The first time I met Justin was on set of a footwear look book shoot almost two years ago. He arrived at the first location with camera options for days. Film, digital, Polaroid, you name it. It's these characteristics that set Justin apart from the rest: his attention to detail. His ability to get the money shot.
Today, Justin has perfected his style both behind and in front of the camera. When he walks into Oro Bar and Bakery, saying hello to friends behind the bar and sharing his newest Hypebeast spread, it's easy to see why Scott Schuman personally requested he join his team, and why he's photographed fashion weeks around the globe.
Name Location Occupation
Introduce Oro! What is it that you like about this coffee shop?
I really just enjoy the laid back atmosphere. Being able to drink a glass of wine while flipping through magazines or chillin’. It’s honestly just a good home spot. All the bartenders and staff are nice and I feel just at home. It’s like a second home. And my office.
What makes it inspiring?
I don’t know if it’s necessarily what the coffee shop is that inspires me. It’s what it does for me. It allows me to not think so much about what’s outside the door. When I come in here I can just relax and not think too hard about what’s going on. That allows me--if I’m flipping through magazines or I’m just listening to music zoning out or flipping through Instagram, whatever, I can let my mind roam. That’s the important part about trying to stay inspired.
Tell us a little bit about the man behind the camera. Give us a typical day in the life.
It’s always random. I think that’s why I like working for myself. You set your own schedule. If I want to wake up at 10 or 11--I usually don’t, but I guess I can. I’m always thinking of new ideas that I can pitch. Or just trying to stay in front of people. I’m always thinking of what creative ideas I can do. I have meetings during the week. But just always sort of brainstorming and trying to stay in contact with people. In the evening I usually have dinner or I’m at Oro having a glass of wine writing or reading. Just doing shit like that I guess.
Since starting your career in fashion photography, have you had any “pinch me” moments?
The first one was when I got a call from Scott Schuman [of The Sartorialist] to work for him as his men’s editor. I was like “why me?” You know, like, it was fucking awesome. It was one of those things where it’s like this is the start of something. I feel something good about life.
Another big moment would be--I decided in 2013 there were a couple of things I wanted to get out of the year. At the top of the goal list was having my first editorial shot, and in December--it took the whole year--but in December I got the call from both Hypebeast and High Snobiety to shoot three editorials [two of which come out in March] and I was like “mission accomplished.”
Tell us about your outfit on today's coffee outing.
I have sort of a uniform and I always stick to it. Today I’m wearing Nike sneaker boots. These shorts were made for Jay Z by Public School--they sent him a bunch of custom stuff for his tour and he took everything except these. I put them on and they fit so I’m like “alright I’m rollin’ with this!”
What’s your order?
I went with a cortado today. It’s usually that or an americano. I know nothing about coffee, but sometimes I enjoy it and sometimes it’s a functional thing.