Jono Parker Is The Auckland Photographer That’s Changing The Game
Photography is often seen as a hobby of many and a profession of few. But it’s so pervasive in modern society – everywhere you look, there’s some sort of example of professional photography – it can’t be that uncommon to be paid to be behind the lens right? With the rise of Instagram, everyone with a smartphone became a photographer seemingly overnight (despite most of it being top-down shots of dinner). However, everything starts somewhere. Hobbies become professions, and for Jono Parker, this is exactly what happened.
It was never a goal of Jono’s to become a photographer. Picking up a camera in earnest didn’t happen until he was partway through his architecture degree – he never studied it. That said, it was always an interest, always on the fringe of his life. Photographer started as a hobby, taking photos for university and learning a new type of creative medium were the main drives, and the architecture background gave Jono a unique perspective on his shots. Five years later, Jono finished his degree and went full-throttle into photography.
He took inspiration from many people and places, namely Helmut Newton. Jono’s passion is fashion, but starting off he didn’t really have a clear idea of what he wanted to do or where he wanted to go. He describes his work as “clean,” saying his architecture influences his work quite a bit. Going into a job, the first port of call is a moodboard. This is to generate ideas for the shoot, particularly if it’s a commissioned shoot. The moodboard provides a reference point for Jono and enables him to craft the atmosphere he wants.
Of course, a photographer is just someone with great visual ideas without their gear. Personally, I’m a Nikon man, and Jono prefers Canon, so our flourishing best-friendship came to a premature end… But in seriousness, having a good camera and even better lenses is what sets a professional photographer apart from the iPhone heroes of Instagram. Asking what his favorite piece of gear is, there was a considerable pause for thought. This told me that Jono is a man who doesn’t get a lens or a camera body just because it either fills a spot on his gear shelf, or because people say it’s good. He picks a piece of gear because it gives him further scope to improve his photography, because it works with him, not for him. Jono initially settled on either his 50mm lens, but tossed in the 85mm, 24-70mm and the 70-200mm lenses. However, his favorite “gear” was ultimately natural light. Tricky.
Getting creatively drained happens to everyone, and Jono enjoys using his downtime to eat out. He says he enjoys the art to how it’s presented, much more so than actually eating it (I only agree to an extent, I love eating) and food has become something of a new hobby. Not to the extent photography was back in his uni days, but a nice, predominantly different creative outlet.
Finally, the all important question. The question that has divided humanity since last century. High top or low top Chuck Taylor All Stars?
“High tops, definitely.”
Short, sweet, to the point. Perfect.
Jono is wearing:
Shirt by Stolen Girlfriends Club; Tee by Commoners; Jeans by Acne; the Chuck Taylor All star II by Converse.