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Photographer Profile: Jojo Harper

From issue 96 • The Photo Annual

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How did  you get started shooting professionally? The first time I was ever paid to take photos was for an 18th birthday party! I used to shoot a lot of events—that’s how I started to make a living with photography. The first cycling team I shot was a British continental team, Rapha-Condor-JLT in 2013. My first big break was a day with Team Sky at the Tour of Britain in 2015. The dream was always to shoot the Tour de France, and this dream came true in 2016 when I was commissioned by Endura to shoot Nairo Quintana and Movistar during the final few stages in the Alps.

Who have been your photography influencers? In terms of documentary sports photography, Emily Maye has always inspired me. As a documentary reportage photographer, I have been a huge fan and admired Magnum photographers. The ultimate dream would be to be represented by the Magnum agency!

What is it about Girona, Spain, that draws people in? For me it’s the community. We all stick together and have each other’s back. I have made some great friends there and feel very at home. In terms of everything else, what’s not to love? It’s an adult playground! The mountain biking and trail running is amazing, as is the road cycling; it’s half an hour from the beach and an hour and a half to the closest ski resort. It’s the dream!

Jojo Harper ||| Girona, Spain

Has the Covid-19 pandemic affected the way you see the world? It didn’t change the way I see the world, but I missed shooting so much! The pandemic actually fed into what I studied and am interested in: photojournalism and documentary photography. Every day while out shopping I would document Girona under lockdown, it gave me something to focus on and I really enjoyed it.

What cameras and lenses do you love? I have two Canon 5ds and a Leica q2. My favorite lens for my Canon is the 50 1.2 fixed. My least favorite lens and one I dislike is the 70–200 2.8. Most photographers love it, but I don’t like a zoom. The Leica makes my Canons look insignificant though; the Leica lives up to the name—it’s beautiful. It is so convenient as well; it’s full frame and tiny! I still have an old film camera, Pentax k1000. I love to shoot film; unfortunately, I am usually commissioned at a race and don’t have time to shoot with it.

Where is your favorite place to shoot photos and why? The mountains. I love everything about them.

Name a sport that you haven’t shot that you would like to shoot and why? Skiing! Skiing is my number-one passion. I used to ski race as a kid, and I would love to shoot behind the scenes at some of the World Cup races…and also training. You see quite a bit of it in freestyle and ski touring, but not much in racing.

Instagram: @jojoharper_
Twitter: @harperjojo

From issue 96. Buy it here.