Jordon Van Zante
Would you mind introducing yourself? My name is Jordon Van Zante and I live in Des Moines, Iowa. The good ol’ Midwest of the US.
Jordon's Instagram - @jordonvanzante
How would you describe your style of photography? That’s tough, but I always want my photos to have a softness and simpleness to them. I always want my photography to feel calming, like a breath of fresh air.
When did you first fall in love with taking photos? I dabbled with it in high school and truly enjoyed that along with other arts. I then went backpacking through Europe for 3 weeks when I was 19 and brought my parent's point-and-shoot camera along. I absolutely loved capturing a world that seemed so different than what I was used to. But I didn’t start taking it more seriously until a little over a year ago.
Do you have a favourite photography related memory, whether it be in front or behind the camera? Hmm...there are lots of them. Every time I see a sunrise over a mountain it completely blows my mind.
Who/What inspires your photography? Nature. Music. Movies. Also, people, even if it is not photography/art related. Just people who put themselves out there, work hard, take risks and do rad stuff.
Camera & editing process? I shoot on a Canon 5d Mark IV and Fuji XT2 and mainly use Lightroom to edit. After lots of tweaking/finding my editing style I have a preset I created for myself so I always shoot thinking about how it will be processed in post. If I have to remove some major distracting objects I’ll take it into Photoshop.
Are there any tips you would like to give to anyone out there who would love to create similar style photos to yours? Learn light and composition, but also don’t be afraid to take risks or break “the rules.” As mentioned before whenever I take a photo I am already thinking about how it’ll be post-processed. When you start shooting more/finding your style/learning your camera everything will start coming together. I also know what tones I like so I always think about that in what I’m capturing or in helping plan someone’s outfit for a portrait. I shoot most of my stuff around sunrise or sunset so that type of lighting plays a major role.
Who are some of your favourite photographers? The great Ansel Adams of course. I also love Steve McCurry’s storytelling ability with his photos. Annie Leibovitz. Patrick Chin (@iampatrickchin) does some awesome commercial stuff that always inspires me.
Are there any photographers here on Instagram that you wish more people knew about? There are lots of them. I wish all awesome photographers could be discovered and recognized for their work. Some current favourites though – Victoria Wright (@veekster), Grant Puckett (@grantpuckettphoto), and Aaron Hall (@aaronbhall).
What would be your number one dream destination for a photography adventure? Some remote random island that no one has ever heard of or visits haha. Other than that, Patagonia, South Africa and Alaska I think would top the list. I also would love to go back to this awesome spot near Interlaken, Switzerland that I went to when I backpacked.
Which time of year is your favourite for taking photographs? I love capturing all the different seasons. I love the colours of autumn so that might be my favourite. Or spring.
Coolest place you've ever been? Interlaken, Switzerland. Hands down. Me and my buddies took a train/lift up the Swiss Alps there as well and stayed in a little mountain hostel. I remember having an awful cough/cold but it was the most surreal, peaceful place I have ever experienced. On a different note though Jackson, Wyoming and Newport, Oregon will always hold a special place in my heart too.
Anything extra you would like to share? I always encourage everyone to travel (within reason/their means) We have such a beautiful world and it is the most humbling experience to travel to new places and meet unique people. For photographers, social media (specifically Instagram) is an awesome platform to get inspired by other awesome photographers, but if you find yourself getting intimidated or find yourself copying their work/style, just unfollow them. Go out and shoot to find yourself.
Don't forget to follow Jordon on Instagram! (@jordonvanzante)