It’s not hard to fall in love with Jory Cordy‘s work. I can see why clients fall in love with him too. Spend an hour with him and you will experience belly laughs, comfort, calm, excitement, inspiration and wonder all balled into one. His images really do speak for themselves and I’m so honored to call him a client and good friend. Jory has gone through quite a transformation this year, moving from digital to film, and breaking out as a solid, confident artist in the luxury wedding market. His new wedding site launched today and I couldn’t be more excited! Be sure to check out the new wedding site, his commercial work, blog and follow his hilarious tweets. Without further ado, the first in my new revealing interview series… Mr. Jory Cordy. [photo above by Michael Chan]
[photo by Fred Egan]
Controversial question first: who would you chose to shoot your wedding (vow renewal) and why?
A Bryan Photo. I love the film documentation from Bryan Johnson and Caleb Chancey and the Super 8mm coverage from Branden Lower. They are amazing guys to hang with and very talented photographers.
You’ve made the leap from digital to primarily film this year. Tell us about the process of that transition and what motivated it.
There is an undeniable characteristic to film that we all love, whether we are aware of it or not. The process really fits into what I’m all about and the experience that I want my client to have. An honest and organic product. Honestly, I was bored with my digital gear. The transition to film gave me a fresh perspective on my approach to shooting and interacting with my subjects. It slows down my shooting process. It allows me to break and give my mind a minute to breathe, while I reload film. Also, shooting digital creates the temptation to overshoot, since there is no time or cost issue involved. Shooting film has allowed me to concentrate on creating stronger but fewer images. I imagine only having about 20 images to tell a story, like I show in my portfolios, and it challenges me to find those magic moments to photograph in order to create a strong visual story. I am simply a fanatic over the results shooting film produces.
You also moved from Texas to L.A.. Tell us about that.
Dallas was a stepping stone to where I was trying to be. L.A. was always on my mind, I just wasn’t sure when I would get here. I kept booking tickets to L.A. to shoot a few friends and music artists. After spending some time here I was confident about my decision to move. I left Dallas in freezing rain and arrived to 65 degrees and cloudless skies in California. Smooth move.
[photo by Michael Chan]
Tell us about your new site and branding materials:
My new website is in no way innovative, but the design is well thought out, clean, and free of elements that would distract from the images. I want to be able to express myself and style in a very subtle yet attractive way, through my branding and physical branding materials, without speaking too loudly. The punch is in the photos. The same goes with my branding materials.
You have a strong commercial brand as well. Tell us about why you decided to separate your commercial work from your wedding work and how that’s strengthened both brands/will strengthen them.
I enjoy both sides of my work greatly but for very similar, but completely different reasons. Shooting for a commercial client, whether it be for a record, a magazine, an actor, or a personal test, is where my creative heart lives. (It’s a place that looks like the inside of the Keebler tree house) I am shooting to create a few solid images to meet the expectations of my client and still retain a creative consistency of my vision. It’s an amazing process. This is what I lose sleep over. Dreaming of what I want to shoot next, who I want to shoot next. With a bride and groom I essentially have the same goals, but my artistic vision is spread over a couple hundred photographs that realistically tell the story of what happened that day. I want the body of photographs to contain a continuity with no obvious disruptions, caused by too many details or portrait session adventures. I want every photograph that comes off of that roll to have significance in the story. I save my elaborate production and direction for the talented souls that play music and pretend for a living. The two styles of shooting definitely inspire each other. The experiences I take away from shooting weddings keep me on my toes during a commercial photo shoot, and my commercial eye lends itself to certain situations during a wedding day. However, the commercial and wedding photography industries are on two different sides of the street, and I want each portfolio to truly represent myself for the respective clients. Art buyers, publicists, and music management need to see exactly who I am and what I am capable of. I don’t want to showcase love and romance, in the fashion of weddings, in my commercial portfolio. I also want my wedding portfolio to be focused, and put together to inspire potential brides. Therefore they remain disconnected, and I believe it creates a stronger brand for both.
What most excites you about the months ahead?
Learning from people that are better than me, taking on new projects to expand my creative boundaries, and shooting lots and lots of new pictures.
Favorite moment you’ve had shooting a wedding recently.
I just shot one of my best friend’s wedding this summer. “Capturing moments“ takes on a whole new meaning when you’re photographing someone close to you. I just played the tears off as sweat. Mid summer in south Louisiana, no problem.
