Jonathan Daniel Pryce is a talented young photographer based in London who specializes in men’s fashion and street photography. His work has been featured in Grazia, Glamour, GQ and Vogue. In 2012 he started a personal project to document 100 Beards in 100 Days, a 100-day mission to photograph bearded men in London. Recently, he had the opportunity to shoot with the Lomography Petzval 85 Art Lens.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into photography.
I studied photography in 2006 in the York and this really opened my eyes to the world. It’s hard to think of yourself as having a career in photography when you’re a student but I really focused on what I was passionate about and that was street photography and fashion. So in 2008 I started a blog documenting street style in my home town of Glasgow. This was at the birth of blogging and fashion brands using bloggers to communicate with the world and so very quickly I got an amazing response. It was really documenting street style over fashion week for clients like Vogue, GQ, Esquire and Mr Porter that kickstarted my professional career. Since then I have shot a number editorial and looked at campaigns for clients like Selfridge’s and Penhaligons. A lot of my work is now documented on GarconJon.com.
How was it shooting with the New Petzval lens?
I loved using the Petzval Lens, it was an experience like no other. Other than the fact that it looks incredible and is absolutely beautiful the images it takes also have a mystic quality. There was almost I craftsman-like method to using it. Obviously it’s analog and that makes time and consideration much slower. I think the end result really shows this.
In your opinion, what makes the perfect portrait?
It’s hard to find but it’s all about the individual. The ideal situation is being able to capture something that makes the viewer look twice. The subject should be revealed in a way that is captivating and arresting. That’s a really hard thing to define.
Have you had any difficult or challenging situations throughout your photography career?
I think the most challenging thing is being self-employed. Running your own business and making it as a photographer is quite a lot to juggle but ultimately the rewards are more than worth it. I feel I need to wear a lot of hats as a photographer and need to be a great communicator, marketeer, accountant and manager as well as a great image maker. I think some of the more challenging situations that I remember our surrounding client management particularly their expectations. It’s always good to have a contract and clear brief upfront.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to become a professional portrait photographer?
Work hard and think outside the box. They seem like a really generic pieces of advice but I think they’re very true. It’s all about making connections, being passionate and communicating that to the world. Although much of my time is spent by myself photography really is a social profession. Physically when it comes the portraiture. Building that rapport with the subject is very important.