Since its inception, photography has had the unique role of both capturing spontaneous moments while also being a medium for staged visual art. Unique is the photographer who has the freedom to express themselves in both.
I first met Lee Roy Jason as he was documenting concerts and gave us some of the best shots of the old Kool Out Live series. Since then, I’ve witnessed some incredible projects from studio portraits, to fashion, to location shoots across the world.
Kool Out sat down with Lee Roy to discuss insights into his past and the present state of photography today.
Being the son of a prestigious South African photographer, do you feel this heavily influenced your decision to get into the art?
It was more indoctrination than influence, my father always said to me that I can’t be policeman or fireman and that I had to be a photographer. I tried running away from it but I kept going back to it especially as a last resort when I needed to pay for extra stuff and survival. That’s how the nickname “Twigglestix” came about.
How do you feel the role of the photographer has changed from your father’s generation to yours?
These days, there’s No unified cause, say like in my father’s generation when they documented the struggle. With us, there is a lack of understanding of the art. There’s more plagiarism, not much originality.
I see the state of photography in a very similar way as DJing. With the advances in technology and availability of high quality cameras and filters/programs, photography has become more accessible to a much wider range of people. How do you separate yourself from the new generation of part-time photographers?