Resident Q&A: River Jordan’s Work

Baxter Culture

You may have already met River Jordan in our last post, or, if you’re local and were lucky enough to make it to our last “Baxter In Residence” event at the Shop, you likely had a chance to party with the LA-based photographer there. River was the 2nd artist to showcase their work at Baxter In Residence, and was named one of PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2016.

We caught up with the photographer/athlete/water-lover/adventure junkie to talk shop and get the scoop behind the seven original prints he chose to share with our community.

What type of camera do you typically use? What’s your favorite thing to shoot on?

It depends on the project. For most of my work I shoot Canon or Hasselblad. Every now and then I pull out the film cameras and shoot medium format film.

Let’s talk about the series in the barbershop…take us through each shot.

Malibu Surfer

malibu surfer

What’s the story behind this photo and how it came to be? Did you know this person or approach him on the beach to shoot a portrait? What makes you choose to shoot/print in black and white vs color?

“My good buddy and go-to travel partner Kevin was competing in the Malibu Classic surf competition and I saw this kid walking down the beach. I just knew the moment he came walking down the beach that I had to photograph him. He looked like the embodiment of a classic Malibu surfer. He was gracious enough to let me shoot him. I think I only took about 10 frames before he hopped in the water and was gone. I love B&W photos. B&W removes a sense of time and focuses solely on the content and the balance of an image.”

28 x 38.5 inches

Edition of 10

$4000 framed / $3000 unframed


Boy on Rocks

boy on rocks

Where was this taken? Do you know the subject in the photo? What were you doing at the time?

“This was taken at Catalina Island [California]. The subject is a good friend and film maker Michael Weybret. This series of images was about exploring my time growing up on the boat. We piled a group of guys on board and cruised for a few days. I just took the guys to different places that were reminiscent of my time growing up on the boat and photographed them exploring. Mike became the guy I focused on.”

28 x 38.5 inches

Edition of 10

$4000 framed / $3000 unframed


Salt & Sea

salt & sea

Where was this taken and who is the subject? To give some perspective, where are you physically located when shooting an image like this?

“This shot was also of Mike in Catalina. I’m around 20 feet under water. We had to try it a couple times to nail it but I like the way it turned out. I would dive down, Mike would count to ten, and then dive off the bow of the sailboat. I was thinking about jet trails and trying to convey a feeling of ultimate freedom. The B+W here helps isolate the subject and bring texture to the surface.”

42 x 62 inches

Edition of 5

$5000 unframed / $6500 framed


Anchor Climb

anchor climb

Who is the subject in this one? Where was this taken?

Same subject as in “Boy On Rocks” and “Salt & Sea” [Michael Weybret]. It was shot on the backside of Catalina island.

28 x 38.5 inches

Edition of 10

$4000 framed / $3000 unframed


Diver Hawaii

diver hawaii

What’s the story behind this one? What kind of gear do you need for an underwater shoot?

“This was taken on Lanai in Hawaii. We went for a little exhibition swim out around the cliffs from where we were staying and I just dove under picking off shots. I love what the light was doing in this image and that the subject feels suspended in space.

I use Canon gear and Aquatech water housings. The water housings give you full access to all the controls of the camera.”

28 x 38.5 inches

Edition of 10

$4000 framed / $3000 unframed


Waterfall El Salvador

waterfall el salvador

What brought you to El Salvador? Who is standing in the waterfall? What’s the name of this waterfall and how did you end up there?

“Surf Trip! We got a crew of six guys down there for a trip and the surf went flat for a few days. We got restless and decided to go try and find this waterfall. I have no idea what it’s called. Justice Joslin is the guy standing in the waterfall. He has become quite the guy in the fashion world and our whole crew was giving him a hard time for being on the cover of the in-flight magazine on our way down. He’s a hell of a surfer and an even more talented musician.”

28 x 38.5 inches

Edition of 10

$4000 framed / $3000 unframed


Diver Colombia

diver colombia

Can you give a little background on this image and the story behind it? Were you diving as well? Do you know this person?

“The diver is also Justice [Joslin]. We found out about this “eco lodge” down on the Pacific Coast that had potential for surfing in the area so we went down to investigate. We ended up staying in open thatched-roof enclosures on stilts. The guy who ran the place warned us all to be sure to tuck the mosquito netting under the mattress in case the ants decided to come swarming out of the jungle. We thought he was kidding but just to be sure we were all very thorough about tucking ourselves into bed before falling asleep. Each day we hopped in a boat and went looking for surf. There were whales all over the place and when we saw one we would all hop over the side and listen to them talking to each other. That was a cooler experience than any of the waves we found! This image was taken on a flat day when we were diving the reef looking for potential obstacles.”

28 x 38.5 inches

Edition of 10

$4000 framed / $3000 unframed


River Jordan Contact

River Jordan 818 667 4989

Represented by Art&Motion
Billy Diesel
212 256 1121