Photographer Spotlight: Justin Hollar

California-born photographer Justin Hollar picked up a camera at age 12 to document his friends' surfing exploits.

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Justin Hollar
Justin Hollar disocvered a talent for photography while shooting his friends' athletic exploits in southern California. "My friends and I would film each other surfing and snowboarding, and I remember really loving the documentary aspect of capturing all those moments," says Hollar.
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Justin Hollar
Justin Hollar first discovered a talent for photography while shooting his friends' athletic exploits in southern California. "My friends and I would film each other surfing and snowboarding, and I remember really loving the documentary aspect of capturing all those moments," says Hollar.
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Justin Hollar
As it turned out, Hollar -- whose father works as a still-life photographer in California -- had a particular flair for fashion images. "I had a really amazing teacher, Paul Jasmin, while I was attending Art Center College of Design, who helped me realize that the photos I wanted to take, and took naturally, could have a place in the fashion world," he explains. "I guess it's just the versatility of [fashion], and the fact it tends to be more experimental and mood-based than some of the other genres."
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Justin Hollar
Indeed, many of Hollar's images take on a kind of golden, cinematic quality -- something he attributes to a lifelong fascination with film. "I'd say I'm more influenced by film than photography," says Hollar, who cites directors Wong Kar-Wai and Roy Andersson as early inspirations.
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Justin Hollar
Refreshingly, Hollar admits to gravitating towards "naturally pretty," but not necessarily conventionally beautiful, subject matter. "Whether it's a landscape or a person or whatever," he says. "I don't like to have a lot of hand in manipulating what's in front of me. It's more so finding what's already there and enhancing it -- taking something that's beautiful to me and creating this other ethereal level for it."
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Justin Hollar
While his commercial work for the likes of Anthropologie and Madewell keeps him busy, Hollar's rare free time is devoted to compiling and developing Kodachrome slides from his grandfather. "It's all I can really thing about right now," he says. "They're so incredible, and I can't wait to get them out into the world for people to see. I'm obsessed with them!"
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