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Inspire Me Friday Interview #1 } JONATHAN CANLAS

Today we are so excited to start the first of weekly inspiring interviews with top photographers in our industry! As I mentioned in yesterdays post, we all start with that one photographer or one image that just moved us! We want to continue feeling the inspiration at Go{4}Pro by showcasing those photographers who have really made a mark in the industry and inspire! And we couldn’t be happier to be starting our 1st Inspire Me Interview with photographer Jonathan Canlas!

Jonathan was first introduced to photography in Japan when a friend let him borrow an old Canon AE1. When he returned to the US he became enthralled in the photographic process and eventually graduated with a degree in photography at Brigham Young University. Jonathan is a 100% film shooter and hosts a workshop, Film Is Not Dead, and it’s said to be simply inspiring. I think you’ll agree that Jonathan himself IS simply inspiring!

1. What’s in your bag? Off camera flash?
A LOT J. I have a Contax 645 w/ an 80mm f/2 lens, (2) Nikon F5’s with a Nikkor 50mm 1.4D, Nikkor 85 1.4D, 50mm 1.4 Zeiss, and a Sigma 20mm 1.8. A Nikon SB80 + SB800 w/ (2) pocket wizards. (8) inserts for the Contax, bellows shade for the Contax, Sekonic L508, extra rechargeable batteries, a TON of film (enough for 2 events), and my liability insurance. I also started using some video lights with some gels to balance the tungsten. Oh, and gum J.
2. Tell us about Jonathan Canlas Photography.
I am wedding/portrait/commercial photographer based in Lehi UT. I travel all over the US for weddings and events. I am married to a wonderful lady named Callie and we have 5 kids, Isaac, Ila, Ruby, Lulu & Weston. I am a 100% film shooter. I don’t even own a digital camera, except for my phone. I started shooting weddings in 1999 and have been full time since 2000.

3. How do you market yourself?
Getting published, networking and word of mouth. I don’t do paid advertising.
4. You just finished your workshop Film is Not Dead in Park City, UT. Can you give us information when the next one will be and how it will benefit the digital shooter?
The next workshop is in San Deigo July 19th-21st 2010 and will be held at LunaPhoto’s studio which is an AMAZING space. The workshop is called “Film is Not Dead” but it so much more than that. I love film and I love keeping it alive however film is only discussed on day 1 and that’s it. We cover so many other aspects of the business, marketing to find your brides, refining your vision, learning to love family formals, how to sell more prints via Instaproofs, and becoming completely passionate about your voice as a photographer. If any of that is of any interest to you, film or not, then yes, it will totally benefit you attending the workshop. About half of my attendees are 100% digital and have no intentions of changing.

5. Describe your typical day at work.
Weekdays are spent answering emails, editing digital scans of images, processing orders, submitting weddings, networking, developing/scanning film (all done in house), and most importantly, spending time with my family. On the weekends I’m usually traveling and shooting weddings/events.
6. Tell us a story where you met a challenge while photographing a wedding and describe how you handled it.
Every wedding is a new challenge. Seriously. There is always something that does not go as planned but that is your job as the photographer to not only adapt, but perform at the highest caliber possible. Your clients put trust in you to perform no matter what the situation. My job is to make every wedding look like it fell off the pages of a wedding publication regardless of any situation that may come up.

7. Where is the farthest you’ve been commissioned to shoot?
I’ve shot in Paris, Curacao, MX, Singapore, Indonesia. The travel is really, really taxing and not as glamorous as it may sound. If I could, I’d shoot everything local but my fees don’t allow that as much.
8. Will you describe the business side of things when it comes to shooting a wedding internationally?
There is nothing really different business wise of an international wedding. I don’t EVER travel alone to somewhere international. I will always have an assistant with me regardless if that is a colleague, intern or my brother J.

9. What advice do you have for individuals who are pursuing a career in photography?
Find your personal voice in photography, refine it, and get out and shoot. Don’t expect it to come over night and realize this is hard work, not just a past time.
10. How do you find time to do it all with being a full time photographer, husband and dad?
It really is difficult but it is a personal choice. I run everything from my home so if my wife needs my help, I can stop and go help. Everything I do I do for my family. I manage my availability on how much time I want to be with my family. I am not shooting a ton of weddings. My job allows me to spend a lot of time with my family and be there for events that a regular 9-5 would not let me do.

Jonathan thank you SO much for this opportunity to interview you. I wish I would’ve asked you more questions because I truely loved reading your answers. For those of you who just can’t wait to hear him at his workshop in July, Mr. Jonathan Canlas is also scheduled to speak at WPPI 2010 in Las Vegas in March, where he fits perfectly in with all the big names in photography. Jonathan is a photographer who has truly gone places.



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