Favorite moment shooting something other than a wedding:
I was shooting an artist, this year in L.A., visiting from London. One shot for himself that he had to have was “near” the Hollywood sign. In an effort to get as close as we could to the sign, we came across a private road and a young jogger that was so excited to have found us searching for the sign. He insisted on walking us up his tried and true route to the sign to touch and take photos on. We did indeed touch and take photos ON the Hollywood sign. It was insane. However, this was seconds before: the alarm sounded, the gentleman instructing us to run down a hill that was impossible to walk down, being chased into hiding by helicopters and evading a squad of L.A.P.D.. (No dramatization)
[photo byJeff Newsom]
You’re a Mammoth Man and have close friendships with some phenomenal photographers. Tell us how those relationships have helped you, future projects, etc.
Relationships with your friends, that you respect as artists, is a privilege. Through these friendships I’ve developed a true band of brothers, as well as learned some priceless skills. Surround yourself with good people.
Tell us a funny photography story.
Long before I switched to shooting film, I showed up to shoot a friend in Laguna with what I thought was my digital Canon. It was not. In my defense the 1V looks identical to the 1Ds. I was forced to shoot a roll of film in a camera that I did not load properly. Clueless of the error, I proceeded to shoot the roll. Fortunately, we shot plenty of photos on a digital Leica he had brought with him, because the roll of film was obviously blank. I like to think Jason Cohen and I are still friends.
Dream celeb client: Bob Dylan.
Describe your work in one word: Existential.
Finish the sentence: I’m dying to shoot a 20×24 Polaroid camera.
What you feel good at: Taking pictures.
What you feel bad at: Interviews.
5 favorite wedding images you’ve shot and why:
1. The color and texture in this image blow my mind.
2. This is my favorite summer wedding image.
3. I really like b&w photographs.
4. I love Ben Rector as a blur, and the golden backlight on these guys.
5. The only thing happening in this photograph is the subtle motion of the water. I like that.
5 favorite commercial images you’ve shot:
2. Days Difference right under the Hollywood sign. You don’t get many overcast days in L.A., that’s why I like this image so much.
3. This is an out take from a shoot with the Writer of Peach Plum Pear. It’s my favorite shot from the shoot.
5. Mark Brooke diving from 30 ft, pretty epic.
Favorite travel memory this year:
Park City, Utah with my friends this past winter was insane. I’m an aspiring pro snowboarder (sarcasm) and during a break, (muscle cramp) mid-run, I sat in the most amazing spot on earth watching snow slowly burry me. It was a chilling, quiet noise and could have fallen asleep if not for the frightening thought of being snowed over and rode over by Matt Sloan on his speed board. I got up and tried to finish my run, but kept having to break again. The first experience was inspirational, the third was annoying, but the finish was victorious.
What inspires you?
I find inspiration in the things I surround myself with daily. Music, photographs, fashion, films, amazing people and family, and the success of other creative people.
What is your most significant photography accomplishment thus far?
Coming to a realization of who I was as a photographer, and what I really want to shoot. Which has made it possible for me to create a foundation for the future of my portfolio.
What do you love about weddings?
I enjoy that the story is non-fiction, and not produced. There is freedom in spontaneity.
If you and Val got to have another dream wedding, tell us what you would do:
We would probably find a way to get all of friends and family to the spot where we honeymooned, Kauai. We had an amazing week there.
What’s in your camera bag?
Business cards, small black notebook and a Pilot Precise V5 ink pen (my favorite ink pen ever), sharpie for tagging rolls of film, a Contax 645, Mamiya RZ67, Yashica T4, Canon AE-1, Lomo AC-1, and couple prime lenses for the previously mentioned cameras. I randomly have grass, leaves and parking tickets tucked away in there.
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I studied Fashion Design for 5 years. I spent most of that time studying fashion photographs and drawing up sketches of women’s garments that I conned my mom into sewing for me. She is 150% faster than me on a sewing machine and my garments were always due 24ish hours after the commission. My fascination with fashion photography is what drove me to start shooting people.
[photo by Fred Egan]
What is the Jory Cordy wedding experience?
Every experience is different for my clients and myself. I find ways to adapt to each couple and react to their personalities. I don’t want my presence to be overwhelming on the day of the wedding but I will definitely leave my mark
3 most valuable things to you in business:
Passion, honesty, and relationships.
Best advice for new photographers:
The best thing to do starting out is to shoot a lot of pictures and find a way to be unique. The rest is in your personality.
[photo by Jeff Holt]
Is it photography for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
As much as I love photography, I am really just an artist. I would like to start pushing myself into the film industry, producing and writing.
Add a question here for us: : )
Who writes these questions? Also, what’s the next project for Lara Casey?
Answer: I wrote them with love and care just for you Mr. Cordy ; ) Glad you enjoyed them. Next project: Conquering the world with you. Oh, and turning 30. That’s a project.
Have a question for Jory? Fire away…