We're pretty sure that most photographers don't have quite the Instagram following as Chris Ozer. Currently, over 400,000 people look to the Brooklyn, New York-based photographer for inspiration on the popular photo sharing site.
Though it seems like he's been taking photos his whole life, you may be surprised to find out that the former jazz musician found his true calling only a few years ago, back in September 2011. As he told Everest Journal, “There's this old barn in North Carolina near my mom's house that I took a few photos of at golden hour and posted to Instagram back in September 2011. I think that was the point where things clicked. The barn has a ton of character and so I started to understand what having a strong subject, and good lighting and composition can do for a photo. I've been on the lookout for characters like that ever since.”
To get to know Ozer more, read the whole interview over at Everest Journal. Here was my favorite Q&A.
What sort of legacy do you hope to leave with your work?
“I want to get to the level of someone like Vivian Maier or Henri Cartier-Bresson. It's not that I want to be as good as them or as recognized, but to be able to capture the people and places around me in a way that's wholly organic as they did, and so that someone 50 years from now can look back on my images and instantly feel the mood and emotion of the scene I captured. To me this goes beyond the mechanics of photography we all go through: lighting, composition, subject, depth of field, focus point, f-stops, shutter speed. All of that stuff is just a means to an end.”
Ozer's website divides up his work into only two categories – Portraits and Landscapes. Though it's hard to pick our favorite, today, we decided to spotlight his powerful Portraits. Love how he often shoots people from the back, asking the viewer to fill in their stories.
If this last photo looks familiar, you may remember it from this post, Fall in Love with NYC with Six Talented Instagrammers. (It's when we first came across his fantastic photos.)