On this episode of the podcast I sit down with automotive and lifestyle photographer and commercial director Jeff Stockwell to talk about how he turned a professional career as a rollerblader into becoming a sought after photographer working with some of the biggest car companies in the world. Growing up in San Clemente Jeff always felt like an outsider because the things he was most passionate about seemed to be outside the norm of those around him. Although he lived in a beach town, he had little interest in the ocean, and while surrounded by skateboarding, he gravitated more towards rollerblading and quickly began to gain recognition in what was then an exploding sport. Through competing, video parts, and team sponsorships Jeff traveled the world and began to form the foundation of what would later become a visual aesthetic that would serve him well. Although he was one of the top pros in the county, roller blading wasn't quite cutting it for paying the bills and so Jeff stayed close to the industry of his other passion....cars. He worked in a machine shop and continued to learn more and more about the mechanical world and figured that would most likely represent his future. It wasn't until years later when an opportunity arose to assist a busy automotive photographer that Jeff started to realize that he could combine his love of cars with his creative side and became fascinated with the world of photography. Jeff put in his time working his way up in the assisting world, but before long he began to attract the attention of other art directors and decided to set out on his own. The rest is history, and Jeff has proven he has his own vision as an artist and the drive it takes to succeed in a very competitive industry. During our conversation we talk about constantly shooting test work and how that helps you to not only stay sharp, but to remain relevant in the midst of so may other shooters, what it was like making the decision to go out on his own after years of steady work as an assistant, how his love of vintage clothing, architecture, and cars influences his photography, and the advice he gives to others coming up in the creative world.
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