Photo © Jim Jurica Photography

Interview with former Contributing Photographer Jim Jurica

Interview with former contributing Photographer Jim Jurica.

As of December 2013 Jim no longer actively contributes to GMM. We wish Jim all the best and thank him for what time he gave us.

Jim has a wealth of knowledge in the Glamour model world so it was a natural progression to add him to the ranks of Glamour Model Magazine! One conversation with Jim and you’ll appreciate his straight forwardness as well as professionalisim and kindness. Never one short of ideas for improvement, Jim promises to keep you and us on our feet! We are excited to welcome him to the staff of GMM. Lets take a few moments to get to know this IL based photographer.

GMM: How long have you been a photographer?

Jim J: I’ve been shooting for 12 years now, 10 of those as my full-time occupation.

GMM:: How did you get your start?

Jim J: I picked up my first camera at the age of 30, and began shooting nature and landscapes.  I was a computer programmer at that time, and had become fed up with the corporate world and just walked off the job one day.  Instead of finding a new tech job, I went on road trips around the country and started photographing everything that crossed my path. It was an instant addiction.

GMM: Do you like to keep your techniques a secret or do you like to share with others?

Jim J: The wheel has already been invented… there are no secrets to keep!  We all have our strengths and specialties and rather than be secretive, I host workshops to make money sharing what I’ve learned with others.

GMM: What makes you different from the other photographers?

Jim J: I incorporate a lot of “Persian flaws” into my work, almost as an inside joke.  The back story behind this is that Persian rug makers intentionally put one mistake into their handiwork, because the only thing that is perfect is God.

GMM: Who is your favorite photographer?

Jim J: I like images, not photographers.

GMM: What is your ultimate goal as a photographer?

Jim J: To always do the best work I can, to learn and improve, and to keep it fun and interesting.  The day that photography feels like “just a job” is the day I find something new to do for a living.

Your Gear

GMM: Canon or Nikon?

Jim J: Canon.

GMM: What is your favorite lens to use?

Jim J: My 70-200mm IS f/2.8 is on my camera body 99% of the time.

GMM: What is your Favorite Lighting Gear?

Jim J: I definitely prefer studio strobes over portable flash. And after years of being a soft box junkie, I’ve recently learned to love umbrellas of all type.  Once I really nailed down the concepts behind lighting, I’ve found we can do almost anything with one light and any simple modifier.

GMM: Mac or PC?

Jim J: PC.   But I do have an iPad and iPhone as well.

Shooting, Models, Locations

GMM: What traits do you look for in a model?

Jim J: I work with every look, age and ethnicity.  But given my preferences, I tend to favorite petites with a curvy build.

GMM: Do you have a favorite location to shoot?

Jim J: I like Miami.  Shooting on the beaches there gets repetitive, but the challenge is always to find a new way to do it better and differently than before.

GMM: Do you bring Hairstylist and Make up artist to your shoots?

Jim J: It’s pretty rare that I don’t have a makeup artist for shoots these days.  Sometimes, the models don’t even really need it… they just like the pampering.  And if that makes them feel more confident about themselves during a shoot, the images will only turn out that much better.

GMM: Do models try to play you for gimmees? If so, does it work?

Jim J: Yes, they do.  And no, I don’t fall for that trick any more.  If I’m not getting what I need out of the shoot, then it doesn’t happen.  I still do unpaid trade/test shoots when there’s something of mutual value in it for both of us, usually for a publication opportunity.  But no gimmes.

GMM: Do you find it challenging to be around such beautiful models?

Jim J: Not really.  I’ll be the first to admit I love working with beautiful women.  But I do notice the age difference between myself and the models, more and more these days.  I’m content to shoot their pictures.

GMM: Do you use model mayhem?

Jim J: Every single day.  I love playing the talent-hunter role, and each morning I review the newly approved profiles in my area to see if anyone interests me.  I do think that Modelmayhem has lost much of its value in the past 2 years.  But I still consider having an MM profile to be a core necessity for everyone in this industry.  It’s like an online business card.

GMM: What is your favorite social network?

Jim J: Facebook.  That’s were all the action is at these days.   It’s so easy to access new people, and the advertising is so inexpensive compared to traditional methods.  But it can be a huge distraction as well, with bored people popping up to chat, or nervous models asking the same questions over and over.

GMM: Who is the most famous model you have shot with?

Jim J: Easy answer:  Jax Turyna, who I refer to as my model-partner.  Her and I have worked together on 83 different photo shoots in the past 4 years.  Jax has done something like 700 total shoots, and here in Chicago, she co-hosts a morning TV show.  She’s been featured on ESPN and History Channel.  And as far as we can ascertain, she is the most-published female.

cover model in the romance novel industry with close to 200 covers.  I’m always proud to see her list of accomplishments grow.

On a personal note, I can say that it’s easy to become “famous” for a short period of time, thanks to Internet modeling.  Most of the models who get a taste of that, seem to spend it up as fast as possible.  I’ve worked with many models over the years who have gone on to do bigger/better things like Playboy and Maxim, or movie and TV roles.  Often I was their very first photographer and trained them in posing or networking.  Sometimes, it was my images they’ve submitted to get their publications or paid work, but rarely do I hear from them after they’ve gotten what they need.  That’s just the nature of our business, and I’ve learned to accepted that.  ut I’ve also grown to better appreciate the people who do stick around, and promote them above all others

GMM: Do you think photographers get a bad rap?

Jim J: Only if they present themselves in a way that earns them a bad reputation.

GMM: What is the worst experience you can remember from a photoshoot?

Jim J: I had an $1,800 lens stolen during a shoot … I’d say that qualifies!

GMM: Do you see a solid career for the bikini models?

Jim J: Bikini modeling is a great way to make a quick cash-grab when models are starting out.  But making a 20 year career of it?  That’s another matter entirely.  I always encourage models to understand that it is their face and body that gets their foot in the door.  But they need to learn salesmanship and other skills to stick around for the long haul.

GMM: Is there anything you want to express now that people should know about this business?

Jim J: If you’re doing modeling or photography for fun… keep it FUN.  But if you’re doing it for money then treat it like any other business.  That begins by doing your research and learning about the industry – both your role, as well as the roles others play. Some of the biggest success traits are the most obvious:  be on time, prepared, and build a reputation for being drama-free.  And most important: stick with it.  Most new talent gives up too quickly.