My name is Jonathan. I am a traveling photographer and videographer with an education in earth sciences and conservation, trained in permaculture and systems thinking, with a passion for wilderness, community development, and sustainable food & urban systems. In the past several years, my work and interests have presented me numerous opportunities to places around the globe for learning, serving, and sharing in all forms. One of my major recent collaborations is with Conscious Impact, a grassroots organization dedicated to rebuilding community in a rural village in Nepal following the devastating 2015 earthquakes through earthen building materials and techniques and global collaborations. I am currently in Christchurch, New Zealand, learning about the effects of the 2010 & 2011 earthquakes, and how the community has responded to the crisis through grassroots initiatives, social enterprises, and putting people before economic gains while dealing with trauma and shortcomings.
- Event, wedding, nature, and time-lapse photography and videography
- Photography lesson and workshop (1 on 1 and small group)
- Stills and video editing
- Enlargements on different mediums
- Printing advice
- Social media and marketing consultation
- Speaking/storytelling on photography, community development, environmental sustainability, and places & people I've had the opportunity to visit/live and meet
-> Contact me to chat about your needs and vision!
About Me, continued:
I started taking photographs as a young teenager. I often credit my mom's point & shoot 35mm film camera as well as the Sony Mavica floppy disk digital camera in the late 90's that captures images at a whooping 0.3 megapixels(!). I am self-taught, and proudly so. After working and saving up in the summer in 2005, I picked up my first DSLR, and since then it's been an avalanche of learning and improving. My first paid gig came a year or two later, and after more than a decade now, it's still a happy long-term relationship.
I grew up in Hong Kong and Los Angeles, though don't particular feel at ease or comfortable in urban centers anymore. In the last few years I have lived mostly in Seattle in the US as well as in rural Nepal. Since graduating in 2010 from University of California, San Diego and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography with a degree in Earth Sciences and Environmental Systems, I have worked in the realms of community development and environmental education locally and globally while doing photography on the side. Whilst in Seattle I was actively involved at the Beacon Food Forest, a community-driven, open-for-all, food-producing garden and forest in the city. I love that place. I had the opportunity to serve on its Site Development and Steering Committee for a year, and together with my neighbors we did some radical things to bring folks of all backgrounds and social-economic levels closer in a safe space that (re)connects people to one another, to food, and to nature.
In response to the devastating earthquakes of April and May 2015, I have spent much time in the village of Takure in the Sindhupalchok district of Nepal with the organization Conscious Impact, where I've lived and rebuilt alongside locals and international volunteers while documenting the collaborative work. Together with the Conscious Impact team, we have leveraged social media to spread the word, tell stories, and continue the funding for the rebuilding project. Besides the Beacon Food Forest in Seattle, I haven't found a better, more meaningful way to use photography and social media for social and environmental good alongside selfless individuals with the common goal to help and serve others.
I also love bicycles, cycle touring, backpacking, wilderness, and am fascinated by big mountains, as well as the wisdom, culture, and way of life of indigenous peoples all around the world. Traveling has added tremendous global perspectives and knowledge I wouldn't have gained from formal education. Through my work and travels, I have spent time with the indigenous Emberá, Guna, and Ngäbe-Buglé peoples in Panama, the Ahka people in northern Thailand, and the Ladakhi, Spitian, and Sherpa peoples of the Himalayas, and hopefully soon will learn about Māori people and their rich history and culture.
Sometimes I like to geek out on gear. Especially outdoor gear and lenses. Over the years I have slowly learned that it's still first and foremost the photographer, the time and place, the lens, then lastly the camera. The camera helps create the image no doubt, but just as you wouldn't complement a chef for his/her *amazing* frying pan/iron skillet/knife, a photographer's tool is simply that - a tool. A quality camera only takes quality images if you bring it with you and gets utilized. The best camera is quite often the one in your hand.
Note that this site is newly rebuilt as of August 2017, and may not yet have the latest works, past and present. Social media would more likely showcase the newest captures. Follow these links to my LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Vimeo.
I've had some great opportunities in recent years to present my work and stories of places and people I've been and crossed paths with, and thankful to have had 2 recent talks be recorded/recapped - at PechaKucha Christchurch in September 2017 and Ministry of Awesome's Coffee & Jam in December 2017.
Please get in touch for commissioned work, printing, licensing, and collaborations to discuss your needs.
Me, in photos:
Photo credit: friends and strangers from all walks of life. Notable mention: Graham Wynne top row left (both).
More testimonials and reviews via my Facebook page.