Jeff Hodsdon knows how to capture feeling.
And he’s doing it through moving portraits. Jeff’s mastered the art of photos that move, but only slightly. With Instagram video, Jeff captures singular moments through multiple frames.
In our interview, Jeff describes how he got his start in photography, why you should treat your camera like a pen, and the importance of shooting when moved by a positive feeling. Jeff is taking over our Instagram feed this week, so be sure to follow along.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m in New York City by way of Califonia. My focus is on taking images of people. Lately, my time is spent walking the streets of New York in search of people who appear to be in an interesting moment — and photographing them. I post to an Instagram account (@the.moments) and blog called “The Moments” themomentsblog.com
How did you get involved in photography?
It interests me the way a camera can record what you see so quickly. Like a futuristic pen that writes down what you see perfectly. It is how I can communicate something I see — I’m a horrible writer.
What’s your favorite thing to photograph?
People in their environment.
When did you start making moving portraits?
6 months ago is when I built the camera to take them. I played around with what I could capture. I started to do only portraits with it. 3 months ago I decided to post to a dedicated Instagram account.
Why do you like moving portraits over photography?
I consider it photography — they’re images that represent something I see. Not enough occurs in the moment (which is under a second) to really amount to time elapsing. So it still feels like a single moment. I feel like if you start to view them at any point of it playing — it says the same thing. As opposed to a video at normal time speed where you could miss something. And with the the latest Instagram version — they’re displayed and viewed the same. You scroll by and they just start moving once it’s loaded. Without play, scrobble, pause, etc control buttons — it’s just a photo that starts to move.
Who inspires you?
Bill Cunningham, Scott Schuman, Martin Munkacsi, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Annie Leibovitz, Slim Aarons, Daniel Arnold
What’s your favorite medium?
Video on Instagram
What do you like about mobile photography?
I takes less than a second to make something visible to the whole world for free. It’s like a mic that’s hooked up to millions of people in your pocket. You post anything anytime. Bright Retina displays.
Any advice for newcomers to the photography world?
Treat a camera like you would a pen and not a gadget. Turn it into a single button that records what you see through the frame of a lens. Refrain from reviewing every shot. Have a positive feeling about your subject or environment — then shoot that feeling.
Do you have a favorite photograph you’ve ever taken?
I enjoy all the photos. Recently, I shot a women in the Meatpacking District of New York who was wearing a camouflage sweater. The wind unintentionally blew her hair across her face to give a camouflage effect. I thought that was cool.
Anna Lizaur is a Marketing Manager with about.me. She graduated from the University of Virginia. Anna is fluent in Spanish and can count to 100 in Chinese.