“There is no reason to waste a day not doing what we dream of.” Meet inspiration and photographer Jason Jean, founder of the popular New York-based street style website, Citizen Couture.
Not only is Jason an imagery master, he is (well, was) a tax professional. Yes, this former number-cruncher-turned-creative is not only a dream chaser but a dream executor. One look at his snaps and you’ll also be shocked to learn this freelance photographer has been diagnosed with juvenile glaucoma, and had an incident of partial blindness in college.
After suppressing his creative side his entire life, Jason picked up a SLR during New York Fashion Week in 2009 and discovered his natural calling. Known for his minimal yet beautiful street style portraits, Jason expertly captures his subject’s beauty and distinct personality in less than a New York minute. Despite the fast pace of the city, his photos somehow manage to convey a complete story, as if he was shooting for hours. Jason’s work has not gone unnoticed having worked with the likes of Harper’s Bazaar, Allure Magazine, Net-A-Porter and Grazia Italia.
With the possibility of losing his full vision, Jason’s journey of risk-taking and venturing into his new creative outlet motivates us all — and that’s what makes him our Featured Friday Tastemaker. Today we chat with the man behind the lens.
What is your personal motto or mantra?
Quality over quantity.
With Citizen Couture, you have a unique opportunity to work with and photograph some of the most fashionable people in the world. What was the career transition like?
Making this career transition will always be a challenge because I’m constantly looking for ways to exceed myself and do things a bit better than the prior year. But like any transition, I think my biggest challenge was getting out of my comfort zone and broadening my exposure. It’s especially difficult when your prior career involved working in an office 15 hours a day.
What’s your favorite subject to photograph?
I don’t like to do favorites. I admire a lot of my subjects and I’ve learned that there’s a vast amount of style personalities out there. I respect them equally.
What are your fave social media outlets to use?
I try not to distract myself with all the outlets, but I currently enjoy using Instagram. Since I don’t usually feature or write about myself, it gives readers a little glimpse of who’s behind Citizen Couture. It’s also a great way to interact with other people.
Who are your style icons?
I don’t have a style icon per say, but I’ve always admire the eccentricity of stylist Catherine Baba. With her outfits, there is always so much going on, but yet quite cohesive.
What’s your favorite photo either shot by yourself or by someone else?
My favorite photo changes constantly, but one of my current favorite is the shot of model Dorothea Barth Jorgensen taken outside the Ann Demeulemeester show in Paris.
If you could give one piece of advice to your 14 year-old self, what would it be?
Definitely study abroad. Traveling really broadened my vision and interests. I wish I could’ve taken advantage of that program while I was in school.
Check out Jason’s stunning street-style portraits and snaps from this past New York Fashion Week on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram! Visit Citizen Couture here.
To shop these street style looks, join thousands of other trendsetters on www.wantering.com!
Photo Credits: All photos taken and provided by Jason Jean, except for Catherine Baba taken from Vogue