Author Archives: justinlaipictures


Sam Jones has been my favorite photographer for a while now. After stumbling on his book Then and Now, I was completely hooked. 


Sam Jones particularly stands out to me as a professional photographer because it’s evident in his work that he develops a unique relationship with his subjects. His subjects for the most part always seem extremely comfortable and in their element; they always look like they are having fun. Sam Jones is my favorite photographer because I feel like he brings out what I like the most about photography; making people look good, feel comfortable, and look absolutely crazy. I feel like I oftentimes get caught up in the technical aspect of photography, and my more open and creative side often suffers. Photographers like Sam Jones remind me that your work will look the best when you’re having the most fun. 




As a Multimedia major, I am constantly looking for different outlets of inspiration and creativity outside of photography. Although I could never call myself a cinephile, I do love how films can seamlessly blend together cinematography, dialogue, music, and tone to create a truly transcendent work of art. 

I think that The Tree of Life does an excellent job of combining these different creative elements to create a true masterpiece. The Tree of Life is an unusually ambitious movie; director Terrence Malick attempts to seamlessly blend a young boy’s lose of innocence with the evolution of the universe, and does a superb job. Malick’s creation scenes are primarily done by hand, with little or no CGI; the results are absolutely stunning. Furthermore, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki’s shots are stunning to say the least. His crisp shots of the suburban Texas landscape juxtaposed with the simulated creation scenes create a timeless film. 

The Tree of Life was such a strong inspiration for me because I feel like Terrence Malick did such a fantastic job of bringing everything together. No single medium in The Tree of Life out shadowed the other. Malick succeeded in creating a creative masterpiece that transcended just film, photography, cinematography, or music, and if you have not yet seen the film, I highly recommend that you do. 

Student Presentation Responses

Of all of the student presentations that were given out in class, the two that stood out to me were Berangere’s and Nora’s. 


First off, I enjoyed Berangere’s presentation for a number of reasons. Her set photography was great; I loved how she shot in 35mm black and white. I haven’t’ seen any set photography done in film in a while, and it almost felt like I was on the set of a 60’s or 70’s film.

I also loved the photographer she chose to highlight as inspiration, Josef Hoflehner. I have always been a fan of high contrast black and white, and his striking compositions portrayed iconic landscapes in a very interesting light. 

The photographer that Berangere disliked was “interesting”. I found his work borderline cheesy and almost fake. However, at the same time, I almost feel like the photographer (Gary Tyson) was catering to a completely different clientele. His work seemed much more commercial, and although I wasn’t a fan of his work either, I wouldn’t necessarily call him a “bad photographer”. 

Nora’s presentation also stood out for me. I particularly loved the environmental portraits of her friends in their respective bedrooms and workplaces. Although they were obviously posed, her subjects also seemed extremely casual and comfortable. 

I also really enjoyed how Nora chose Piet Mondrian as a source of inspiration. Mondrian is also a huge inspiration of mine, and although he isn’t a photographer, I still feel like I truly connect with his work. I find it fascinating how different mediums of art are so connected, and how they can overlap and influence one another. 


Bergamot Station

My favorite exhibit at Bergamot Station was the collection of Music/Rock and Roll photography. One of my favorite photographers in the exhibit was Mark Seliger, who captured dramatic portraits of iconic musicians like Johnny Cash, Kurt Cobain, and Willie Nelson in large format film. I was particularly drawn to the detail in the prints, as well as the dynamic level of tones. 

My favorite print was Don Hunstein’s photograph of Bob Dyland and Suze, New York 1960. The photo perfectly captures the moment; Dyland and Suze briskly walking through the New York winter air, with cars from the sixties on either side of the couple. Hunstein shoots from below, and it looks like Bob and Suze don’t even see him as they’re approaching closely. 





SF Rasputin

San Francisco Continued

Vintage 1960s Sportcoat

I’ve been looking around for a nice sport coat for a while now, and I stumbled upon a vintage 1960s unconstructed sport coat at a thrift store on Haight and Ashbury. It’s easily the best purchase I’ve made in a while. I definitely need to hit up more thrift stores when I’m back in LA. 



San Francisco

I’m currently on spring break, and my buddies and I decided to go to San Francisco for the day. Hit up Union Square, Palace of Fine Arts, Haight/Ashbury, and Twin Peaks. What a beautiful city. More photos to come. 



Twin Peaks


Palace of Fine Arts