If you ever wanted to see some epically awesome action-packed photos, Justin Umphrey would be the guy you go to. His hyperrealistic take on sports photography seriously makes you wonder if his images are photos or simply just illustrations – when really it’s kind of a little bit of both. Creator of Jump Free Photos, Justin also dabbles in other subjects such as landscapes, animals, people, kids – you name it, he’s got a picture of it. But hey, we’ve done enough talking, we’ll let him explain all that good stuff to you.
TS: How long have you been doing photography? How did you get into it?
JU: I’m actually a television editor by day and a photographer during all the other available time. I’ve been doing photography as a creative outlet/hobby for a little over a year now. I borrowed a friend’s camera once, got hooked, and went out and bought a whole bunch of gear after that and really dove into it.
TS: Favorite kind of photography? Favorite subject to photograph?
JU: The reason why I love photography so much is because it allows me to bring visions to life that I have in my head. That’s why most of my work is composite. For me, clicking the shutter button is only the beginning of the full process. All the magic happens in Photoshop and Cinema 4D. There’s an average of about 20hrs. of post processing work for each of my composite photos. I really love the challenge of trying create exactly what I see in my head. My goal is to create one single impactful image that matches my vision. I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a candid photographer or wedding photographer, stuff like that. I just don’t think I’m very good at it. I’m more into the commercial type work. I also really love shooting landscapes and architecture.
TS: What’s the craziest photoshoot you’ve ever been on?
JU: I do a lot of large shoots for the television company I edit for. Those shoots are always crazy dealing with clients, producers, difficult talent etc.
TS: We saw many sports related shots at your show in Costa Mesa, is there a reason you’re so into sports photography?
JU: I grew up in a very sports related family. My dad played for the NY Giants for several years and my sister and I played sports our entire lives. I just seem to be most confident and comfortable behind the lens when shooting sports. I still have a TON of sports photos I need to edit from my last shoot that I will be posting soon. I just have to find the time due to how many hours of post processing work is required on my images.
TS: What if you lived in a world where photography didn’t exist? What would you be doing?
JU: I think I would just find another medium to bring my visions to life whether it is painting, drawing, motion picture etc. I spent my entire life as a child in my room drawing or creating something. I’m a typical lefty.
TS: Dream photoshoot? You can be on the back of a dinosaur fighting meteors or simply at the beach shooting waves, whatever you want. There are no rules. Go.
JU: Oh if I had it my way I would be a traveling fly fishing photographer for a few publications. I love the country and I love fly-fishing. I’m really big on the outdoors; I wear my cowboy boots everyday and spend my summers in Colorado in the river with a fly rod in hand.
TS: Any upcoming projects?
JU: I’m conjuring up a few ideas at the moment. I’m going to really push my visual creativity to the limit on my next project, which I hope to have done around the New Year.
TS: You’re stuck on an island, what would be….
The one camera you would wield? (FYI you are stuck on an island with a dark room as well with a sufficient amount of film):
Probably a Polaroid camera. I love the sounds it makes and waiting for the print to develop.
The only restaurant based there:
Ruth Chris steakhouse! I almost named a sushi restaurant but then realized I’m on an island I can just go get my own fish!
The photo that you would keep with you:
Photos I took of my wife and my dog.
TS: Any songs/bands you can’t get your mind off of at the moment?
JU: Just COUNTRY!
TS: Any upcoming shows?
JU: Nothing yet, maybe sometime next year when I have a bunch of new work to present!
Introducing awesome people, one interview at a time,
Teresa and Melissa