September 21, 2011 – There are people who fish, and there are fishermen. People who fish often engage in the sport as an opportunistic activity because of being near water for other reasons: camping, picnicking, family reunions or whatever. Fishermen, though, leave no doubt that fishing is more than an alternative choice; for them it is their top-of-mind preference.
And, yes, the use of “fishermen” here does include women, many of whom are just as much in love with fishing as their male counterparts. While “anglers” is considered the more politically correct term for the total fishing community, it just doesn’t seem to ring as true as “fishermen” does when referring to this most passionate group of all avid participants.
“I truly believe that most of life’s lessons can be learned through fishing,” said John Campos, a New York-based professional photographer who spends most of his time traveling the country photographing fashion for some of the nation’s top advertising campaigns. “While fishing I have taught my kids about respect for nature and people, good sportsmanship and ethics, and the beauty in everything we see and do during our time together. They’ve also learned that you don’t have to catch fish for a trip to be deemed successful.”
Campos enjoys both fresh and saltwater fishing, often combining his trade and passion into his fishing opportunities. “I can’t go as often as I’d like, but I’m always thinking about my last outing or my next one,” he said. “So, like most fishermen, I spend a lot of time tinkering with my tackle between fishing trips, and many times that ends up with me in my studio with lures on my table and me behind the camera.”
The pro photographer points out that most fishermen are good at taking snapshots of people with their catches, but often overlook many great image opportunities based around their gear. He suggests always have a camera along and pay attention to the little things that catch your eye for whatever reason.
“An open tackle box with all the colors, shapes and arrangements of lures can make for a really cool photo worthy of framing,” he offered. “So can a close up of the face of a youngster who is focused on the task of tying on a lure. Even a spider web glistening from a fishing rod in the morning sunlight can be a spectacular image,” Campos added.
He also says that while you don’t need to have anything other than a decent point and shoot digital camera to capture some real “keepers,” it is important to have it set on the highest image resolution possible in order to get an image worthy of a suitable size for framing. His other advice is to snap several shots of the same things, from different angles and perspectives, noting that shadows and light refractions can make for interesting contrasts.
“The beauty of digital photography is that most cameras can take and store lots of images, making it easy to review and delete them later,” Campos explained.
Yet, the good news for those who don’t have that touch for seeing unique photo opportunities or who simply prefer to spend all of their time fishing, is that Campos makes his favorite shots available to others who prefer to benefit from his creative eye and fishing savvy. Framed versions of his artistic lure images and on-the-water beauty shots, ideal for prominent places on the walls in any fisherman’s home or office, are displayed and sold on his web site, www.AnglersArtOnline.com.
Are one fisherman’s images truly appealing to other avid anglers? Gayle Julian, founder and president of Jewel Bait Co., makers of one of the most popular bass jigs in the country, certainly thinks so.
“John Campos and I have never met, but we became phone buddies when a question about one of our Jewel products connected us a couple of years ago,” explained Julian. “During our visit, I became aware of his fishing photography beyond his normal realm of work. I’m a big fan of his shot of the red and white bobbers in a bird’s nest, and the one of the crankbaits emerging from a sardine can. It’s great work and I think it has a very real place as decorative art in any environment, from a dentist’s office to a play room.”
Campos has categorized his images into six designations: Anglers Series, Kid Series, Fly Angler Series, Saltwater Angler Series, Designer Collection and Signature Series. His lure images are matted on 10″ x 10″ frames, whereas the stunning outdoor shots are typically framed on beautiful 16″ x 20″ fruitwood frames. Prices range from $19.99 – $119.99 each, according to the image, frame and size.
Within the Designer Collection, there are options to purchase multiple images that have been grouped together as different sets, including Kids Room, Anglers Den, Anglers Corner, Fly Room and Salt Angler. The groupings consist of three to four individually 10″ x 10″ framed images that complement each other. Prices for Designer Collection images range from $49.99 – $65.99, per set.
Campos says fishing is a lifestyle enjoyed by all walks of life and that those who love it most do indeed clearly reflect their preference for the sport at home and at work just like he does. “I believe I’m in the majority of anglers when I say I surround myself with fishing memories pretty much everywhere,” he further explained. “Fishing images capture much more than just a successful fishing trip, and all tell their own stories, whether explained or perceived.”
Campos also says that his making these images available for purchase is more about the sharing of his passion for fishing than it is a business venture.
“This isn’t about replacing my professional photography job at all,” he explained. “I just know how important fishing is in the lives of those who enjoy it like I do. I think I have some photos that they will find tasteful and fun in communicating that same passion to others who visit their homes and places of work. Fishing is a sport to be shared and that’s what I want to do.”
With signs of fall already occurring throughout the country now, Christmas isn’t that far off so AnglersArtOnline.com just might be the perfect gift to show someone else that you do indeed understand his or her passion for fishing.
“Fishing images are just as appropriate on a wall in a professional office, doctor’s exam room, lobby area, etc., as they are in a person’s den or living room. The images almost always lead into conversation and provide a comforting distraction to the task at hand. I’m proud I love to fish,” Campos said.