Joe Perri: Thrill of Exploring

Where are you from and where are you based at the moment?
I was born and raised in south Florida, and am currently based in Brooklyn, splitting time between here and Los Angeles.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m 28 years old and grew up in a small town outside of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I’m a pretty curious person that always lived for the thrill of exploring the depths of whatever I was involved in. But I always had a desire to seek past what I knew and understand. I left home at a young age and began traveling. Without really knowing it ignited my quest of finding harmony between people and the places we inhabit. Making photographs became my outlet of sharing these discoveries.

Dream job when you were a child?
I played sports a lot growing up so being a professional athlete was definitely something I aspired.

Can you tell us your source of inspiration? How do you keep it interesting and get yourself out of a creative rut?
It’s hard to determine sometimes because it’s both a conscious and subconscious process. A lot of times it comes as a flashing light when you don’t expect, but at this point I’m pretty susceptible to that and try and act as I feel it. Although over time I’ve recognized what ignites inspiration for me and try to feed myself when I’m hungry. Travel has always been something that helps me get out of my create ruts. I like the idea that you can just go somewhere and respond to something. A lot of times it’s a story or subject you can’t identify with, but the curiosity of it sparks the inspiration. To me that always felt like a very intuitive and natural way to make work when I was feeling lost.

When you are shooting how much of it is instinctual vs planned?
It depends on the project really, but I’d say it’s a mix of both. A lot of times I go into things with a loose idea of what I’m seeking, but never try to create boundaries around that. Leaving room for serendipitous moments is a huge part of my process.

How would you describe your connection with the camera while you are shooting?
I never saw my camera as something that made good pictures for me, but a tool that allowed me to control how I wanted to share my perspective. I’m really into dissecting scenes as I’m shooting, finding details in the mundane that interest me. Seeing through a frame allows me to isolate the subtle things that sometimes don’t translate to the naked eye. It’s interesting to see where your eye goes when you’re given framed boundaries. I learn a lot about myself through the frames that I choose to make.

Could you tell us about the best project that you have done?
I spent a couple week in Rio De Janeiro Brazil photographing a project last year. I dove into the lives of individuals I knew nothing about and shared their passion for life. I felt really connected to the work that came from it because the culture really resonated with me and the stories I was able to share felt important.

Can you define your photography in three words?
Emotive, cinematic, ambiguous.

Whose work has influenced you most?
William Eggleston, Gregory Crewdson, Todd Hido, Christopher Anderson, Jamie Hawksworth.

Are you a detail oriented person?
Definitely. Details shape my perception on the world.

What is your favorite travel destination?

What city do you like the most?
Mexico City.

What are the things that you value the most?
Passion, Vulnerability, and open mindedness.

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