LomoAmigo Jon Dragonette is a Los Angeles based award-winning photographer who has a passion for skateboarding and fast cars. Read on to get to know the man behind the camera!
Name: Jon Dragonette
City: Los Angeles
Hello Jon! Please tell us all about yourself.
I’m Jon Dragonette, I like fast cars and and faster women! I’m kidding. Well kinda. Anyway, I live in Los Angeles but I grew up in Upstate New York. So I am a hick at heart that lives in the city. I have the most bitching dog ever to roam the lands, his name is Brixton. He is Half Vizla and Half Lab, I think. But seriously, no joke, coolest dude ever. What else? I have a Twin Brother, his name is Thomas. My most favorite person in the whole world, he is a designer, and he makes music and is really really good at both. What else? I have a huge mustache, kinda looks like a caterpillar parked on my lip. Shit I don’t know, I feel like this would be easier over a beer, face to face. Lets just get into it, otherwise I could ramble on forever.
What drew you to photography as a whole and as a career?
My mom got me a camera when I was like 14. She was into photography and thought I might be into it. My dad was a artist so he got my brother and I into drawing and shit, so for me it was a natural progression. But with out my parent’s interest in the arts, probably wouldn’t be answering these questions. Thanks you two! As far as career path, I was a skate rat, I didn’t really think about what I wanted to do, all I thought about was skating and fucking off. Yep pretty careless. I was shooting the whole time this was going on and once high school ended I was faced with a choice, go to more school or work – both seemed shitty. I tried school, hated it, tried work, hated it, tried school again but this time I focused my attention on photography from a hobby onto something I may want to do for work. Lots of blood sweat and tears later and here I am. Shit its almost a decade of being a professional photographer. Which means I am getting old. Thanks for making me realize that LOMO.
You did a whole series on skateboarders, is this a hidden passion of yours?
Yeah, I grew up skateboarding. I still skateboard, and I shoot a lot of skateboarders these days. It’s funny cause when i decided to pursue photography as a profession i never had pictured in my mind that I wanted to shoot skateboarding. Its really fun though, exciting and actually way more difficult than most would imagine. Fountain of youth for me I suppose.
Do you find shooting products more challenging than individuals? How does the planning process vary between the two?
Honestly I kinda treat them one in the same. Products like people have shape, depth, and dimension. They can be shot wrong just like people, bad lighting wrong angle etc. The only benefit to shooting products is they don’t move, don’t talk, and don’t have attitudes.
What do you enjoy most about shooting with a film camera?
This could be one of those questions I go on about for like a fuckin hour. Film is the best, hands down. Look, quality, feel, archival longevity, thought process and dedication that goes into shooting it. But most of all in a land of instant everything, instant messages, instant food, instant status updates, instant gratification all over the place. Film isn’t as instant, it takes a bit of thought and time not only to shoot but to see your results. To me that is refreshing, Some may think its primal in the world of instant technology. but to them I say, Primal Thinkers, Stay the Wolves!
If you had a camera and a bag of film and could go anywhere, where would you go, what would you shoot?
Honestly if I could do one project right now, if time and money allowed it. I would get on my chopper and I would ride around this great country of ours. Shooting everything I came across. When you ride a motorcycle you tend to end up off the beaten paths of the great american motor ways. Its a great escape, and hopefully one day i will be able to share it with all of you.
The one person (living or deceased) who you would most like to photograph.
I stared at this question like 1,000 times. I really can’t answer it. Either I am a heartless S.O.B and I don’t care, which could very well be a possibility, or I feel like I get more than ample satisfaction from all the people I have been shooting in my career that I can’t come up with an answer.
Any advice for new Lomographers?
Be ready for excitement, some failure and unexpected greatness! Its an emotional roller coaster. That’s what makes shooting Lomo the best. Sometimes imperfection is perfection.
What’s coming up next for you?
I am gonna be in a show Called “Oil and Water”, if you live in SoCal you should check it out. If not, you should move here, it’s a pretty fucking rad place to be. But look it up on the inter-web, its coming up soon, can’t remember the date. Great marketer I am. Other than that, working on a clothing line called Chopper Fever, check it out here, Shooting everyday, skateboarding when I can, and riding choppers with my good friends. Oh and I am trying to farm a massive beard at the moment, keep my mustache company.
Thank you Jon! Ride on!
Take a look at Jon’s full gallery, here:
You can keep up-to-date with Jon’s upcoming projects by following him on Twitter