Johnny Kerr is a self-taught American photographer who captures his daily life through the prism of minimalism and architecture. Based in Arizona, he agreed to answer our questions. He tells us about his career, his love for photography, his minimalist approach and gives advice to future professionals.
First and foremost, can you introduce yourself?
I was born, raised, and currently live in the Southwest US. I’ve never really loved the desert, but Arizona has been my home for going on 36 years. I still hate the summers, but the winters are lovely.
I have explored art in a variety of ways since childhood. I’ve studied traditional Irish music for about fifteen years. Art plays such a huge role in my life, be it watching good cinema, playing or listening to music, making photographs, or sculpting the bushes in my backyard (I shape one like a heart for my six year old daughter).
What’s your background? How did you get into photography?
Who are the artists and photographers that inspire you?
What is the theme you like to explore in photography?
How do you find the landscape of your pictures?
How did you plan your photo shoot?
What is the message you want to convey through your photographs?
Does minimalism allow you to communicate more easily with the viewer? Why did you choose this style?
What gear do you use?
What is the essential equipment you take with you?
Can you talk about your next project?
What would be your pieces of advice to photographers who want to find their own style?
People who are looking to develop their own voice must ignore conventions, trends and fads. You have to not care if people don’t get or even like what you’re doing. You have to be patient and honest with yourself.
I think we all know, deep down, when we are making work that comes from within versus regurgitating something we’ve already seen. You’ll never develop a style trying to be like someone else. It’s also important to realize that styles evolve. Always be trying to one-up yourself and don’t be afraid of change. Be willing to lose a few thousand social media followers who will say « I liked his older stuff better. »
Don’t do it for anyone other than yourself.
Is there a photograph you want us to interview?
Most of the photographers I take inspiration from are dead. Here are a couple names I see on Instagram or Behance that might work if you haven’t interviewed them already: Tekla Evelina Severin and Sebastian Weiss.