Get Featured: Jordan Castelan
In this Get Featured we find out about how Jordan took a slightly different route to becoming a photographer to most of us. Instead of choosing, Jordan was chosen to be a photographer. I guess that is what destiny really is. And it seems to have worked out well for Jordan. Come and see. Please note, there is a NSFW image in this series.

“How I got into photography”

It really all started with my enlistment into the U.S. Air Force. Growing up there was always a family camera but no one took it seriously. Up until I had the choice to make photography my actual career in the  Air Force photography was always just something that never really crossed my mind unless I wanted a profile photo.

After I was selected to become a photographer I ended up at the Defense Information School, located on Ft. Meade in Maryland for three months. I had an incredible team of sergeants teaching me and my classmates and a dormitory of nearly a 100 fellow students, most of which were all very motivated about the art. It was an incredible introduction into photography and what has gotten me here now.

“What attracts me to the work I shoot” 

My typical workload is photojournalism, and while engaging doesn’t have the widest scope of freedoms. With film I feel free to take risks I normally wouldn’t take. I no longer “have” to get the shot because all the shots are for me now. There isn’t pressure to preform, I get to show up and capture whatever I feel like, however I feel like. It’s my outlet.

“Why shoot film”

It really is a tactile experience for me. The feeling of crank advancing the film, the difference in shutter sound, the weight and balance of the camera in my hand. It’s something that just instantly clicked for me. I love digital, don’t mistake that, I just find myself being caught up with histograms and trying to get shutter speeds just right and my subject perfectly in focus and such. With film I’m just shooting because I want to shoot.

“Film stock choice and creative expression of each”

My allegiance really belongs to no particular stock. Tri X, TMax, HP5, Porta, Lomo 400, Gold 200, whatever, I just pick something for my mood, for the weather, how good of a hair day I’m having, there is no rhyme or reason at the moment. The options themselves let me express what I’m feeling.

U.S. Air Force Maj. (ret) Sherrill Arvin has his photo taken during an interview recapping his time in service during the 1940s and 50s as an aviator on Joint Base San Antonio Lackland, Tex., April 16, 2015. Arvin knew he wanted to be a pilot while he was still in high school. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jordan Castelan)

“The shot process of film and where I draw inspiration”

I really find myself being drawn to taking photos of normal life events we all don’t think twice about, even if that means the photo will fall flat in front of most viewers. I’m not thinking about how such and such photographer would approach something or even how I would normally approach a subject. I’ll take a peak through the viewfinder and if I even think I might like what I see then I’m taking the photo. It’s an explorative journey, on the art and of myself.

Yashica Mat 124G

“The intimacy of photography”

The format and the medium of photography really doesn’t define how intimate the photography process is for me. Both with digital and film I’m likely to talk to my focus after taking the frame, maybe find something out about them, show them the shot if it’s digital or tell them why I’m shooting film. Let them advanced to the next frame maybe, have them peer through the viewfinder and see how different cameras can be. I want my photography to be a hands on and group experience for everyone involved. I love telling people, ‘you know, you’re not THAT ugly,’.

Canon F-1

More of my work can be found on my webpage as well as my Instagram

– J.



Thanks for sharing your work with us, Jordan. It is an interesting route to becoming a photographer. You really are the ‘chosen one’.

Come on, share with us what you have and get yourself featured.

Click on this link and send in your project/work: Get Featured. *I am looking for mainly projects, not individual images*
Oh, and click here to see a few of the photographers that have been on the site before

Please make sure you come and comment, polite and constructive critique is welcome.