I DIG YOUR SOLE MAN
IDYSM: Lester Jones
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF LESTER JONES. INTERVIEW BY DANIEL
We are extremely excited to feature our interview this week with Director and Photographer, Lester Jones.
I first came across Lester’s work many years ago when I interviewed him on my blog at that time. His online publication I Dig Your Sole Man has since grown immensely and consistently produces engaging content on everything Street Culture, Style, Art and Music to name a few.
He is a truly talented storyteller in both still and the moving image with an amazing catalogue of work.
Without further ado, it is with great pleasure to introduce to you, Lester Jones.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Originally from London, I’m now based in Sydney where my time is split between a few things.
My background is very much split across multimedia work. I studied film and video production alongside photography, and for many years my main profession was working in the TV industry as a Presenter (for a short time) and then eventually a Development Executive and Producer.
Alongside this career, I used to shoot a lot of photography and independent film making as a hobby, but eventually this became the driving force of my career as my hobby become something more.
To this day I juggle work Directing ads and branded content alongside shooting motion as a DOP, editing films, writing and photography. No 2 days are ever the same.
Talk us through the I Dig Your Sole Man journey. From the early days as a sneaker based street blog that gave you an outlet to publish regular work, to the online publication that it is today.
IDYSM started way way back in 2009, which I mention as back in 2009 sneaker blogging and content making was rare and hard to find. For me it started as a passion project to shoot fashion photography in a context. Initially the project was about fusing my interest in street and fashion photography with a love of storytelling to find sneaker wearers and explore how their footwear shared the story of who they were as a person. Over the years it was amazing the information that a shared love of shoes opened up in people.
As the project evolved so did the attention it got, which led to relationships with most of the major brands (and publishers like Highsnobiety), working with them to shoot campaigns and content.
Now some years later, the project has evolved. Sneaker related content is everywhere, and tends to be more product than person related, so while I can I still delve into that world, it’s driven by my desire to offer a fusion of immersive content, storytelling and editorial level production, but now in 2017 IDYSM has become a platform to share stories from within the street culture sphere across all of it’s facets and areas.
What inspires you to do what you do?
Quite simply; I really enjoy it.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s paid commercial work or a passion project like IDYSM or other projects I run like www.theirgrindnotmine.com, I feel incredibly fortunate to have people liking the work I enjoy creating.
What are your favourite experiences and opportunities that IDYSM have given you?
Without doubt, the ability to travel to great places, meet amazing people and work with amazing brands and publications.
I am quite honest about what I am - I am not a massive sneaker collector or expert. It’s a culture I have been passionate about exploring, investigating and creating content around, but something that maintains my objectivity with this work is that I’m not sucked into the hype or product; I see it as a storyteller and as a creator, not as a rampant consumer.
Fashion. Describe your style?
Low key. You will see me rocking Stan Smiths or Common Projects over Yeezy’s or Jordans.
And finally, Photography. The love of the image and what it means to you?
The moment I got turned onto photography was when I was at art school. I tried all manner of art forms, but nothing really spoke to me until I picked up a book about Linda McCartney, the ex-wife of Beatle Paul McCartney.
Linda was a notable photographer in the 1960’s whose work regularly documented musicians in the recording studio and I was captivated by her ability to capture moments in time. From Linda, other photographers that I started looking at who appealed to me were (early) Annie Leibowitz, Anton Corbijn and Peter Lindbergh.
That reportage style is something I have always loved and that observational, emotive quality is something I try to capture in my work.
Mud and Matzor: We would like to thank Lester for giving his time in sharing his story with us.
Please do take the time and immerse yourself into IDYSM or follow on Instagram @idigyoursoleman. For Lester’s own work check out @lesterjonesphotography. There’s amazing content and a story for everyone!