If you’ve been reading us for a while now, you may remember that the topic of our second issue was Twisted. The playful side of turning logic upside down and beating our guts has always caught our attention. This why we have been in love with the works of Jake Casapao since we came across his Instagram profile. Some of the images exhale the exoticism of a scene where you find yourself being the shy observer hidden behind the flowers, while others make you want to stare forever at the quirkiness of the subject that Jake portrays.
But, emotions are not only the game he plays. His creative language includes a studied, off-limits composition and an unconventional use of light that allow you to recognize his style anywhere you see his art. Tempted to find out what’s behind this appealing artist? Go ahead and keep reading, then!
Please tell us a little about yourself, where you are from, and what you do.
When I’m not out taking pictures, I’m either drawing/painting or watching movies. Currently based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Though I am moving to a different state very soon.
How would you personally describe your style of photography? What message/s do you try to convey through your images?
As far as my style of photography goes…well, I like to capture something that is timeless, quirky, and dark.
Which elements of shooting film are you drawn to the most?
What draws me into using film are the unpredictability, the process and development of the photos, and how it goes through different chemicals just to produce an image, the organic look/feel that no camera in the digital age can ever produce without the use of filters or programs.
What would you say is your greatest inspiration?
My greatest inspiration I guess, would be my friend, Maxfield Smith. He’s the reason why I got into photography. His old works are what influenced my style greatly.
In this part of our interview, we get a little more up close and personal with our hero through a handful of questions about the people he finds inspirational, his tools of the trade, shooting routine, and more:
Name someone whose art makes you shiver.
Ren Hang’s work makes me shiver. I love his art! If you haven’t heard of him yet, check him out!
If you had to choose a camera + film to shoot with for the rest of your life, which combo would it be and why?
If I had to choose a camera + film for the rest of my life, it would be my Leica M6 and Kodak Portra in any ISO ranging from 160 to 400.
If you could time travel to the past and be the assistant of a great photographer, who would it be?
It would be Ansel Adams!
Can you share the weirdest situation you’ve faced being a film photographer?
Well, I’m not sure if this would be considered weird, but one time during a photo shoot, the model asked me if I could slap her butt really hard so my hand could leave an imprint on her lovely lovely.
If you had to choose a movie that defines you both, personally and aesthetically, which one would it be?
I love this question. And also a tough one to answer! While there are tons of movies that defines me personally and aesthetically, I would have to say Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Do you remember the photo you took that made you feel proud for the first time? Can you share it with us?
Hmmm… The first photo that made me feel proud for the first time would be a photo I took of a friend with an expired slide film. She was sitting on this large rock by the stream and the lighting was just perfect. Nothing particularly special about the photo, but for someone who’s just starting to learn about lighting and composition, it was a big deal.
At Whattaroll, we believe that inspiration can come from many different sides. Can you write down and share with us a paragraph from the book you’re reading at the moment?
I don’t read books often (though I should); the last book I read was by Yohji Yamamoto’s My Dear Bomb and I remember this part that goes:
“Here are some thoughts on vision. There is not much to the act of developing a project. The important part of a creative endeavour begins with an act of concentrated seeing, focused looking. Creativity will not flow from intellectual manipulations.”
Describe your shooting routine.
I don’t really have a routine, I guess? I keep my camera in my shoulder bag at all times and when something catches my eye, I take it out as quickly and discreetly as I can.
Speaking of portraits, who’s the face you’d love to photograph but haven’t had the chance to have in front of your camera yet?
Oh man! There are so many faces I would love to photograph! But, I think the first (if I ever get the chance) would be the Mizuhara sisters, Kiko and Ashley!
See more of Jake’s work in the link below: