Jim Jurica, of Hanover Park, Illinois, is our featured guest Photographer of April. Jim, has a distinctive style and artistic look and an eye for beauty and grace.GlamModelz Magazine: Let’s get started! Tell me about your background…how did you get started in Photography?
Jim: I left my computer industry job back in 2000 and went on a road trip across the country. I bought my first camera for that and was instantly addicted. Places like Arches National Park or Mount Rainier are such a great way to get started with photography because every rock, tree and cloud is photogenic. You can’t go wrong. But then I came back to suburban Illinois and reality set in: photography elsewhere requires a sharper eye and healthy dose of imagination. Those are valuable lessons learned and since then I’ve tried to capture everything… not just the pretty stuff.
GlamModelz Magazine: Why Glamour /Beauty? What other genre’s and styles interest you? Jim: I like to shoot about everything! And I don’t like to linger too long at shooting any one style. Glamour is more of a recent addition to my portfolio.
GlamModelz Magazine: What or who inspires you as a photographer? Jim: I find inspiration in the models themselves. Before a shoot, I like to sit and talk with them one-on-one for as long as it takes to earn their trust and learn a little about who they are as a person first. Then I try to work their personality into the shoots.
GlamModelz Magazine: What challenges do you face in this industry? What would you change about it, if you could? Jim: Challenges? It’s a daunting task to be a generalist in an industry full of specialists. I need to be proficient in all kinds of imagery to stay afloat in my core business (stock photography). However, it’s the challenge of always doing something new and different that I enjoy most, so I wouldn’t change that one bit.
GlamModelz Magazine: What equipment is essential for you as a glamour photographer, to capture your “best shot”? Jim: I’m a softbox addict. I own just about every size and shape of softbox you can think of. But more and more I keep finding I can get equivalent looks with umbrellas and the understanding of how to use them properly.
Also: shadows. I think of shadows and contrast as just another tool in my arsenal. I believe that sometimes what you DON’T show is more important. It’s that tease and hint of something more to an image that gets people looking twice.
GlamModelz Magazine: Paid vs. TF* shoots – What are your views and preferences? Jim: I know many photographers look down their nose at the idea of trade shoots but I do them all the time. Partly because the nature of stock photography is speculative and difficult to justify paying models when I don’t know if the shots will make money. But also because photography isn’t just a business, it’s also my hobby. Trade shoots help keep things fun and fresh.
GlamModelz Magazine: What qualities should Models/MUA’s/Stylists, etc have to work with you? Jim: I usually work with models that can do their own hair and makeup. That being said, I’ve been incorporating more MUA’s and stylists into the mix more lately. I tend to avoid models that are too well established because they bring the same looks that everyone else has in their portfolios. Rarely do I choose a model based on beauty alone. I look for personality or anything that says this is real, live person and collaborator, not just a pretty prop. This could be the facial expression or posing in their images. Or a consistency of interesting shots they’ve produced with other photographers that tells me the model has played a large part of the process. And sometimes it’s a simple as what they write when messaging back and forth that clicks and tells me I’ll enjoy working with them.
GlamModelz Magazine: What advice do you have for new/amateur photographers who want to shoot glamour? Jim: Don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes. Move your lights around see what happens. The wonderful thing about photography is that we get to bury our bad shots and no one is the wiser for it. If you take time to try different approaches (rather than simply duplicate what has always worked in the past) you will probably be pleasantly surprised by the results.
Second piece of advice: only post your best work. One good image is worth dozens of mediocre shots. Leave them wanting more.
GlamModelz Magazine: Tell us about your biggest accomplishment to date or what makes you most proud. Jim:
Hard question to answer! There really isn’t one biggest accomplishment, just lots of little ones. I’ve been really lucky from the very beginning, I guess. My very first images from my first model shoot found their way into a segment on Law & Order SVU and been a series of very cool publications since then over the years.
GlamModelz Magazine: What advice do you have for new models who want to shoot glamour? Jim: Being pretty is NOT enough. You need to be a bit of a salesman too. Outside of the occasional shoot for fun, modeling is a lot of work and to be successful requires trying lots of different approaches to see what sticks. You need to be proactive about messaging and always respond in a timely manner. The ability to show up for shoots on time and prepared is essential. And don’t take rejections personally!
Also, always come to shoots prepared to do your own hair and makeup, even if hair and makeup styling are provided that day. It’s not uncommon for the makeup artist to get lost and be two hours late. Or the hair stylist decides to quit the industry that day and leave everyone high-and-dry. This is your big chance to save the day and look like a real pro.
GlamModelz Magazine: What other interesting facts would you like GlamModelz readers to know about you? Jim: I’ve worked with over 400 models in the past four years on all kinds of content. And yet the scary fact remains that the top-selling, most published model I’ve shot is: myself. And my number-two selling model is my mother.
GlamModelz Magazine: What are your goals for your photography? Other goals? Jim: To always try new things and improve. In 2011, I’m focusing on more glamour publications. And of course, to continue to have fun making a living at something I love to do.
GlamModelz Magazine: Where can we see more of your work? How can models who wish to shoot with you contact you?
Cover Model: Jax
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