We had the good fortune of connecting with Josh Wilson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Josh, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Honestly it was a combination of ignorance, fear, and burnout haha. I was ignorant about how hard it would be to start my own brand, I was fearful about not knowing what to do next in life regarding a career, and I was very burnt out from my previous job.
I had been dabbling in photography for about a year and really enjoyed it while I was in a very toxic work environment. Instead of staying in said workplace, I decided to quit while I still had my health. With quitting came the question “OK what now?”. Since I had been doing photography for a tad I figured why not try and pursue that. I had saved up plenty of money from my job so it wasn’t the stupidest decision I could have made. That being said, pursuing photography as a career would have been much easier parallel to having a dependable paycheck.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Q: “…what sets you apart from others” – My style has been constantly evolving while I’ve been improving my skills but I’d say what makes me distinguishable now is my moody yet vibrant photos. It’s kind of a contradiction since it’s almost dull/out of focus but at the same time bright and sharp. I achieved this on accident by shooting some photos underexposed and I loved how they came out and decided to double down on honing that style. That being said, I still have plenty of photos I like that are not in this style haha.
Q: “…what you are most proud of or excited about” – I’m usually proud of whatever my latest shoot is but I find myself liking it less and less after about a week so I try and be proud in the moment but not dwell on it. That kind of deprives me of a chance to critique my work unnecessarily harshly.
Q: ” How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? ” – Plenty of trial and error and it was absolutely not easy. Still isn’t haha. I watched a ton of Youtube videos about the things I didn’t understand regarding photography, took tons of photos (that being the best teacher), and got honest feedback from friends.
Q: ” What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way.” – Be smart about buying your gear. I bought plenty of lights and accessories that I didn’t get much use out of. Find your niche and deep dive with it. Most photographers, including myself but I’m working on it haha, want to focus on taking photos of everything. That’s perfectly fine when you’re just starting since you’re developing your skills and discovering what you like to take photos of but from a business perspective you want to present your niche. If a client is looking for a food photographer, do you think they would be more likely to hire a photographer who has a very diverse portfolio with some foods photos in it or the photographer who specializes in just food photography? It sounds counterproductive but you’ll gain more client work my limiting what photos you present to be exclusively whatever niche you pick. And some good advice I’ve gotten along the way is be as giving as you can without hurting yourself in the process. And take the time to make a contract for any photoshoot you do haha!
Q: What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story? – I graduated with a bachelors in computer science before deciding to do photography. Don’t be afraid to do what you love or to quit what you don’t.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Downtown is always fun in general and as a photographer I love going there. There’s always an event going on, Discovery Green park, and plenty of food spots that I’m still discovering.
Terry Hershey Park is beautiful and plenty of ground to cover for a good walk.
Kim Son in Bellaire has the best dim sum I’ve ever had.
The zoo is always a blast.
I don’t drink (at all) so I’d have to leave that up to them haha.
Bad-Ass Breakfast Burritos has the best breakfast burrito and onion rings I’ve ever tried.
Calliopes makes a mean po’ boy.
Tea + Victory has an amazing collection of board/card games if you want to sit down and game for a bit.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Chris Do from The Futur. He has such a wonderful YouTube channel that not only encourages you as a professional but also teaches you how to be smart with your business decisions and even life choices.