Photographer J. James Joiner
Interview with On the Road Photographer J. James Joiner.
We love everything about James Joiner. When he gets an idea in his head for a project, he doesn’t dawdle. He grabs his gear, puts his dog in the car, kisses his wife goodbye and hits the road. He said hello on Instagram one day and we’ve been friends ever since. Not only is he awesome, but his energy and creativity are nothing short of infectious.
We recently sat down with James and asked about a few things, like his zine, Willie Nelson and driving around with his dog.
Tell us about your latest zine!
Well, my very latest zine (shown above) — last year, I like making things,I tried to do a zine every week for a year. And failed after 2 months. Not bc I couldn’t make them, but I didn’t have time. Then, this year, I decided to keep this up in a more sustainable way so I launched a “print and zine club”. People subscribe through my website, and then every month I send out a new zine with a print in it.
Thanks for inviting me to the Willie Nelson party (called the LUCK reunion – it takes place during SXSW). It’s Did you shoot when you go there? Or is it all about the music?
So, I did shoot there. One because I can’t be in any social situation without shooting, but two because I think that photography is my own self medication for my crippling ADHD. I’ve been going for years, covering it for either the Daily Beast or Esquire, and then when I quit journalism to go back to full time freelancing, the Luck Party brought me in as the main stage photographer. So it’s a perfect blend of both.
What inspires you to go out and shoot?
It changes a lot. I grew up wanting to be a cartoonist and a writer. What captures my eye changes every couple of days. I’m really into the dark creepiness of upscale suburbia. It could be patterns, colors etc. Usually there is some sort of story I want to tell that reflects the predominant mood I’m in.
You’re not full of shit, you’re a strong finisher. Some would say this is rare in an artist. Where do you think this comes from?
Well, the business side of it plays in. I have to be able to justify the fact that I have a family at home but I spend a lot of time galavanting around the country. It comes back to my ADHD coupled with who I am. I don’t like sitting still for very long as I have a short attention span.
What else do you want us to know?
One thing that I talked about recently, is the fact that many people have a pretty great camera available to them on their phone, which is a good thing. I think its wonderful. I love the democratization of photography, and the fact that its accessible to anyone as a creative outlet.