August 27, 2021
The Photographer Interviews: Jordan Mcgrath
My greatest inspiration is Mother Nature. I live for morning light and all the magic that it brings. Most of my photographs are taken while I’m out in the woods, swimming in the sea, or just admiring the sky. I live in busy New York City, so traveling upstate or finding peace at Central Park keeps me grounded. Being outdoors is what I love and I’m always inspired to capture the beauty that it brings. I’m truly a sucker for colors and the perfection of nature!
At a young age, my first job was working at an outdoor mall kiosk asking strangers if I could take their pictures. I’d take their photos, instantly print them and place them on frames, cups, keychains, and make sales. I think that’s when I fell in love with capturing the essence of the moment. Later on, in life, I saved enough money to buy my own camera and started finding so much joy in photographing all my adventures.
My favorite photo is one taken at Niagara Falls. I was leaning against the rails and looking down as far as my eye could see. I happened to have a telephoto lens that day and I curiously pointed at the bottom of the falls, where all the rushing, crashing water met the rocks. I was surprised to have captured the most beautiful rock with the most intricate texture caused by erosion, the sparkly spray of rushing water, and the rainbow. I was captivated by the beauty of light and water and the magic that both bring. Just the mood and colors are fascinating! I took that photo 5 years ago and it’s still a favorite of mine.
My best advice is to photograph what catches your attention, not tomorrow, not later, but right there and then. I’m very loyal to my intuition as a photographer and the need I get to capture the moment. I don’t care for composition or technique. I may be walking and will stop no matter what I’m doing just to photograph what is captivating to my eye. I say, follow your heart and artistic eye!
I think my secret is to shoot with what feels comfortable to you. I used to have a full-frame DSRL because back then I thought I needed “professional” equipment and it took me a while to find out that I was so wrong. My equipment was so heavy and tedious to carry around that I found myself so uninspired and would end up never bringing my camera out, it would just sadly sit at home collecting dust.
Now, I get to carry around the lightest camera which I take on all of my adventures and use for my job. I’m in love with my mirrorless Fuji X-T20! Personally, there’s no such thing as pro equipment, I shoot with my iPhone a lot and get amazing high-quality photos that no one would ever guess were taken with an iPhone. So there you go, It’s all about your creativity and what you’re comfortable with!
I work with clients for couples, fashion, and lifestyle photography. My biggest challenge has always been putting my landscape work out there. As crazy as it may sound, I get emotionally attached to my photos, my journey, my memories. The blunt truth is that I’m a very private person and my photography is deeply attached to that. I'm slowly breaking out of this and making my work more public. I’d like to learn to advertise and sell prints.