We had the good fortune of connecting with Jhon Beltran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jhon, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
There’s various reasons as to why I decided to pursue photography as my career, but the main reason had to be because it allowed me to express myself and to control my anxiety. It is arguably the most wonderful way to practice mindfulness and to appreciate the world around me. as i love to say: “to appreciate the unappreciated.” whenever i’m out making photos, i want to put all of my emotions out there to either let go of whatever i’m feeling or to enhance that emotion. Though even before my diagnosis with anxiety, my imagination was always incredibly active, day dreaming and thinking of different ideas and worlds from the movies i watched, the books i had read, and so on. i always wanted to create these worlds and show it to people. i always dreamed of making films and working as a cinematographer/ director and i knew photography would be my gateway into the film world. at the end of the day, this career allows me to express myself and to keep myself active and healthy mentally and physically. I hope that whoever reads this, people realize that anxiety is a gift and because without it I wouldn’t be doing what I love today.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The thing about photography is that it takes away my pain and enhances my happiness. I could be crying, I could be laughing, I could be feeling sick, but the one constant thing that lives on in my head is making photos. Whenever life seems hard, whenever the rain seems to never stop, I’ll still be out there moving and trying my best to keep my head high and capture moments frozen in time. My work is recognized for how I am able to express my emotions through my frames. Sure, I am making photos that make me feel, but my photos allow others to interpret them subjectively and create their own stories when they view them. I am simply proud for how quickly I have been able to reach where I am. I’ve only been doing photography for about a little over a year now and it’s simply because of my passion and constant hard work. that’s all it is. I’m just happy to hear i’m inspiring others with my work, yet it is so mind boggling to hear. it’s humbling. i wouldn’t have gotten here without the help of my friend Kyler, another photog, who constantly teaches me new things, the support of my wonderful friends and family and the fire that burns in my heart for photography. Sure there have been challenges in terms of getting recognized but that comes with time and patience and consistently sharing your work online. At the end of the day, I am making cinematic-like images and am mostly out at night to make them come to life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d immediately take my friends around the center city in philly are of where I make most of my photos. The city is lively, there’s people eating all over and it is a wonderful atmosphere. Then I’d probably head over to old city, which is a classic place to appreciate American history and to simply admire wonderful architecture. It’s also just also just a wonderful place to hang out and sit on the nice green grass. In terms of food, I’d want them to try Randazzo’s my favorite pizza place! They’re just too good. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my parents, my wonderful friends, and my social media following. Ever since the day I decided to pursue photo, my parents said “okay. you got this. Keep working on it and keep us in the loop.” eventually, i told them i got my first small gig and they bought me my first camera, a sony a6300 and the rest was history. I started teaching myself everything and practicing every single day and was learning as much as i could. eventually, i had my big break when a roommate of mine called Matthew recommended me to work for my college’s nursing school as their videographer and again, the rest was history and began to start raising funds for equipment that would aid my work. To add, I want to give a shout-out to my friends as they supported me and let me take their portraits. even when it was to simply serve as models for narrative photos, i am so thankful because they pushed my limits even further. they’re always willing to do a shoot in the spur of the moment. Without them, I wouldn’t even know what I know now. They allow me to practice. And finally, I want to give a shout-out to those who follow me on social media. the shares, the likes, the sweet comments- thank you. They’re the reason my work is seen, my work is appreciated and they’re the reason why i’m even able to have a platform. everyone in my story, i love. thank you so much.
Personal Photo Taken by Kyler Steele. All Other Work provided is mine.