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I pride myself on a mixed background - I'm of Caribbean background, my mother from Trinidad & Tobago and my father from Haiti. I studied Media, Culture & Communication at NYU and then made a move out to the west coast to get my Masters in Business while studying Film and TV Producing at Chapman University. I currently work in feature animation at DreamWorks Animation here in California.
Throughout all my experiences I have always pushed myself creatively and never backed down from exploring that realm in almost any avenue. I'm not just a photographer, I'm not just a writer, I'm not just a graphic designer, I'm not just a producer - what best sums it up is that I'm a student. I like to stay consistently learning. Through lots of help, questions, research and just simple trial and error I've picked up on the tools that can make me a better creator in any of those avenues I choose such as Photoshop or Lightroom. There was a day when I was 16 and I decided to just buy a Canon t3i and learn more about photography. it took every ounce of my teen cash to stretch this one out but I was determined. Since then I've come a long way but still continue to learn along the way. It's a life without limits is what I value and in such, I continue to be a student.
Personally - I'm silly, passionate and creative. Just recently my friend reached out to me to photoshop her into a Vegas bachelorette group photo she missed out on. I said yes - no hesitation. I absolutely love expressing myself creatively and the power of a vision or idea.
Would you like to complete our full Editorial interview or skip straight to uploading your photos? (12 more interview questions).
Our readers would love to get to know you more Junior. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I enjoy animated movies and working with animated features. I currently work at DreamWorks Animation and love every second of it.
Junior, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
I'm most passionate about telling stories and sharing ideas whether through photos, poetry and/or writing. I aspire to take this above and beyond - I want my stories to reach around the globe while also helping others to share their own.
Photography has always been a hobby of mine since I was 16 and decided to spend every cent I had on a Canon T3i camera. The boy was my pockets hurting but I had been so excited to just get my hands on it and dive into photography and videography. I remember when I first started I used to take pictures of my dog, Miguel, running around the backyard or forcing him to sit still in a chair. Poor Miguel, I got to throw him a bone or a check one of these days for all the torture I put him through.
Who is your inspiration in life Junior? How do you keep inspired?
All of the amazing artists here at DreamWorks inspire me. Just being around such an eclectic and positive crowd definitely induces you to be passionate about what you do. It simply can't be helped when you're surrounded by such talent every day. Their genius is endless when it comes to pursuing new ways to make adorable characters and stories not only come to life but also have to mean. I only wish for my imagination and ideas to flourish half as well as theirs does.
We all make mistakes Junior, we wish we could take back. Please tell us about a time being a Photographer, you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
Honestly, there's nothing I can think of that I regret while working beside wishing I took fewer photos. Ah, it's painful having to sift through hundreds of photos after a shoot and having to decide on the best. Advice to myself always - If you can't capture what you want in one click then try something different.
Junior, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
Prioritizing clients' needs can get tricky since everyone is a priority to themselves. I think the best and only solution is to communicate. I've learned that greatly in management and while working with large and even small teams. The more information you have shared between two parties the easier it becomes to 'prioritize' for your own sanity.
Please tell us, Junior, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
My strategy is to always have fun. We're creators - everyone is/ should be here to create something beautiful and show the world something new.
Junior, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
There was a time my team and I had to set up for a presentation to the president of our company. There was difficulty in understanding the best way to set the room and display the art so that it can be best viewed while also following some kind of cohesive storyline. What worked best for me was formulating a layout, showing my team what I thought would work best at ultimately achieving the positive reaction out of our president. It's a lot more difficult to disagree with hard-cold planning placed in front of you. :)
Junior, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
My proudest moment was when I photographed my friend for her birthday. It was a struggle as the job became an even bigger task when she added on 8 of our other friends, with each one individual photo per two outfits to be taken and edited. Wow! But what an amazing and inspiring time we had. It made me super happy to just to see how by doing something I love I was able to make her birthday super special of which she shared great excitement and appreciation.
Junior, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
With my last photo shoot, I was super excited all around. First, the location I chose to shoot it was far off the map, and I had to take my models on a hot and sweaty hike off trail. It was exciting to shoot at this abandoned ranch which has now been consumed by graffiti art and before that used a secret Nazi camp. It's fun for me to appropriate such a dark space as something beautiful and expressive. While on the other hand taking in all the crazy and wild graffiti all on the walls and floors was amazing. Photography and art design I was in love. Secondly, after a long day (and workout) it feels great to sit down with a disk full of photos. I particularly enjoy playing with exposure and colours in my photos and can spend hours at my computer finicking with photoshop, which is where my graphic art mind comes into play. It's almost excitingly frustrating how endless the possibilities are. Lastly, if you do happen to check out my page (@juniorbastien) you can notice that I like to add poetry to my photos as I post them. This part of my process tends to be a "for my eyes only" kind of thing as with Instagram not too many people many people notice. But if you do happen to pay attention you'll see that most of what I annotate my photos with has its own poetic dialogue. A story within a story in a sense.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
You're never done learning! Keep trying new things and pushing your art. There's no better unique source for art then yourself and your individual experiences.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes! Would love to collaborate and not necessarily picky either. Just with anyone whose kind of enough to share their vision and we can work out what's best fit for working together if so.
Now for the best part Junior! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Photographer: Junior Bastien @juniorbastien