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Meet Los Angeles Photographer: Wil Cohen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Wil Cohen.

Wil, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
There are a couple of things that got me into photography. I bought my first camera at the age of 5 and would document vacations. In college, I took a basic darkroom class and took pictures for the school newspaper. The biggest moment came when I enjoyed creating my band’s album artwork more than making music. Around the same time I took pictures of my wife for modeling and the agency said they liked my work. I put together a few photo shoots with models and it took off from there.

Has it been a smooth road?
There are always struggles. Photography is a very competitive field and you need to get used to rejection and criticisms. It took me a while to discover and create my own vision and voice in my work. There were many hours spent experimenting on shoots on the weekend away from my family. Then I would go back to work and stay up weeknights editing. I did this for years and years. It was really difficult deciding when to leave my post production career and focus on my photography full time. My wife was great in helping me decide to focus solely on photography and being so supportive of my craft.

When you look back, what are you most proud of?
First time seeing my work published in a magazine and seeing my prints hanging in a gallery were big moments for me. Getting keys to my first studio was also fun. A definite highlight was also leaving my old job to be a photographer full time. I still remember that drive home smiling the whole way!

Tell us more about the struggles you’ve faced along the way.
Working as a photographer is interesting because I am always wearing two different hats. I am a small business owner and a creative, often at the same time which has its challenges. It also takes a lot of planning and fortitude to make time for my personal work since my clients come first.

Is there something we can do as a city to improve the outlook for professionals like you?
In a big city like Los Angeles, there is so much competition and talent here that it will either inspire you or feel daunting, probably a bit of both. I do enjoy traveling and working other locations but I do love LA and all that it has to offer me as a photographer. I know I can fall into the trappings of being a bit of a ‘lone wolf” artist but there are always things going on in the city to network.

Contact Info:

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Image Credit:
Images 1,2,4 Styled by Katie Mitchell

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