In the run up to Farm Week 16, we will be asking all of our mentors these Ten Questions, to get to know them a little, to discover some new facts about them and because we just want to know more about what makes them tick.
Today we talk to Brussels based fine art photographer Jan Scholz aka micmojo. Shooting only on film in various formats, Jan is very well known and respected for his creative and emotional images of fashion, landscape, nudes and portraits.
Can you remember the first camera that you ever owned and if so tell us about it?
Nikon F50 with a 28-200 kit zoom - I bought it after a good friend at university convinced me that I needed an SLR for our upcoming trip to Cuba. I had no clue and used it on Auto all the time, I picked films at the local store according to if I liked the box or not - I even took some Kodachrome 64 and found it very bizarre that I had to send it somewhere for development. Anyway, the camera did a good job, I not so much. I came back with a lot of bad to mediocre holiday snaps. It took another 10 years for me to start photographing a bit more seriously.
I sometimes think about how amazing the Instagram accounts would have been of people who are not around anymore, like Andy Warhol… His feed would have been incredible. Who do you think would have had a great Instagram?
I would love to see the instagrams of my grandparents, or my parents when they were young. All they left behind are these albums full of pictures, polaroids and hand-written comments - a bit too old school.
What’s the one piece of advice that you have been given that proved to have had the most influence on you?
I can be pretty stubborn in regard to advice - especially if its about something I deeply care about. Its more the multitude of little things that happen, that people tell me, in combination with how I feel about something inside, that influences me. I don't remember who gave me that advice, but it was not to rely too much on other people's advice.
What function do you wish your camera could have that it doesn’t already?
On most of my cameras they forgot the on/off switch, that could be useful. Other than that I am very happy if I can change focus, aperture and shutter time.
If you were not a photographer what job would you be doing?
Working for a European Organisation, maybe something around aviation and air traffic control. Next to photography, I have one more thing I can be enthusiastic about, aviation.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement so far?
I have been very lucky in many things and most achievements are based on that. Its not an achievement as such, but I consider myself lucky being able to find a good balance between work, photography and private life.
Name one book that you think we should go out and buy.
I like books that spark something inside me and keep me busy long after finishing it. Demian by Herman Hesse was one of those.
What’s the strangest thing you have ever been asked to photograph and did you do it?
I don't remember, but I am sure I did not do it. The one thing I cherish the most as amateur photographer is that I only photograph what I love to photograph.
If you could go back and say one thing to yourself aged 20, what would it be?
What question do you wish we’d asked you?
What scanner do you use?
We are utterly thrilled that Jan is coming to Farm Week to teach a one day workshop. The day will be a unique exploration on developing your voice and technique centered around a model shoot lead by Jan. There are very few places left now but you can see full details here. It is on Friday February 12th at Photography Farm.