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Neil Kremer

Biography

I’m half of a photography duo named Kremer Johnson. (Neil Kremer and Cory Johnson) We specialize in conceptual imagery. As a partnership, we’re able to share responsibilities as well as take advantage of each person’s unique skills. This formula has been working from day one. My first 23 years were spent in Rochester, NY (the home of Kodak) where, like most kids there, I learned the history of photography as well as my way around a camera and the dark room at an early age. I picked up a digital camera in 2012 after an entirely different career ended.


Photographer based in Los Angeles, CA, USA.

https://kremerjohnson.com/



How did you get into the industry?

Picked up a camera. Tenaciously made images. Failed a lot. Got better. Found a voice. Developed a style. Failed some more. Asked successful photographers and buyers a lot of questions. Created a portfolio. Marketed our work. Failed again. Learned from mistakes. Refined the style and the portfolio. More marketing. Got jobs.


Who/what has inspired you in your career? And Why?

I wish I had a mentor. I didn’t go to school for photography nor did I assist. I started a little too late in life for both of those options. For me, it was jump in and see if I could swim. There are countless photographers and directors that I look at for inspiration and lessons that are both technical and artistic. I look to these people because I enjoy their vision as well as their own personalities that I see in their work. I also admire their technical processes. The list is all over the place in terms of style. It’s probably not a good idea for me to make this list because we’re literally bidding jobs against some of these people today, but what the hell, this is an honest list. Dan Winters. Sandro. Margaret Bourke White. Sebastiao Salgado. Annie Leibovitz. Martin Schoeller. Randal Ford. Tim Tadder. Andy Anderson. Chris Crisman. Art Streiber. Miller Mobley. etc. etc. etc. etc. to infinity. I look at a lot of photography. Probably too much.



What has been the highlight of your career so far?

We photographed Cheech Marin. We got along and he invited us to a New Years party at his home. Having a great time with a house full of celebrities, politicians and artists, I got the tap on the shoulder. It was Cheech’s agent: “hey, Neil. Do you want to get high with Cheech and Chong?” Me: “well, yes, yes I do.” So, I did and shortly thereafter I found myself in a corner talking to Tommy Chong for 90 minutes about art, music, politics, prison, aging, acting and how ridiculously high we was. In case you wondered, they get the good stuff.


What has been your hardest lesson to learn?

The message from everyone was the same in the beginning: Stick to one style of photography and DO NOT show anything else. The best analogy I’ve heard to explain why buyers only want specialists is; “if you had leaking pipes in your ceiling, would you call a plumber or a general contractor?’ For the first few years, we thought we could do it all and we couldn’t have been more wrong. The truth is that buyers know what they want and their jobs depend on getting it right. Therefore, they want to hire the person that does that one thing well and does it over and over again. We figured out what we love to shoot and that’s all we shoot. That’s when everything started clicking.


What’s next for you?

Next? As always, it depends on which bids we win. If we’re not going into a production that takes all of our time, we’re working on personal projects. We plan to make as much work as possible before we’re too old to pick up a camera. We have hundreds of concepts that we want to realize. Whether it be personal work or ad campaigns, we want to keep refining our craft and create imagery that people remember.


If you could have any other career, what would it have been?

Chef / Restaurateur. I love to cook, I love managing a service based team and I’m a total food snob.


Portfolio & Behind-The-Scenes

All images are copyright © KREMER JOHNSON PHOTOGRAPHY

I don’t have a lot of flowery descriptions for our work. We tend to make it and allow others to define it. I guess it is called conceptual or narrative driven portraiture. I would love it if you could define it…. please send your view of our work to info@kremerjohnson.com It might become part of our elevator pitch.


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