Jeff Hagerman

jeff_hagerman_sloppystick

Atlanta, GA

How did you get your start with photography?

I've grown up, having a camera most of my life, but I only cared about capturing memories from vacations or car shows. Once I started getting feedback from the Instagram community, I started looking at it more artistically and decided I wanted to take it more seriously.

How would you describe your photography style?

Purposeful.

I always put a lot of thought into composition, regardless of how I end up editing it. An easy way to describe it is just abandoned.

You shoot a lot of abandon buildings and desolate spaces, what is the inspiration behind selecting those spaces for your photos?

I've always been a fan of trains and eventually graffiti. That naturally led me into abandoned buildings. I've been obsessed with finding these places ever since.

What has been your favorite area to shoot?

My favorite place I've shot was a hospital in the south that was abandoned since Hurricane Katrina. The history behind it was just amazing with the hurricane and all, but even more so the contents. It was just huge and full of stuff, and it was incredible.

What other photographers have influenced you the most?

I've tried to have my kind of style, even though I love photos that are nothing like mine. Other photographers motivate me, and that has made me grow more than anything.

What is your personal process to capture a great photo?

I'm just a big fan of good composition. I always try (maybe sometimes too much) to try to get a good composition with every photo I take. I probably miss out on other stuff I should at least document.

What particular technology/software do you use to help with your photographic process?

I use both Photomatix and Lightroom. I shoot in 7 shot brackets for HDR shots and merge them with Photomatix, and then I touch them up in Lightroom. If it's just a single shot, I only use Lightroom.

What are some of the challenges you have faced as a photographer?

One big challenge that I have this week is going to court in Los Angeles because I was arrested there for taking pictures while trespassing. It could hurt, not only financially, but I also don't want a misdemeanor on my record of at all possible. Sometimes things just don't go as planned.

Do you have a funny or bizarre moment that occurred during one of your photo shoots?

Aside from getting arrested or almost getting arrested, when I first started exploring abandoned buildings, a guy was pleasuring himself in a building! It's probably still the craziest thing ever.

On upcoming projects:

I’m doing a lot of traveling and slowly putting together a book.

 What motto or mantra do you live your life by?

I just always tell myself not to worry about things that shouldn't be worried about. Also, stress is a killer and worrying is nothing but stress.

For more on this artist, please visit JHagPhoto.com and follow on social media @sloppystick