Joe Z.: Storytelling with an iPhone

Taking photos and sharing with friends have become the trends, nowadays. However, people often worry about the quality of pictures taken from the mobile phone. Are you considering getting an expensive professional camera for being a photographer? You don’t necessary need to buy an expensive camera to become a photographer. Joe, a photographer, who claims to only use mobile phone to take picture, has become one of the most popular Instagram account user. His inspiring and extraordinary photos were taken while he travels around the world. We had the chance to get to know him in an interview. Here is the conversation we had.



So first things first, tell me a little bit about your story how long have you become a photographer?

First of all, I have to say that I’m not doing photography for a living; my real career is an entrepreneur, managing a fleet of trucks in a rural area of Thailand. It started around 4-5 years ago when I tried to take a photo with my mobile phone.  I learned to adjust the coloring and set interesting effects via mobile phone. In the Instagram era, it is  my favorite hobby. I can say that it is my daily routine. Everyday after I finish work in the morning, I will drive out from my home office and let myself be creative even though there is not much of a scenic view around my neighborhood.

How do you define your personal style aesthetic and how do you apply it in photography?

Many people remember me from the #joez_reflection theme. I’m not saying this is my style, but I do enjoy the shadows reflected from the water during the rainy season. Lately, I take my chances; it is an amusing activity to me.


You’re constantly traveling the world, taking photos and running workshops in different cities, what are your favorite subjects and locations?

I admit that I have less of a chance to travel around the world due to my business. There are only 2-3 times a year that I can travel to another city or country. Moreover,  I don’t think that I have a favorite city yet. Everywhere seems attractive and beautiful in its own way.



Which photographers have influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking and photographing?

At first, I took photos as a photo diary, but some Instagramers have influenced me in terms of how they made such unique photos with their phones. For example, @_ekalex influenced my shooting and positioning.


What is a significant new trend that it is emerging, and how do you see it evolving?

I think trends are changing everyday. Some photos we think are so fashionable today, might be out-of-date real soon. Also, it depends on our focus. Someone’s out-of-date photo could be a lot more meaningful to someone else.

Can you give me some tips on packing for travel with camera gear and the changing weather conditions?

I don’t have any photo taken with a DSLR on my Instagram. So, I couldn’t recommend much on camera gear. For me, just a good waterproof case is okay. However, in my point of view, if you are in a beautiful place with suitable light, whatever you use for taking a shot, DSLR or mobile phone, the result should comes up brilliant as well.


What does the future hold for you; what is next?

I think my life would be the same.

Finally, do you follow any philanthropic causes and how do you see them impacting our world?

I don’t follow any specific philanthropic causes at the moment, but I really appreciate people and organizations who do what they do.


Photo Credits: Joe Z.

About the Author /

Born and raised in Taiwan, went to schools in New York, Lydia is a marketing major graduate student in New York University now. After graduating from Parsons the New School for Design, she worked for couple big brand company like Giorgio Armani. After having experiences in different fields, she found her passion in data analysis. Love design, food, and technology.


Post a Comment

Scroll Up