Photography by Jonas Michilot
All photographs by Jonas Michilot.
By now you already know of Jonas Michilot for is snowboarding. He has had many parts with Videograss over the years as well as a number of other videos. What you may not know is that Jonas is also documenting the snowboarders around him while on all those exotic film trips. Mr. Michilot prefers analog (film) photography and quite often shoots on black and white film. Always experimenting with different camera types his photographs come in all shapes and sizes. Flip through the gallery above and get a glimpse into the mind of Jonas Michilot and check out the interview below.
Interview with Jonas Michilot by Ben Birk
1) Why do you like photography? I like it for so many reasons.. The idea of freezing a moment in time onto something tangible blows my mind. I think photography itself is taken for granted a lot nowadays. I try to appreciate it as much as possible, and always have fun experimenting with it.
2) What do you like to photograph? I love shooting while traveling, journalist style stuff, like capturing actual moments of people in the streets, or in their natural surroundings. I love portraits, and I really only like to shoot in natural lighting.
3) Who do you like to Photograph? Pretty much anybody… Friends and strangers alike. I like shooting homeless people, talking to them, exchanging stories, and then offering them a buck, or some food if I have any snacks…
4) What kind of camera do you like to shoot with? I really like rangefinders. I like the quick focus, and that there isn’t mirrors to complicate things. For portraits I shoot a Mamiya RZ67 (she’s not a rangefinder though), for travel a Mamiya 6, and some smaller 35mm rangefinders or the Olympus Pen half frames really kick ass!
5) What draws you to photography? The surprise, and the anticipation of the whole process until you have your print in your hands… I don’t think I would be as interested in photography if analog photography didn’t exist.. I hope film keeps going strong!
6) What is the scariest thing you have shot? Or when were you the most scared shooting something? I think I’d have to say when I went on my first South American trip with my friend Jarad a few years back. I packed small cameras, but I was really nervous at first when we were traveling through sketchy towns through Chile into Peru. I made myself take more photos and think less of the what could happen to me, like getting mugged or something. I’ve gotten better at being sneaky, and quicker when there’s a photo opportunity.
7) How do you feel when your shooting? I feel a lot of things. In a way it’s almost like meditation when you have the time to set up a shot, and take your sweet time. Other times, like when shooting in the streets or something, it’s really a rush! You have to think fast, act quick, and as soon as i push the shutter, I feel like “damn!!! I think I got it! I hope! We’ll see!!!” They’re both really awesome feelings.
8) What do you do with your images? I develop, scan and print my own black and white film. I don’t develop color, just scan it… Then I put some of them on my blog (jonasmichilotphoto.tumblr.com) and am getting a website setup. I have a lot of photos I’m saving for certain things, like zine/book ideas. And also have had a few art shows, and plan on more, hopefully soon!
9) Do you ever want to make a book? Yes I’ve had an idea for a photo/travel book for a little while. I’ll be getting that together soon.
10) Who's photographs do you like? Cole Barash does really awesome journalist style portraits that I love. Ian Ruhter is amazing at what he does, especially his wet plate collodion prints. Some classics, Diane Arbus and Ansel Adams of course.
11) What kind of photography is boring to you? That’s hard to answer… commercial photography I guess, although, it’s really hard to count a picture of a subway sandwich as photography. Other than that, I’d say anything overproduced, or that’s been photoshopped the fuck out of.
12) What kind of photography excites you? Anything that’s composed really well, or that just works even if it looks as though a toddler was holding the camera… I like intense portraits, I guess something that can tell a story or explain something that can’t really be put into words.
13) Favorite color to photograph and why? I like red a lot, I don’t know why, it’s just a really rich color. I like shooting primarily black and white film, though.
14) What is your most erotic photograph? I got some nudies… I got a strange one of a naked babe in the desert that turned out really cool.
15) Do you believe photographs have power? Why or why not. Of course I do. A photo will be seen differently by every person who looks at it. One person could glance at a particular photo, look away, and never look back, while another could look at the same photograph, stare into it, fully, and feel something from it. It all depends on the person, and if their interpretation will allow it to have some sort of power…
16) Favorite Photographers …Ben Birk, and the others I listed above.