It’s only been a few months since I came accross the work of Jerad Armijo but he has quickly stepped up to be one of my favorite artists. His work is subtle, minimalistic and overall calming to look at.
In the interview below, you get to learn more about Jerad’s journey, photography and vision.
Start by telling us a little about who you are and how you got started with landscape photography.
I’m from Por Tales, New Mexico. Currently, I’m living in Portland, Oregon. I started photography when I was 15 years old, and for the last 6 years, I’ve been doing landscape photography. After moving to the PNW I started to explore every crevice it had to offer me. I fell in love with the landscape and started to photograph to my heart’s delight.
How would you describe your style and approach to landscape photography?
My style is minimalistic, surreal, a bit abstract, with delicate colors that are not often used in landscape photography. In general, I try to have a meaning behind each photograph in my portfolio. I love visual metaphors. I try to represent these metaphors with the poetry that I write for each piece. I want the viewer to have a faint idea of what I’m trying to accomplish with the photograph.
Has your photographic style and vision have changed during your years as a photographer?
Absolutely. When I first started, I usually stuck to my wide-angle, and did not use my synesthesia to fix my colors to the way I see the world. As I photographed and grew as a human/artist I started to let out my creative side even more. I now use an arsenal of lenses, usually sticking to my longer lenses for my photography. I now have a clear idea of how to implement metaphors in my work, while creating cohesive color/shape schemes that I get from my synesthesia.
What are some of the main challenges photographing minimalistic landscapes?
The biggest challenge for me is connecting an idea to a minimalistic photograph. It isn’t necessarily hard to find minimalistic scenes per say, rather it’s harder to make sure you’re in the right areas where my eyes can shine, and where I can find landscapes that could have a “story” behind the image.
How important is post-processing for your photography?
I think it’s important for every photographer. It’s where you stamp “you” onto a photograph.
What inspires you to keep creating?
My depression. When I create I’m not depressed. It’s a way to balance my mind. I often create a lot. I write poetry, I love to cook, and I love to paint. Depression can be a bitch, but we both have come to terms with each other. We use each other, and I found a healthy way to deal with it.
A big portion of your portfolio contains desert elements. What is it about this landscape that inspires you?
I’m originally from a small town in New Mexico. I’ve always loved the southwest. It’s an area I resonate with because it’s so peaceful and desolate. The energy is wild and indescribable. It’s an energy that I only get from the southwest, it’s unique, and it’s healing. I’m also obsessed with the colors you’re able to find out in these areas. Not many places have such a variety of colors with wild skylines.
Are there specific elements in a landscape that you’re actively looking for?
I love shapes and colors that best represent my synesthesia. I noticed I pay attention to “human” like shapes in nature as well. I always try to include a fair amount of sky, because I resonate with the sky a lot. It’s free, it’s colorful, and it’s dynamic.
What are your top three pieces of advice for someone just getting started with landscape photography?
Stay true to your eye but make it better over time. Pay attention to what you “love” to photograph and figure out ways to make your aesthetic evolve so when people see a photograph from you, they know it’s yours without looking at the name. I would also say try to get inspiration from outside sources that aren’t photography-related necessarily. A lot of my inspirations come from various art genres like painting, music, animation, and video games. Thirdly, is find people that want to help you grow as a person, and artist. Stick with these people and lean on them so they can help elevate you. I wouldn’t be here typing this right now without my close group of photography friends who believed in my work.
What’s next for Jerad Armijo?
I’m still photographic actively, though not as much due to working in the pandemic in healthcare. My mind is a bit tired, but I still find a lot of solace in creating. I want to write a book, and maybe in the future start teaching as well with my friend Tara Workman.