Artist spotlight: capturing lives on film
Growing up, Joey Ozol had never used a camera. His family didn’t even own one.
In high school, a friend let him borrow a camera and from that moment he knew photography was something he wanted to pursue.
Ozol, a 23-year-old Journalism major at NIC, uses his photography to tell a story.
Ozol said he wants his pictures to look journalistic and for his audience to see different lifestyles through the subject’s eyes.
“I’ve never had an interest in anything commercial related,” Ozol said. “I document the trips I go on with my friends. I like doing something interesting and documenting it.”
He takes pictures of anything and everything, including hiking and camping trips, skateboarding and his travels to Europe.
He takes most of his pictures using film cameras, instead of digital. He even develops his own film.
“I dropped digital because I didn’t like what I was making,” Ozol said. “I went with film to be more specific with what I’m shooting.”
Although he admits working with film can be a struggle, as sometimes it is difficult to find film and the pictures can turn out with distortions, he believes film is more personal.
With digital cameras, people take a bunch of bad pictures hoping to get a good shot, he said. With film, the pictures are limited and you have to focus on taking just one good picture at a time.
One of his biggest projects included a local skateboard film “Save the Space Program,” that premiered at the Coeur d’Alene Skate Park late last summer.
“I do shoot skateboarders–it’s less skateboard photography,” Ozol said. “It’s like photographing skateboarders and their lives around skateboarding.”
Although he shares his photos, travels and blog writings, Ozol’s current project is making a zine, a small self-published magazine, for a more creative Coeur d’Alene.
“In Coeur d’Alene we have a lot of creative people, but most of the creative people want to work for people or start a business,” Ozol said.
He has hopes that local artists will look for more ways to spread their art throughout the area. In this digital age, he wants artists to physically distribute art instead of going to the internet.
“You can throw stuff on the internet and it has the potential for a lot of people to see it. But honestly, how often do people actually click on a link to look at other people’s photos?” Ozol said. “I would like to start seeing people share their work physically. There’s no reason people can’t host art shows at a house or in a coffee shop. The internet is the most practical and easy way to share art, but it’s kind of played out right now.”
Ozol’s blog can be found at joeyozol.wordpress.com., and his zine “Boycott the Internet” is slated to appear in local coffee shops soon.
Featured image of Joey Ozol credited to Lily Anderson.