the perspective of how you spend your time, energy and resources need to be considered so you make every decision in life count. Making decisions that are productive and support your vision of what you want to attain in life begins the moment you wake up each morning. I have always had a dream of being independent and free and the only way I could find myself there is to have a plan in mind. In business and life, I see that sharing and giving have been more satisfying and allows for more growth than taking and keeping. So much of my work is a collaboration of ideas and efforts with those around me. Encouragement seems to be the fuel for progress for a team and individually, my favorite thing is to see others around me succeed at what they pursue as well. Without a team and talented collaborators, I would be stranded, as there is more that I don’t know than know and collectively a great team is a key to producing wonderful work for me. I rarely compare myself to others and have no idea what motivates anyone except myself, it takes too much energy to concentrate on what I am doing. My business has been slow and steady, I opened Jim Krantz Studios in Omaha it was 1982. At that time a photographer had to know how to meter light, expose film, and process. It was a time of alchemy + art. There were no major events that took place initially, projects of product shots, portraits of CEOs for annual reports, and often neighborhood or regional art shows of my “fine art” whatever that was. I really never looked up from what I was doing, I just focused on what was at hand and did the best I could with every opportunity to shoot. I think my initial success was simply because of my enthusiasm for having an opportunity and that paired with getting the job done on time and on budget led to the next. I think I am the same now, I still love being considered for a project and have always felt that it’s my last one and this keeps me totally immersed on what is at hand. Today I question if the craft and vision of what photography has been historically is even relevant today. The use of photography is not generally in print or on a tangible material that has some longevity but is now reduced to a fleeting post or “content” that is consumed at lightning speed, seen and forgotten. This does not thwart me from approaching my work any differently than I have always, emphasizing each photo as a singular image that is crafted, considered, and expressive on some level to me. I approach my commercial (advertising and editorial) and personal work with the same intent, once this goes away there is nothing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love the Beachwood Cafe, going back in time, chilling out, and slowing down. I love to ride my motorcycle in the canyons in Malibu and then heading east to Mojave and further, camera in hand. The Oaks is like a hangout of so many interesting people, also a great place to start a day. The bar and food at Cafe Stella is my favorite, I hope they open after this Covid shit. Another fantastic spot is Harun Coffee in Leimert Park, Tony Magnetic is the person to see. His clothing is so great how he approaches his work inspiring, across the street is Sole Folks, the coolest coop in LA. See designer, Larry Derek in The Lab at Sole Folks, he is really doing some great work with vintage clothes sampled into one off’s that are super cool,.
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?
My parents encouraged me from the time I was young to attach myself to what is important to me, they said expect frustration and forces to dissuade me from staying on my selected path. There will be some successes and many failures but tenacity and a true love for your dedication is the only way to possibly succeed. Swimming upstream will be the norm, it’s easy to quit, very difficult to keep going. This has never changed and I do not expect it to change. Without these forces coming against you, there is no motivation or innovation. Accept this as a positive way to grow and find your way.
Linkedin: jim krantz
Diplo on horse in his Beachwood home