You may remember Justin Vague from the “Do It Like Dude” issue of IZE where he shot the beautiful editorial ‘The Suburbs.’ We love Vague’s photography for the unique way he is able to capture personalities in his portrait shots and his storytelling ability throughout all his work. Vague recently travelled to the USA, creating an amazing photo collection of all his various adventures. IZE interviews Justin Vague as our rad person of the week and feature a set of his USA photographs.
When and how did your interest in photography first begin?
It first began when I was in photography class at high school in year 10. I really enjoyed the process of black and white photography in class. My mum was also a keen photographer which had a pretty big influence.
What was your first camera?
I learned on a Pentax k1000 which was the high school’s camera. I loved using it so much that I went and bought my own and I still use it to this day. It’s a great 35mm SLR for any aspiring photographer to learn on because of the built in light meter needle inside the camera’s viewfinder.
Was taking photography from a hobby into making it a career a natural progression, or how did it evolve?
Once I finished high school I was deciding between graphic design and photography, but photography was a clear winner for me, it just worked in my mind a lot better. I then went on to finish a 3 year degree at RMIT and I naturally progressed, emailing various agencies and people I wanted to shoot.
Do you have a dream subject/location that you would love to shoot?
As cliché as it sounds, I want to do a fucking sick fashion campaign on some tropical island.
As a creative, where do you draw inspiration from?
I spend a lot of time looking around at various blogs and magazines. Mag Nation is my favourite magazine destination in Melbourne’s CBD. I also spend a lot of time on Vimeo flicking through short films, documentaries and music videos. I’m also very inspired by the city I live in, I’m always walking around to find new locations to shoot on. I take a quick photos and write the location down on my notes.
Who is your favourite photographer?
I really love the work of UK photographers Dan Wilton and Ben Rayner. I feel like we would enjoy a beer together. We shoot in a very similar style, especially our personal work.
Aside from photography, what other passions/hobbies do you have?
I love a beer and the sunshine smelling the freshly cut green grass. Music listening session is good also. I love listening to Melbourne bands like The Peep Temple, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, The Smith Street Band and King Gizzard. Just good jamming bands pretty much.
You do a lot of film photography, does film win over digital and why/why not?
Film has its purposes and digital has its purposes. I use film on a lot of my subjects because I love to capture that raw look that film gives the subject. The colours of film work well in my style of photography. I only tend to use digital for commercial work.
What is your favourite picture from your USA 2014 trip?
My favourite shot would have to be the picture of the bottle service girls in Vegas spraying champagne everywhere. It’s basically a shot explaining the US. The white teeth, VIP service, money, girls, Vegas, drinking, antics and so on. It was also a pretty fun moment of my trip. I was drenched head to toe after this photo and my camera was dripping in champagne.
Do you have any exciting upcoming projects you can tell us about?
I’m building towards making a mini magazine that features my personal work over the last 5 years. I love to capture my mates around me. Whether it be doing beer bongs, playing wizard sticks or just being fun people. The young Australian adolescents pretty much!