Back Issue__ Jody Rogac
hearty's featured artist of the month, England-born photographer Jody Rogac, has something to smile about. In a few short years, since her graduation from The Emily Carr Institute, Jody has quickly become one of the most sought-after up and coming fashion photographers in North America, working for publications like Rolling Stone, i-D, Corduroy, Pyramid Power, Nixon and many more. I'm not going to sit here and try to describe all the reasons why Jody's photography is wildly successful. First off, I'd be punching out of my weight class, and secondly, words just aren't necessary. The work speaks for itself. So, while her photos are gabbing all over the pages of this issue, I sat down with Jody to let her do some of the talking too.
How is NY treating you?
Great! I've always wanted to live in New York, as clich√© as that is, but there is just so much opportunity here.
Growing up in Canada, did you always have big dreams of flash and photos?
I was always into art: painting, drawing, taking photos here and there. I wouldn't say that I always knew this would be my career from day one. I kind of stumbled upon photography in high school. I took a course and loved it, but didn't revisit the idea until I went to college. So, one day I took my little portfolio to a National Portfolio day at Emily Carr University [in Vancouver, B.C] and they invited me into the photo program.
So, basically, you were a natural.
Aw, man, I'm blushing.
How did you manage to get your name out there?
That is the hardest part. I mean, no one will hire you if no one knows you are alive. To have photography as a career, you have to put on blinders and really focus. You need to forget about everyone else and just push it. Being persistent was the best thing I did. I made myself a website, which is the easiest way to self-promote, and then sent my link around. I also made printed promo mailers and sent them around.
What was your first big shoot?
My first big editorial job was for Monocle Magazine about a year and a half ago. They sent me up to Alaska to photograph Sarah Palin. No one really knew who she was at the time, but I guess they were on to something.
Whoa, Palin! What was she like?
She was a really nice lady. I went up to her home in Juno with a writer from New York. Palin was charismatic and lovely. I met her kids, strolled around the yard and the lake.
Did she barbecue any wild animals or give you pro-life lessons?
Ha ha. No, but she did have antlers on the wall.
Shocking. So, you have been doing tons of commercial fashion work. What kind of things inspire you with fashion shoots?
I'm more inspired by people rather than clothes. I like to treat fashion like portraits because they go hand in hand. I mean, you're not shooting a model, you are shooting a person. I like to display character.
I love the stuff you did with Athena, the photo that is featured on our cover this month. She wears her personality all over herself. That shoot must have been fun.
Yeah. Athena was one of favorite subjects. She is so confident and beautiful. We've actually committed to turning our shoots into a long term project where we meet up four times a year to document her. No matter where we are in the world, we will make it happen. There is something so special about her that I love exploring with the camera. I feel like the camera gets so much out of Athena. She is amazing.
Everyone has idols. What photographers inspire you?
Diane Arbus is my favorite photographer. The way she frames and the way she connects to people is all so inspirational.
And on that note, any advice for those out there who maybe be admiring you?
If you love something and it's all you want to do, just do it.
You sound like my mother. Can you make me cookies and tell me I'm special?