I love fashion but I hate you.

interview: Jason Jean of Citizen Couture.

A brief picking of the mind of Jason Jean, friend and photographer behind Citizen Couture.

On what draws him to the medium.

I sketched when I was younger but set aside the passion to pursue a business degree in college.  Photography had always been in my interest and became a different outlet of re-exploring my creative side. 

On what makes an interesting subject.

People ask me this many times, but I’m not exactly sure.  I believe it’s a person’s confidence and comfort.  The perfect backdrop and light always help set the mood too. 

On his photography style.

Simple portraiture.  Natural lighting and backdrop are a huge factor in my style, so I’m always scouting and keeping mental notes for potential locations.

On the personal style of street photographers. 

My personal style is very simple and comfortable.  You will find me in T-shirts most of the time, although I do enjoy investing in staple pieces. I’ve been getting into some pieces from Sandro lately.

I don’t find it necessary for street photographers to dress well themselves.  Some, like myself, are observers who enjoy capturing people and moments.  I don’t like to draw attention to myself and prefer dressing comfortable enough to move around quickly with a camera.

A tip for new photographers.

I believe one of the biggest mistake new photographers make is relying on “zooming out” when photographing a full portraiture up close.  Unless it’s photographed at a certain level, it typically leads to distortion, and possibly makes the subject very unflattering. 

On gear.

Somewhat important – it depends on what and where you’re shooting.  Camera body and lenses are used in variations, depending on your type of photography and style.  I like looking for cameras bodies with high frames per second to make capture moments and lenses with larger apertures for sharpness and good depth of field.

On “making it” in “the biz”.

The level of “making it” is interpreted differently by each person.  My work is continuously a work in progress and I try not to justify if I’ve “made it” or not.  I’m simply glad that I can pursue something I enjoy.

On role models.

No particular role models at the moment.  Part of the job requires meeting various people.  I’m intrigued with the sense of beauty, style, and/or talent that each possess.  Perhaps, because of the various people I meet, they each have certain characteristics or talents that I look up to.

On the most stylish person he knows.

I can’t pinpoint one person.  I think everyone has a way of interpreting his or her own style and while fashion is quite subjective, I appreciate how broad it can be.  I love how one person can pull off contemporary pieces and another in vintage pieces.  Or how one person may focus on color/patters, and another will focus on shape.

On international style. And New York.

I do see different styles going from country to country, but sometimes it’s difficult to differentiate each one when you’re at an event with attendants from various cities and countries.  Besides the fact that I reside in New York, I find NYC to be a fashion hub and a place to observe style.  With the constant flow of people traveling to NYC, it’s easy to notice the variety of style.

On his passion with cycling.

In bike friendly cities, bicycles become an important mode of transportation and lifestyle.  Like any reason why we buy certain clothes and accessories; the neighborhoods we choose the live; and the décor we buy for our homes, the bicycle we choose to ride becomes a part of who we are.

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