Photographer’s Q&A – Jimmy Jeong

This week’s Q&A is with Jimmy Jeong. His web site is


Edmonton, November 11, 2004 – Janice Williamson has started a a local chapter of Women in Black, an international organization that was launched when Israeli and Palestine women got together to stand up for women’s rights. Their main form of protest is through silence and being a presence at rallies. (Photo by Jimmy Jeong/Edmonton Journal)


What were your first steps in the industry?

I have to thank Edmonton Journal photographer Candace Elliot for my start in the industry in 2001. I met her while shooting a theatre call for the University of Alberta’s newspaper, The Gateway, and she mentioned the Journal was looking for another freelancer. She went over my portfolio and then introduced me to the photo editor.

I would say it was part luck, part being ready through building a portfolio, and part not being an asshole.


When you were a student, what did you want to do after graduation? Are
you now where you thought you would be?

I spent a lifetime in school. At U of A, which I attended between 1996 and 2003, I jumped from sciences to engineering, to business, to psychology, and dabbled in every course offered. I finally ended up getting a degree in philosophy but then went back for more when I was accepted into the Faculty of Fine Arts’ Bachelor of Design program. And that’s where I fell in love with typography and visual stories. I originally wanted to be an art director for a paper like The Globe and Mail.


Edmonton, April 22, 2009 – Erica Thiering is one of the youngest Alberta provincial champions in her racing class. She poses for a photo at her family’s home. (Photo by Jimmy Jeong/Edmonton Journal)


What or who are your biggest inspirations?

Arnold Newman, for his portrait work. Mary Ellen Mark, for her photographs of regular people. Sebastião Salgado, for his social documentary work.


Edmonton, July 14, 2008 – Ransford Perry, left, and his son Carlton work on cutting the hair of Joel Katumba (left chair) and Sheaka Magona at Kings Barber Salon. Photo by Jimmy Jeong)


Do you have a mentor?

Not really. But my colleagues here in Edmonton have always been both supportive and competitive. Shooters like Daryl Dyck, Tim Smith, Jason Franson, Dave Bloom and the Edmonton Journal photographers are some of the best in the country.

I also have to give big props to my colleagues at Epic Photography, Ian Jackson and John Ulan. They started this company in 2001 with another freelancer, Jason Scott, in the hopes of giving us all a chance to have somewhat normal lives by sharing jobs instead of being forced to compete for them.


Edmonton – July 12, 2007 _ Portugal’s Coentrao Fabio and Chile’s Cristian Suarez battle for the ball during FIFA U-20 World Cup action. Chile beat Portugal 1-0. (Photo by Jimmy Jeong/ The Canadian Press)


What was a pivotal point in your career?

I’m still preparing for this moment. I’ll let you know once the old model of doing things crashes.


How important to you is multimedia?

Multimedia has been around for a long time. It’s nothing new and nothing to be afraid of. And along with it, I know that great photojournalism will play a strong role in the future of the online newspapers.


Edmonton, March 14, 2009 – Edmonton Oilers centre Sam Gagner (89) celebrates a goal (which was later given to teammate Robert Nilsson) and skates by Colorado Avalanche goalie Peter Budaj (31), Brett Clark, right, and Daniel Tjarnqvist in the first period of an NHL game. (Photo by Jimmy Jeong/The Canadian Press)


What are you working on now?

Trying to learn an Adobe program called “Flash”.


How do you ensure that you are progressing as a visual journalist?

I research. I shoot. I learn. Then I go for beers with colleagues.


Edmonton, June 3, 2009 – A photo for SEE magazine about the modern pin-up girl. (Photo by Jimmy Jeong)


What are some of the must-see websites you visit? Please include why you visit these sites (e.g. inspiration, guidance, information, education, etc.).

The New York Times’ Lensblog to read stories from photographers and see great photographs.

• Like others, I also surf through Magnum, the Boston Globe’s Big Picture, APAD, and the Washington Post for great stories and video docs. to read about social media news.

NPAC to keep in touch with colleagues and our industry.

Pressdisplay, which has online versions of newspapers from around the world. I access this through my public library database.

But I find I do most of my online reading about what’s going on in the world through the various media apps on my iPhone.


Edmonton, November 30, 2004 – Nine of Edmonton’s leading hip hop groups come together for a magazine feature exploring the largely undiscovered local scene. (Photo by Jimmy Jeong)


What is your favourite way to unwind?

Going to play Ultimate Frisbee with friends. Renting a whole season of a TV series such as The Wire, Battlestar Galactica, and The Office.


What’s the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you about being a photographer?

We print pictures, not excuses.


Edmonton, July 4, 2009 – Tin waits by a window during a traditional Vietnamese wedding ceremony. (Photo by Jimmy Jeong/Epic Photography)



Category: Photographer's Q&A

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