If the sexy images from |FAT| Fashion Art Week‘s campaign have piqued your curiosity about the upcoming arts and fashion week, you have Jonathan M. Hooper to thank… and you should probably start following him on Instagram. Be forewarned: his selfies are way better than yours will ever be. The talented young Toronto-based photographer not only shoots innovative fashion campaigns and slick editorials, as well as some of the best iPhone-to-mirror Instragram pics we’ve ever seen, he’s also the official photographer of this year’s |FAT|. The image innovator has already made a splash with the official |FAT| campaign, and he’ll also have some must-see installations at the event, which kicks off on April 22nd and features art in all shapes and forms, from live music performances, photography exhibits and art installations, to runway shows and fashion films. Intrigued? We caught up with Hooper to find out more about |FAT| and his life behind the camera…
Tell us a bit about yourself. What should people know?
That’s a big question. Where do I begin? Photography and fashion are the two things I hope people remember about me. My passions all overlap, and recapitulate into my photography. Everything shares a common thread!
What got you into fashion photography?
It all started when I began shooting queer club-culture and slowly, then suddenly, my taste began refining into fashion over extravagance – not to say it’s all that different, really.
Who or what generally inspires you the most?
It’s a long list of people, but advertising campaigns and editorial spreads are my major sources of inspiration. I also love spending my spare time scrolling through the russianroulette content on Tumblr for ideas.
What fashion events are you most excited about for 2014?
The fashion event which excites me the most is the highly anticipated and approaching Fashion Art Toronto |FAT|. Featuring five days of over 50 runway shows from Toronto’s most talented up-and-coming creatives, |FAT| has me excited to connect with industry insiders while exhibiting a few installations of my photography. This year I received the incredible opportunity to shoot the first official |FAT| campaign, as their official photographer. This being my third year participating in |FAT|, I’m excited to once again connect with the creative community, which I encourage you all to check-out at fashionarttoronto.ca. You will not be sorry you did!
What are the biggest challenges and best rewards about what you do?
The biggest challenges are usually tied to the best rewards in my work. Sometimes it’s the shoots that I’m most worried about that turn out as the strongest work, usually by breaking out of my comfort zone. The Evan Biddell campaign I shot this past fall was one of the most daunting shoots I’ve ever taken on, working around tight time constraints and creating a set in a public space. Nothing seemed to be working when we started shooting and then after playing around with the final product, it all clicked. I really felt like I broke new ground when I got home that night and reviewed the digitals.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Coffee, fragrance, and a constant feed of images.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…it’s such a melting pot of cultures. There is so much talent in this city and I’m never at a loss to find new innovators and creators.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
What’s one of your favourite go-to designers?
Current obsession: Vivienne Westwood. But that’s not the alpha and omega – I buy more into collections/pieces than labels for a variety of reasons far too long to list here!
What products are always in your grooming bag?
A good moisturizer, and the perfect shade of powder to even-out your complexion are the utmost essentials… but my travel bag is actually a Diorskin arsenal. It’s a big bag.
What style trends are you obsessed with right now?
Colour-blocking. All grey everything. Minimalism paired with an over-the-top statement piece.
What’re your favourite boutiques to shop at in Toronto?
Currently, my obsession is Da Zooº on King West. I mostly do a lot of online shopping, but this store and its owner really charm me. It’s a little dangerous because I walk by almost every day and they carry lines you’d be hard-pressed to find in Yorkville, like Westwood, Balmain, and Rick Owens.