By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com March 12 2011 5:00 AM ET
John Fallon is an editorial fashion, fine art, landscape, and documentary photographer currently residing in Los Angeles. Having lived and spent time in over 30 countries as a photographer, Fallon presents unique perspectives combining reality and surrealism in his diverse portfolio. His work integrates fashion, nature, travel documentary, celebrity portraiture, and video. His ability to marry thought-provoking imagery with sometimes unusual situations asks viewers to reexamine their boundaries and take a step into the unknown. Fallon's work has been featured in numerous magazines, including Elle, Angeleno, DNA, Frontiers, and BPM.
Fallon is also the founder of Love Bully, a nonprofit organization involved in antibullying efforts and suicide prevention, and the cocreator and designer of the eco-friendly organic apparel line Fuze Organics.
Fallon is currently working on a photo book project showcasing a collection of series from his archive and will be showing his work at international art exhibitions this year. For more information go to his website: JohnFallonStudio.com
The Advocate: Why are you a photographer?
John Fallon: Being a photographer was obvious for me at a young age. It was not willed or determined, it just was. Photography inspires me every second of the day. I love to capture moments in time that can never be repeated. I love to tell stories. I feel that photography is a portal for humankind to share thoughts and experiences without imposing them. An image can mean many things and can not tell a lie. My photography is about conveying the things that I see and feel and translating the unspoken emotions to share with others. Sometimes it is about pushing the limits of the boundaries set up by society of what is accepted and beautiful in the mainstream and what is considered not to be. It is sometimes about simplicity and nothing more.
What catches your eye?
It depends on the day. Anything and everything around me catches my eye — you give me more and I will find more, you give me less and I will still find something.
How do you choose your subjects?
It is a combination of choosing my subjects and my subjects choosing me, usually the latter. A thousand differing circumstances contribute to each of them. I prefer to shoot the odd and the ordinary along with what in popular culture is considered beautiful or ugly. I feel that beauty can be summoned from anything if given the chance. I find it is not about the things you see, but about how you see them.
How do you describe your work?
It is a work in progress, inspired by a combination of environment, emotions, and circumstance induced by what I see and feel in everyday life. Experiences I have that need to be transcribed from a feeling or a vision into the reality of a single picture frame. I find that beauty is not just one thing, but it is everything. I like to cross barriers and explore filth, purity, and vulnerability all at once. I also love the imperfections and perfections of each individual person or object I shoot. My work is constantly changing and shifting and always open to possibility.
Tell us about your process or techniques.
I love colorful imagery and the starkness of the polar opposite. I enjoy making the most out of what I have around me, what tools I have to use, what light there is, or what light I can create to illuminate a subject. I love to mix expired film, self-retrofitted cameras, using both digital and film, with the best of the best and whatever other equipment I have. I love grit and filth mixed with colors and sophistication. I enjoy taking several paths to reach any one destination.
What makes a good photograph to you?
Subjectively a good photograph has the ability to tell a complete story from start to finish or sometimes leaving the viewer with even more questions and answers. An image that invokes a flood of specific emotions and feelings in the blink of an eye, that long after the mind has forgotten can be awakened and relived with one simple frame. It is about capturing a moment in time that can never be repeated again.
What artists do you take inspiration from and why?
My mother and father have been a huge inspiration to me, as well as my siblings, friends, and love. I am also very inspired by years of travel and diverse cultures I have been fortunate enough to see. I really enjoy what Romania's Carioca Studio is putting out as well. As for specific artists, the list is far too numerous, but a few of my inspirations would have to include the following: Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, Salvador Dalí, Sebastião Salgado, Ansel Adams, Diane Arbus, Herb Ritts, Eugenio Recuenco, Nick Knight, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Gustav Klimt, Robert Frank, Annie Leibovitz, and Caravaggio. All of these people inspire me in different ways, making me want to push harder each day to create a visual tapestry of life. Each one of them expanding frontiers of their time and creating beautiful, heartbreaking, and sometimes provocative imagery that leaves me to wonder if there is anything that is not possible.