In a closed series our RooM Connectors have interviewed the most established and promising photography talent globally.
It's an insta_view of some of the best talent in the World. Enjoy.
Brad Puet15/08/2013 www.instagram.com/bradpuet
Brad Puet, widely known as BP, became a mobile photographer in 2009. Since then he's founded one of the most respected and followed mobile photography communities in the world - 'We Are Juxt'. Brad teaches photography at a community college in Seattle and has gained a large personal Instagram following along the way, becoming known for his work in the area of Street Photography.
A year and half ago you founded Juxt – how has it changed since the days in Seattle starting it, to today’s huge community?
Seattle has many great mobile photographers who were a part of the community long before Instagram. Star Rush and Dixon Hamby come to mind as far as the first to get serious within the world of mobile photography. In general though, Seattle wasn't a strong community and the general public didn't really look at mobile photography as a viable art form and so did not take it seriousl.
In the summer of 2011, I was asked to be on a panel at our largest arts
festival, Bumbershoot. Their
request was for me to talk about photography using a smart phone. It was well received
with over a few hundred people in attendance and many, many questions from the
audience. Yet mobile photography still didn't take off just yet.
In September 2011, I was asked to exhibit my photographs at a local shop in Seattle. I didn't know anything about putting art on a wall much less printing from a smart phone. So I solicited some friends with curatorial experience to help me out. Darvin, Jeff, and Chris all helped in putting the nuts and bolts together for this exhibit. These three and myself are the co-founders of We Are Juxt.
Since then We Are Juxt has curated eleven mobile exhibitions around the world. Our growth is synonymous with the growth of mobile photography. Along with many other great sites like iPhoneogenic, Mobiography, and Life in LoFi, We Are Juxt grew with more and more people learning about the power of photography on their phones. I went from speaking at an arts festival to now teaching mobile photography at a local college. I'd say that there is a community of hungry and passionate creatives in the world and they will continue to multiply with the advancements of the technology.
“OH MY GOD! That is beautiful…snap”
The thing that triggered your love for the art was the transition from BlackBerry to iPhone. Since then how have you changed the way you create your work?
With the Blackberry, I would say I really didn't have much artistic or
creative focus at all. It was snap a shot and text it out to family and friends.
Simple. Darvin was my first influencer into social photography by showing off his
iPhone, his camera apps, and his photos on Facebook. I really wanted to do the same
thing and then finally jumped to the iPhone in 2008. It was night and day once I got my
first gen iPhone. That's when I turned into the zombie photo taker that we see on the
streets of every city and town in the world.
"OOH look at that...snap" "OH MY GOD! That is beautiful...snap" "OOOOH a sunset...snap"
I had nowhere to share really and so I started a Posterous account where I first met Dominique Jost. With the iPhone it’s much easier than the BB. I've got a workflow. I've learned others workflow. I've played with apps that stick in my darkroom. I've let go of many more apps that have been deleted off my phone. Because of the iPhone, I got into street and documentary photography. So in looking at the stages even with the BB, I've grown passionate with image making and then really started to hone what I really really like into what I share and post to the world.
Juxt’s motto is ‘The BEST is YET to COME’, that’s quite similar to Bresson’s ‘Your first 10,000 photos are your worst”… where next for mobile photography and art?
It's not really a motto as a statement. As we all know everything in the world of mobile and especially mobile photography is that it morphs and transforms and transcends what we've thought or imagined. I mean really, who would've thought I would be being interviewed for taking pictures with my phone? Who would've thought we would have exhibits and galleries worldwide? Who would've thought we would be able to print in sizes as large as 4ft x 7 ft? Who would've thought mobile artists would be selling their work? As we speak we have Koci, playing around and making images with Google glass! There's talk of a watch that can do the same. It's pure and unadulterated nuttiness when it comes to mobile creativity. They may or may have not thought of the creative and artistic when they developed these products, but we sure will help them sell it.
“Who would've thought we would have exhibits and galleries worldwide?”
If there was one moment in history you could photography – what would it be?
If I can choose between a historical significant story, it would be the Civil Rights movement.
Your work always presents a story, social commentary. Do you think mobile photography allows you to get a different perspective to those capturing moments through other means?
I really don't know the answer to that. I think for street photography sure I may be more stealthy. But for documenting events, I think the camera whether the iPhone, Windows Phone or the Canon will solicit a different response from folks. They know they are in a public space that yields press. They may not have as much respect for the mobile devices, but I do know I sure work hard to get a candid shot. For me, it really is all about the story.
Is the moment more important than composition and technique?
For me yes. I'm not trained in the composition and technique. I am trained in the moment, the reason, and the story.
This insta_view can be republished but it must credit RooM the Agency and link directly to the source.