TH: When and how did you decide to be a photographer?
Jason Bassett: My early 20s is when I decided that a camera was going to be my partner in crime. I don’t feel I really became a photographer until around 24. I started to feel bored with the style of work I was photographing and never felt like I was expressing myself in interesting ways. I wasn’t learning anything new and certainly wasn’t showing the world anything wonderful. I was conforming too often and not taking enough risks. Then… it became so obvious it hurt. I only picked up the camera as a tool for outlandish ideas instead of worrying about who cared about them.
TH: What inspires you?
Jason Bassett: I am inspired by love, romance, sex, lust, innocence, and things that feel offbeat. Generally, my editorial titles come from words in a song with the same vibes.
TH: You have your artwork published by different magazines. How did you make that happen?
Jason Bassett: This question is asked of me a lot by photographers and I am glad to be able to speak on this here. The key advice I can give is to make sure the magazines you are submitting to actual publish the style of work that you shoot. If I am submitting to FaceOn magazine in the U.K., I will focus on strong makeup. If I am submitting to Papercut magazine, I need an editorial with an original story that has strong sensuality and is more focused on ideas. The contact information to the editors can usually be found on every magazine’s website. You must be able to photograph a solid series of 7-12 photographs that are cohesive in styling and are interesting enough to publish.
TH: You mentioned on your blog that you've participated in some Exhibitions. Tell us about this.
Jason Bassett: There was a point in my exciting career that I felt I needed to connect with communities and build my brand on a more interpersonal level. I was broke at the time, and sold my camera to travel to Miami, Orlando, and Atlanta. I needed something else and I wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking for. You could sell your art, but I wasn’t aiming for that because I needed my art at each gallery and didn’t have enough time in between to reprint and mount. I felt like I just wanted actual people to stand in front of me and talk to me about what my art makes them feel. I even pretended to not be the photographer a couple of times. At the end, I raffled off half of my work for fun.
TH: What are the most important skills of a good photographer?
Jason Bassett: I love looking through other photographer’s books as their sense of self, whether undoubtedly awkward or youthful, reflects through. Composition and adaptation will help tell the clearest story. You have to be able to walk into a setting and “see” the possibilities. You must prepare for environments to change and things to go wrong because it does rain hard at times even when you don’t want it to.
TH: Do you have any tips for those photographers who are starting their career?
Jason Bassett: The greatest asset to being a great photographer is to have the guts to act on your creative impulses. When I look at a photograph, I want to feel alive. Learn the technical rules and then forget they matter. I’d rather see an amazing, blurry photograph of a subject emerging from the water with old castle ruins behind them than one that is sharp and uninteresting. Read and look deeply into magazines that harbor the style of work you are after. Chase your incredible potential by constantly challenging yourself and being connected to the photographers or artists you look up to.
TH: How did you learn about Talenthouse?
Jason Bassett: I can’t remember for the life of me when I found Talenthouse, but I am glad I did. Talenthouse is what the artistic people have been craving; a place to call home without restrictions on what color you can paint your room.
TH: Why is interesting for an artist to participate in Creative Invites?
Jason Bassett: Creative invites are a way to interact with your social network, and possibly expand your network with companies willing to give you a chance. Creative invites aren’t just for competing, they are tasks with specific guidelines that prepare you for creative careers.
TH: What was your inspiration for your submission?
Jason Bassett: Madeleine M. is one of my dearest friends. It’s nearly impossible to take a bad photograph of this woman! She flew to Miami from Sweden to shoot, and a good stylist friend of mine (Katherine Eastman) helped me form a story. She painted roses, bought new roses, made all of the garments and jewelry. While I was photographing the marvelous and incredible sensual person, I felt revitalized. Never has someone emoted so extraordinarily and this shoot defines what I want my career to look like. It’s vintage, it’s raw, it’s sweet, and it’s intense.
TH: How is being a selected artist of this Creative Invite important?
Jason Bassett: It’s essential because it solidifies the idea that I am still able to become and create something beautiful that others find immensely valuable. Let’s face it, there is so much talent and too few opportunities. Talenthouse is fighting to bridge that gap.