Originally a native of St. Thomas, Ontario, Jason Fitzpatrick (aka Jason Fitzzz) has mastered the ability to capture the artistic streets of downtown Toronto through his urban photography.
Jason’s journey as a photographer began under rather unusual circumstances– it all started when his band broke up. While deactivating the band’s social media pages, he came across their Instagram profile and became fascinated by the visual content on the platform, which inspired him to begin exploring what else the app had to offer. Jason has since used his location to his advantage, photographing and showcasing Toronto’s unique energy in a captivating way.
Jason sat down with us to discuss his progression as a photographer, the urban photography scene and a whole lot more.
How did your location help you develop the style you’ve currently achieved?
As a new street/urban photographer, it can be quite intimidating taking photos of people. But by working and spending most of my time down in Toronto’s Financial District, I noticed people were in too much of hurry to worry about me. This gave me a freedom to experiment and learn what style of photography was best suited for me.
It takes a lot of experience to get where you are. We can only imagine how many photos you’ve accumulated over the years! What are some practices that contributed to your evolution as a photographer?
Always be shooting. Everyday! What also really helped me grow as a photographer was watching documentaries, following online tutorials, reading about the masters in the space, and spending time with other photographers. Oh, and asking lots of questions.
What drives you to continuously be creative and artistic?
It’s the pursuit of trying to create something that has not been created and doing things differently. The excitement of that journey is what keeps me going.
Every photographer has a unique take on their styles. What does the term “street photography” mean to you?
For me, street photography is about capturing what you see with honesty and not going for the easy shots. It’s about being honest to the subject you’re capturing and to yourself. Street and urban photography are instinctive. You can’t necessarily plan what’s going to happen on the street, so every capture you take is completely natural and true to itself.
Your Instagram is filled with some phenomenal work. If you had to pick the pieces of work that you’re most proud of, what would they be?
Having my work displayed at the Art Gallery of Ontario was a pretty surreal experience. Also, having my photos of Havana, Cuba featured in issue 2 of Drift Magazine was a really proud moment for me.
What is the last photo on your camera roll?
The last photo I took on my iPhone was from my son’s birthday party at 4cats Art Studio.
If you had to pick a favorite lens to shoot with, which one would it be?
My favorite lens to shoot with is my 27mm pancake/prime lens. It’s an amazing and reliable go-to lens for street photography.
What’s your favourite way to share your work?
I only share my work through social media. The best way to really showcase your work is by printing your stuff. Get it framed and hang it up on your wall. It looks and feels so much better and you begin appreciating your shots more.
Before you leave, do you have any words of wisdom for photographers or urban explorers who are just getting started?
My biggest piece of advice is to shoot all the time and study the masters. Don’t worry about current trends and who (or what) is the hottest on social media, because there are going to be so many imitators out there. You don’t want to get lost in that shuffle.
Jason’s shared his story and his best practices when it comes to street photography. To see street photography in action, check out his takeover of CanvasPop’s Instagram!