We had the good fortune of connecting with Johnnie Izquierdo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Johnnie, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Taking a risk can be the scariest thing for most people in life – the fear of failing can becoming daunting. For me, I look at NOT taking a risk resulting in regret which is my biggest fear. I think of pivotal moments in my life where if i did not take the risk, did not take the leap of faith how different my life would be right now. So yes, taking risks, taking chances, not fearing to failure has led me to this exact moment – complete happiness.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a photographer. I didn’t always start out wanting to be a photographer – It kinda happened by accident. I quit my 9-5 5 years ago and 2 years after that I got a camera to cop with anxiety. I quickly became obsessed with photography that I was photographing anything and everything – offering people free shoots because I loved It so much. One day my friend Trevor Harris came into the bar I was working at and we were catching up. He was a program director of Northeast Basketball Club and asked if I had done any sports photography – that is how It started. I went to photograph his team in NYC at Dyckman park where I met my now friend Michael Hamane and that was my introduction to It all. At the same time an old high school friend Sadat had just got a job at Nike Basketball and that is where my journey began – It sounds crazy now that I think of It.
The rest is history from there. I have been able to travel the country for work, work with amazing brands, campaigns and athletes.
I am not sure what sets me apart nor do I care – I am in competition with no one but myself, I am in competition with the last photo I took and that’s It. I love what I do, truly, and I am have too much doing It.
I am just a kid from small town who loves sports, loves making people feel good and loves enjoying life – I just so happen to have a camera in my hand to document the journey.
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?
I live in NJ and not a huge NYC guy so there is that
As far as NJ, I’d go for a run/workout down in Hoboken/Jersey City area. Grab some lunch at Biggie’s Clam Bar (the best food) then hit the beach for some tequila and music.
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 really dedicate a lot of my success to people who have doubted me – It truly motivates me to prove people wrong. I have this competitive fire in me that fuels me to become great so when I was questioned and still am to a degree It lights a fire underneath me.
I want to thank my parents thought for staying supportive even though It was very difficult to understand what I was doing, wanting to do and where this could even go. I want also give some quick shoutouts to my good friend Michael Reaves, unbelievable photographer – he has really helped shape me. My agent, Benji Turgel of DMB, he kept close with me for the past couple years before signing me continuing to push me as well.
Kevin Durant for NIKE Kawhi Leonard for New Balance Sydney McLaughlin for New Balance Anthony Davis