Photography helps you understand your senses more than anything else, ViewBug community member jasonbassett explains this and more in the conversation below.

"I’m just this super weird and charming person. I find art in randomness and joy in eccentric people. In life, I use humor to tame things that feel too intense. In photography, I use intensity to tame my humor. It’s the interesting balance! My style is this collaborative idea of beauty and fantasy. I tell stories but I also want most of the photographs to feel connected to this world" - Jason Bassett

In one sentence what has photography done for you in your life?

Photography helped me understand all of my senses more than anything else could ever have done.

When did you start taking photos and what inspired you to get started?
8 ½ years ago. I’ve always been into the beauty of people and nature. I also was a big gamer which attracted me to abstract aesthetics and storylines. Photography was not my first intentional path at all. I was forced into taking photographs at this job where I was hired as a graphic designer. I quickly acquired this love for it and couldn’t stop since then. Shortly after 4 years, I quit anything that felt like a job and have continued to only build my photography career.

What has been your favorite shoot and why?
There wasn’t a second in this day that wasn’t perfect. Perfect team, lighting, ideas, and fun.

Do you remember a difficult photo shoot session? What happened?
I call this shoot “nature’s way of telling me to stop shooting at beaches.” After makeup was done (which can take long for certain concepts), we all walked down the beach away from the shelter. The sunny and bright day turned into this raging thunder storm where everything and everyone was soaked. There was a boat that ended up being pushed close to the shore, where it got stuck. That’s how strong the winds were. We still don’t know how this happened because it was the nicest, calmest day. After about 30 minutes under the bathroom roof, we went back. 30 minutes of glorious sun graced us before another part of the storm. This happened a few times, but we did end up with a better outcome than I imagined before the mishaps.

What do you carry in your camera bag?
In my ONA Bowery bag (more fashionable camera bag, where people don’t know it’s a camera bag), I have such a small set up. My mirrorless camera, one Zeiss lens, 4 batteries, business cards, cough drops, jolly ranchers, spare cell phone battery, battery charger, and a pelican case for my memory cards.

Do you have a favorite location and time of the day to shoot?
I don’t have a favorite location yet, but I do prefer ones that people don’t generally know about. I don’t want my work to look like you know which country or state I shot it in. My favorite times of the day are 6am, 2pm, and 4pm.

Can you share three tips with your fellow photographers?
a) Photograph what makes you feel alive. Be impulsive and be fearless with your ideas.
b) Learn how to shoot with natural light first. Then with additional lighting so you know when you don’t need it, and the right times of when to apply them.
c) Fight yourself to not take the obvious photograph. Fight yourself to not edit the same every time.

Please share one of your favorite photos with us with a short tutorial: 

a. Where did you take it? Jupiter, Florida

b. Time of the day and lighting details? 4pm with natural light

c. Equipment used? Sony A7, Zeiss 55mm 1.8, Silver Reflector

d. Inspiration behind this photo? Teasing a Freefall into rocks.

e. Post-processing information? Very simple. Duplicated layer on blend mode (I recall it being overlay), using shadows and highlights feature to bring back details in shadows and to give a slight fade, changing opacity to blend two layers, desaturation, using RGB curves to tone shadows and highlights. To mention, I shot this slightly over an exposure I normally would have because I knew I’d be blending modes to make it darker.

Please share some thoughts on your ViewBug experience as a photographer!
You can’t have art without challenges in reference to personal and professional vantage points. ViewBug offers these challenges for photographers to evolve and to learn what other greatness is out there, which also majorly helps in personal growth. This is a network, a competitive site, and a haven for passionate photographers.

What is your favorite photo and why?
This was a defining time in my career in regards to what my style was to become. Maddie is a close friend of mine and she has this wild ability of always interpreting the team’s ideas beautifully. I love everything about it from the subject, to the energy, the emotion, the styling, the natural light, the story and the nature that frames it.

What photo was the most difficult to shoot from the ones in your Viewbug profile?

Ah, amazing question. This photograph consisted of a broken camera with the LCD shorted out, immovable dials, and shutter speed not registering half the time. Right before the shoot began, water rushed upwards from a hole in the rocks and well, that’s how that happened! The makeup artist cut her foot and had to limp to do little touch ups. We waited for this wave for about 20-30 minutes in silence, as each wave before it just wasn’t strong enough for the shot! So glad we waited. Even though the model was freezing, she did not want to move until we had it. When we got the shot, my camera powered off for good. Somehow, it felt worth it.

Follow jasonbassett to see more of his amazing images and to see the new additions to his portfolio.