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Rising Stars: Meet Jonathan Ivan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jonathan Ivan.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Firstly, thank you so much Voyage LA for this opportunity, I’m grateful.

I was living in Las Vegas, NV going to UNLV only dreaming of making photography my career. Being Mexican, pursuing artistic careers are seen as dead ends or unrealistic, so I did my best to shake what was instilled in me. The idea of moving to pursue photography manifested over the course of three months and before I knew it, I was on a bus to LA.

I started school at Otis, a private art and design college in Westchester, but dropped out after only a few months. The idea of teaching and learning art in a school format didn’t gel with me. I started a job as a stylist where they allowed me to be flexible with my hours while I perused photography. I was freelancing gigs here and there substituting days of work at my day job, but nothing really in the industry. I started pushing to work with more social media influencers and that’s really when my work began to be more seen. I started using what I learned from my marketing classes back home to market myself and network in the industry. I found myself working with people like Tana Mongeau, Mac Miller, 2 Chainz and more. My day job was getting in the way of really cool opportunities so I decided to quit and pursue photography full time.

After departing from my stylist day job, I had a tweet of my work go viral. It was perfect timing really. I was receiving emails from all over the world. I took advantage of the opportunity and began to schedule photo-shoots in the cities that I was being requested in. I traveled to take portraits in major cities like New York City, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, Portland, Austin, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and even Paris, France! I was a nomad, didn’t really have a home. Home was wherever I was booked that week.

Traveling alone for some years took its toll on me and I knew I needed a break. An opportunity presented itself to move and work in New York City. The window to move looked small, so I went for it, ignoring the fact that I was not fully prepared to take on NYC. I was there for some time. I’m grateful to have met and worked with really cool creatives that really challenged me as a person and as a creative. The pandemic cut my time short but I wouldn’t change that experience for the world. I got my work published in TMRW Magazine, did the Jason Wu show for New York Fashion Week and picked up a copy of Gay Times Magazine (that was produced in LA) in a bodega in SoHo where my work was featured in. Those were my career highlights of my NYC experience. Honorable mention to the family I made in NYC, I truly could not have survived the city without them – they know exactly who they are.

These days I’m back in LA with my boyfriend and our dog Jaxon inside our quaint little apartment. I’m in the best headspace I have ever been in. I’m booking photoshoots regularly downtown – gracias a dios. I have photos in the process of being published and projects scheduled to hopefully position may work at a higher caliber. I’m hopeful for the future.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has definitely not been a smooth road, I wish it was sometimes. I guess a bumpy road makes you appreciate the journey. The biggest struggle for me has been mentally and emotionally. I become exerted emotionally very easily and it’s something that I am working on.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a portrait and fashion photographer. I specialize in giving people confidence through imagery and making them feel pretty. I am most proud of having my work published inside international magazines. What sets me apart is my identity as Jonathan Ivan and not just a faceless photographer. I think that because my identity and my work can stand separate I can jump into other mediums if I ever wish to.

So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
People can best support me by booking a photo-shoot or sharing my work with their friends! I can be reached for photo-shoots or collaborations on my website at Jonathan-Ivan.com.

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