Viewbug community member jasonbassett got his inspiration to become a photographer because of his fascination with video games.  "Videos games always kept me so fascinated as a young and wild child. I would dream of telling stories and when I was around 19 years old, I was thrown into a situation to use a camera for someone when I have never even touched one! Something happened, and I felt in love with this idea of document light and energy. I could visually express ideas and the attraction grew as my audience did."

What was your first camera and what do you shoot with today?

My first camera was a Nikon D80 with a kit lens. It was a worn down piece of equipment as it already took years of abuse from the person I purchased it from. I now only shoot with Sony, as I kind of fell in love with the systems. I shoot with a Sony A7, A7ii, and rent the A7rii at times. My lens of choice is the 90mm Sony lens.

When someone looks at your photos, what do you want them to take away from it, what are you trying to communicate?

I want them to be taken away from their woes for even just a blink, and navigate with their own imagination. I just want to create things that don't feel forced or done before. I rattle my brain nightly to make sure each idea can be a fresh perspective to those I'm sharing the photograph with.

What is it that you love about photography?

Besides the magic of being some kind of wizard as I use my senses and life itself to create... I just love the people aspect. I love to meet awesome spirits. There is nothing like chemistry translating in your art.

What has photography done for you?

Photography shifted me from some shy introvert to a pretty kick-ass human. I have been able to travel, exhibit my work in galleries in both the US and outside of, met some of my now-best friends, challenge myself to understand how my brain interprets feelings, and photography has helped me to cry endlessly. Not often a bad cry, though some are mixed in there... but ... I get to share myself both figuratively and literally.

Do you try to be conceptual or do you prefer to show the feeling behind a photo?

I do both, and often it's both at the same time. I love conceptual photographs but I do seem to need that sense of a "creator."

How do you describe your style?

It's usually messy, tamed-impulsivity or it's melodically beautiful and free. I'm constantly searching for a message, whatever that may be. I don't try to dictate one anymore.

If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?

Sony 90mm Macro. It's a wonderful portrait lens and an workhorse for its macro capabilities. It's so sharp it might as well be a guinsoo blade, and the bokeh is creamy.

What are your 3 tips for others who want to become better photographers?

1. Be brave. You won't always be confident as this is a career of variables. Every day and every client is so vastly different. Everything from the sunlight to your mood will seem against you. But nothing is.
2. Your equipment is important, but it doesn't make something out of nothing. If you don't have a clear idea and a care for detail (technical and conceptual), your photographs may not live past a few days on social media.
3. Love yourself. This sounds silly sure... but your best inventive moments can come from understanding who you are. If you aren't into something, don't photograph it. It's a disservice to yourself.

Have you received any negative feedback from your work? What did you do about it?

Oh yes! I'm really the least sensitive person I know and I don't take anything personally. I just listen and decide if I need to trust my instincts and filter it out, or if I can learn from what was said.

Where did you learn to take photos?

At a local Swap Shop. I learned the basics of operating a camera photographing families and some strange people. :)

Raw vs jpg and why?

RAW! I push my files pretty hard and I absolutely need the most flexibility I can get out of my file. Keep compressed formats away from my life!

What do you carry in your camera bag?

I have this tiny, fashionable ONA canvas bag right now and inside of it is most likely a rental Sony Alpha Mirrorless camera and a Sony 90mm lens. I have an SD Pelican Card Case with 2 16gb Sandisks (150mb/s), some lens wipes and glasses wipes, Fine-Point Sharpies, Business Cards, Battery Charger and Rechargeable AA Charger.

If you could have the gift of a great photographer who would it be and why?

I'd have to say Joey Lawrence. I love that he lives his life traveling and knows how to tell the most amazing stories with a photo.

What is the most common mistake you see people making when shooting these days?

They look so damn sad. Many seem so consumed by what gear they have or what everyone else is doing... that they have no identity.

Take me to New Zealand or Sweden! My favorite movie (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) is close to how I'd love to live.

How do you decide on where to shoot a photo?

Comfort and strength in relation to the idea. I can feel a location or I can't, and that’s my determinate factor. I'll scout by driving around, ask people on social media if I am in a new area, or set something up at home.

What is next for you? Any planned adventures with your camera?

Yes! I want an international gallery with this concept I have been working on. I want to keep traveling and never stop moving... I don't even have any interest of being anywhere I can't document. Next year I am planning for Australia, London, Japan, New York, and LA.

What is your goal with your photography?

The make a living doing exactly what the freak I want day in and day out. To love when I have to create and to be deeply enchanted by the body of work I build.