Q&A: Justin Lovett, A Storyhunter Takeover from India
Freelance photographer and videographer Justin Lovett recently took over Storyhunter’s Instagram during an assignment in India. Since starting his career in film and photography, Justin has tried to work as much as possible with NGOs around the world. We asked Justin to reflect on his trip and his life as a freelancer.
Storyhunter: What was your project about?
Justin Lovett: The project I was working on was with a human-centered design company called 17 Triggers. They were hired to hold an event for nine micro-finance organizations to come together to innovate new solutions for the problem they are currently facing. Most of those problems relate to creating new technology-based products for their clients, or using technology to make their workflow more efficient. I was hired to create a video focusing on these issues for the event.
S: What is your favorite picture from the takeover?
JL: My favorite picture I posted was the first one of the small canoe taxis in Bangladesh. I like it because, first of all, I think it is visually amazing for a picture and video. Secondly, I like it because of the how I was able to capture it. We were driving to a client’s home in Dhaka South, and on our way as we crossed the bridge I saw the river and the boats. After we were finished with the client interview, I jumped on a motorcycle with one of the Bengalis taking us around who took me to the bridge so I could capture it. It was a lot of fun, and reminded me to trust my gut on what shots look good. I almost didn’t ask to be taken back to capture the footage and image, but it was definitely worth it. I second guess myself, but I have found that you often get the best shots when you go with your gut.
S: What draws you to the freelance life?
JL: I love working with new organizations all the time. When working with a new organization, I learn so much about their process of doing things, their mistakes, and what they are doing right. I am then able to learn from them, use the things that they are doing right, and be aware of the things that aren’t working. I also love the variety of stories I get hired for. I never thought micro-finance would be so interesting. I have learned so much about a subject I never even knew about before. Over all, what I love about freelancing is all the learning I get to do with it.
S: What is the most challenging part about being a freelancer?
JL: The most challenging thing about freelancing is not having the security of a steady job. I have been very fortunate to have had enough work over the years.
S: What was the most memorable part of this assignment?
JL: It was really awesome to be able to go into the homes of the families that were clients of the micro-finance organization we were visiting. In India, one family invited myself and the producer to their house for tea. We met their grandfather, daughter, and wife. I love how personal telling a story is. You can’t help but start connecting with the people you interview with, even if you don’t speak the same language.
By Jindalae Suh