Hi Joey, can you give us a little introduction as to who you are, what you’re passionate about and what your daily routine looks like?
Hey! Well as you know, my name is Joey, some call me Joseph. I am a 21-year-old photographer from Winnipeg Manitoba. Lately I’ve been less focused on my work and more focused on other people’s work. Day to day I send and answer a lot of e-mails, spend time researching photographers to feature, and think about new content for From Here & Away. I always try to go for walks around my neighborhood taking photos to balance out the amount of time I spend online.
What is From Here & Away and what inspired you to create it?
From Here & Away is an organization that facilitates artistic opportunities for young and emerging artists. I believe that the world can be a more interesting and beautiful place to live if we come together to share images, stories and knowledge of our incredibly diverse planet.
In a tangible sense, FH&A is programming, community, and artist support.
Programming is workshops, meet-ups and group travel. Community is our social media and website where we provide a platform to share your work with a caring and like-minded audience. Artist support is achieved through the creation of useful, beautiful, and ethical products mostly through collaboration with our favourite companies, or individuals. 25% of the money made as FH&A is allocated to the FH&A fund, which is invested back into the community.
In short, FH&A succeeds in making it easy for people to make and showcase their creativity.
What are your plans with it in the future? Do you have any big dreams for it that you can share with the readers?
Group travel is a huge thing. I had a meeting with VIA rail last week that was very promising. I also have a few contacts in Belize and would love to lead a trip out there. I’ve also got a few products that I’ve worked really hard on designing with really talented people. These will be released as soon as October. These products will hopefully fuel more programming and artist support. My goal is to do a group show at no cost to the artists by the end of next year. This means I pay for everything with money collected in the FH&A fund. As artists the most satisfying thing is showing your work, but it’s often not very easy financially. I want to make that easy for people. I’m in the very early stages of everything but I’m pretty optimistic for the future of FH&A.
Through Instagram alone, I can see that you have built a large following outside of Winnipeg. Why do you think it’s important that people use photos and more specifically From Here & Away as an outlet?
I think the difference with FH&A and other “feature pages” is that FH&A extends far beyond Instagram and also cares about the individual photographer being featured. The only criteria for being featured is if the photograph answers the following questions: Is it interesting? And does it further our understanding of the world in some way? If your photo answers those, then it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been taking photos, how many followers you have, where you are from, what age you are and what your other photos look like, we are going to feature you. We believe anyone is capable of taking an important photograph that was real impact and longevity. If you tag FromHereAndAway you know your work is going to be viewed by myself, as well as may others who value the same thing. Creativity regardless of class, skill level, shooting style, religion, gender, social status, geographical location, and follower count.
I still remember my days of taking photos on my yellow disposable Kodak cameras as a three-four year old and being excited to see how they turned out. Do you have any stories of what got you hooked on photography?
My parents always pushed creativity and travel as a child. I am extremely lucky to have been given so many amazing opportunities, and it’s all thanks to my parents.
I got my start when they (my parents) bought the family a DSLR when I was 14 and took my brother and I out of school to travel the United States and Europe for 8 months. I remember not knowing what I was doing from a technical standpoint but just shooting what I found interesting. From then on it’s been all about travelling and taking photos.
For the tech guys out there, what sort of gear are you working with and what do you think makes a good artist or in your case a good photographer?
I am not a gear guy by any stretch of the word. People always ask me what my recommendations are for cameras and my usual response is “one that doesn’t break.” Build quality is a must if you’re going to travel a lot. Your camera will get beat up if you do what it takes to get quality shots. I personally use a Canon 5d mark ii and shoot a lot with my 70-300mm L series lens. I like telephoto lenses for landscapes, which is what I shoot primarily.
I think a good artist needs to simply create honestly. I don’t understand the current trend of recreating other people’s photos or style. A good artist is always a leader, even when the work they create might be polarizing or even make people uncomfortable. This can be achieved with any type of camera. Of course this is limited to certain environments, if you’re shooting underwater or the Milky Way or something, you’re going to need to spend money on technically advanced stuff.
Now that you’ve mentioned some of the traits and aspects of photographers out there, is there anyone out there who truly inspires you?
Yes, many people. Currently my number one influence is Jeremy Koreski. He has a photo book coming out called This is Nowhere that I strongly encourage everyone to take a look at. The guy is a true master.
Do you think there are any similarities to From Here & Away, your lifestyle and our slogan Fit to Live?
Of course, good photography is about being adaptable, open to anything and up for a challenge. I do most of my work in the field wearing Olé so that’s something as well.
Favourite after work beverage?
I’m a very non-picky beer drinker. I know that’s probably a common answer but I love a shitty beer on my deck after work.
Favourite pair of 306’s?
Recommended Instagram follow?
What’s playing in your car right now?
Son Lux is always a go to. Also my brother Micah Visser and I are working on his next album, so the demos are always bumpin.
Your favourite aspect of 255 Vaughan?
I get to connect in person with the people that support and make FH&A what it is.
Any final words?
Always wake up early! 90% of good photography is waking up before the sun does.