You may recognize Johnny Patience from our Issue 02: Spring. He contributed a beautiful photo essay about his life here in Maine. Recently, Johnny founded a gallery, which shares the work of emerging artists with the hopes to bring awareness to these talents in the greater artist community . The gallery currently includes the work of Rebecca Lily, Gary Briechle, Mikko Lagerstedt, Morgane Erpicum, Pete Halvorsen, and Robert Strickland. We're running a giveaway now (through Saturday, 8/4). Visit our Instagram for more information. In the meantime, enjoy learning a little more from Johnny Patience!
Maine the Way: Tell us a little about yourself!
Johnny Patience: My name is Johnny Patience and I am a Fine Art photographer based in Midcoast Maine, where I live with my wife Rebecca Lily. I was born and raised in Europe, and my love for photography has brought me to many countries around the world. The foundation of my work is a combination of fine art, travel, and street photography. I shoot film exclusively and work with a minimalist approach to gear: one camera, one lens and natural light. Light is often the main subject of my work, and I use it to convey emotion and show that it’s possible to find something extraordinary in the ordinary.
MTW: When did you know you wanted to be a photographer? Was that always your direction or how did you come to this career path?
JP: I wanted to become a stuntman when I was a child, an archaeologist when I was a teenager, and a psychologist when I finished school. Even though I did not end up doing any of that, being a photographer incorporates aspects of all of these jobs in a way. Photography started as a creative outlet for me about 10 years ago. I didn’t plan to become a professional photographer but looking back today I wish I would have found and pursued this path earlier in my life. I feel that photography is what I am meant to do.
MTW: Where do you draw inspiration?
JP: I try to avoid looking at too much photography, I don’t find it helpful to take inspiration from people working in the same field. I find a lot of inspiration in other art forms like music, literature, paintings or cinema. I think Quentin Tarantino is a genius, for example. I believe that art is about going to the deepest, most vulnerable place in your heart, expressing what you find and sharing it with the world. That’s where I try to find my inspiration.
MTW: How has living in Maine influenced your work?
JP: Photographing in Maine made me realize how much I love B&W film. After I moved to Maine, I spent that first year working on my book, Arriving Home, which documented all of my feelings and impressions of our new home. Because Maine has such drastic changes in the light and landscape through the four seasons, I decided to shoot B&W ﬁlm exclusively to tie the resulting body of work together and give it cohesiveness.
Through that project I've grown to love B&W and often find myself drawn to shooting it in situations where I might have previously chosen color. I think it relates to reading a book like color relates to watching a movie. Both are wonderful in their own way, but when you are reading a book you have to imagine part of the story. That’s the same with B&W film, it’s suggestive. The viewer connects to the story and becomes part of it. With color, your imagination doesn’t need to fill in all of the blanks because everything is already there.
MTW: Any tips for getting out of a creative rut?
JP: I find it helpful to accept that making art is different from a desk job. Photography as an art form doesn’t follow conventional rules about productivity or timelines in a 9 to 5 job. It’s more like an ebb and flow and I try to embrace that, which was hard for me in the beginning. Sometimes I create a year’s worth of work in a few days, which often doesn’t feel like much of an accomplishment. But I believe a good photograph is both made by the photographer and given by the world itself. There are so many things that need to align at once for a picture to be good that it’s something I feel is really out of my control.
MTW: Are you working on any personal projects?
JP: I am currently working on my second book.
MTW: What has been your proudest piece?
JP: A picture from my first book “Arriving Home” of a jumping Dalmatian into a fresh coat of snow (shot here in Maine). There is just so much symbolism in that picture, and it is very metaphoric in regards to my personal new beginnings at that time.
MTW: Any advice for aspiring photographers?
JP: Shoot from the heart, not from the hip.
Be sure to check out the Aspen Gallery and enter our giveaway (through Saturday, August 4):
Thank you for sharing your insight with us, Johnny. We're grateful to have your work in our publication and your talent here in Maine!
Cam & Christine
- No purchase necessary.
- There is one 16"x24" photo being given away, retailing for $575.
- All U.S. residents are eligible for the sweepstakes.
- Sweepstakes will begin on July 30th and end on August 4th.
- All entrants will receive equal opportunity to be chosen at random.
- Winner will be announced on this website and/or Instagram account within one week of the sweepstakes end.
- Not on Instagram? Send us an email with your name expressing interest in the giveaway, and we will enter you into the drawing.