Kent Johns Parkour Photographer on www.urbanfreeflow.com 10.jpg

Kent Johns

In the Artist Spotlight series we’re featuring established photo- and videographers from within the parkour community, who somehow stand out with their works.

We want to get to know the minds behind the art, what approach they take and learn how they got where they are today.

Because we believe there is something to learn for our own journey from everyone we meet,
we’ll give you the key takeaways at the bottom of every article that you can apply in your own life. Starting with Kent John’s

It’s the principles he followed to discover his passion, to overcome difficult obstacles and the little life-hacks that made his life more joyful.

Kent also shares what equipment he uses for his astonishing landscape photography. 

Take some time for each of the following ten pictures to get the most out of it. What makes them special, what different? We want to hear what you think – leave your thoughts in the comment section at the bottom.

Kent Johns Parkour Photography on the Urban Freeflow Blog: http://bit.ly/1tgzIfE

Kent Johns Parkour Photography on the Urban Freeflow Blog: http://bit.ly/1tgzIfE

Kent Johns Parkour Photography on the Urban Freeflow Blog: http://bit.ly/1tgzIfE

I shot this at just before 6am, right after sleeping in my car for a few short hours. I had seen this lake in images before, it was one of the most intense sunrises I’ve ever gotten to witness.

Kent Johns Parkour Photography on the Urban Freeflow Blog: http://bit.ly/1tgzIfEKent Johns Parkour Photography on the Urban Freeflow Blog: http://bit.ly/1tgzIfEKent Johns Parkour Photography on the Urban Freeflow Blog: http://bit.ly/1tgzIfE

Kent Johns Parkour Photography on the Urban Freeflow Blog: http://bit.ly/1tgzIfE

Simple and sweet, this shot is just from an evening cruising around with friends and taking photos. This is purely a reminder to enjoy the little things.

Kent Johns Parkour Photography on the Urban Freeflow Blog: http://bit.ly/1tgzIfEKent Johns Parkour Photography on the Urban Freeflow Blog: http://bit.ly/1tgzIfE

Kent Johns Parkour Photography on the Urban Freeflow Blog: http://bit.ly/1tgzIfE

This shot is the peak moment of one of the very best days of my life. We spent most of the day at Point Reyes, California and got absolutely drenched from a crazy storm. Absolutely wiped, I asked Michael to lay down for this photo.

Kents pictures always seem to be part of a greater story. We wanted to know how his personal story relates and asked him why he chose to become a photographer in the first place.

Funny enough, I don’t really ever think I chose to be a photographer. It’s pretty cool because it happened very naturally through parkour. With travels to jams and events, I found myself shooting photos to capture the places we were experiencing.

Eventually I just wanted to get better at taking photos as a skill and started putting a bit more time into learning photography. Then in November 2014, I had a freak injury and broke my tibia and fibula. This was the first major period in my life that I couldn’t put my creative energy into parkour.

I knew that recovery would be an incredibly difficult process without a creative outlet, so that was the point in time that I decided to really dedicate myself to becoming a more skilled photographer. It wasn’t even until about a year ago that I considered myself a ‘photographer’, up until then I was just running around with a camera. Not a whole lot has changed!

 

What advice do you give someone who wants to create content that truly stands out?

“Same as parkour. Do it as much as you can. Try new things. Meet like-minded people. Travel.”

It comes down to consistent practice. Just like with parkour, I find to make the most progress when I meet people who inspire me and make me think about what I am doing from a different perspective.

That’s what it’s all about, I think, it’s meeting people and making connections.

If you are having fun, it will be apparent in your work. As for creating a unique style, find people who have a style that you really enjoy, and try to learn how to emulate it. I’m not saying that you should copy people’s work, but learning how your favorite photographer creates their images will give you much more control over how you make yours. Try lots of different things!

What does your all-time camera setup include?

What I can afford! Honestly though, I don’t have crazy amounts of gear. I just work with what I have and try to really know those bodies/lenses to have my process as dialed in as possible. But for those who are curious, my setup is:

Canon 6d
Canon 24-105mm f4 L
Tamron 15-30mm f2.8
Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art

…and that’s pretty much it! I shoot virtually all of my portrait work on my Sigma 35, and most of my landscapes on my Tamron 15-30. If I had to stick with one lens, it would be the Sigma 35, nothing can rival how sharp prime (fixed) lenses are, and 35mm is a great all around focal length.

Whoa, awesome! These are our key takeaways from Kent’s answers:

  • Allow your curiosity to take over and experiment with new or old skills that you’ve always wanted to learn. Even though it might feel silly at first, think of it that way:  it’s possible that you’ve just picked up what will cause the turning point in your life.
  • Kent used his ‘low’ when he was injured to shift focus on another area, photography.
    You decide how you respond to the difficult times in life learn to see opportunities where others blame bad luck. An ankle sprain? Great chance to master handstands.
  • Even though finding one’s talent or passion feels like a very personal benefit, only when meeting new people, exchanging unequal perspectives and learning from our heroes is when we can step up to the next level.
    Don’t be shy, ask those who you look up to for small gestures of help. If they can, they’ll try to find a way to help you. Just remember you will do the same for someone who looks up to you in the future – and be aware that everyone has to set priorities for him- / herself. So don’t be disappointed if someone doesn’t get back to you. Just try to reach out someone whom you’re closer to.

TO GET MORE INSPIRATION ON HOW TO SHOOT CREATIVE PARKOUR PHOTOGRAPHY, FIND KENT’S RECENT PARKOUR FOCUSED WORKS HERE

What is your dream? What do you want to live, but you just don’t know how to start? Let us know in the comments below.