Jonathan Kozowyk: The Photographer Next Door
Around 2002, my wife and I started construction on our house in Rockport, Massachusetts. We had sold our previous place, and relocated to temporary digs near Long Beach in neighboring Gloucester. The condo we rented was right on the beach—unfortunately our stay was mostly over the cold months.
In the offseason, beaches are quiet places. That's true here on Cape Ann, too. Long Beach was nearly empty every day, with the exception of the surfers who lived next door. They were always out, regardless of the conditions. In the morning, when we were heading out the door to drop the kids at school, these dudes were in wetsuits, boards in hand, headed to the beach.
We had a few conversations with Christian and Jonathan Kozowyk (two of the friendliest guys you'll ever meet), but never got to know them very well. We were all living there temporarily, and would soon head our different directions. I'm not even sure I knew they were photographers, or if they knew I designed magazines.
A few years later, I bumped into Christian, who was assisting another photographer on a shoot I was doing for Kiplingers. We recognized each other from Long Beach and after the shoot we exchanged business cards.
In the ensuing years, Christian, his brother Jonathan, and I have enjoyed many successful collaborations. But this summer, I think we topped them all. My client, The Civil War Monitor, is, by necessity, a low-budget magazine. That usually means we have to have modest goals for any artwork that isn't free (surprisingly, most of what we use is free, thanks to the amazing collection at the Library of Congress). But when a plum assignment comes along, we take the chance to try to convince talented artists that there's an opportunity to do memorable work. In July we sent Jonathan Kozowyk to Pennsylvania to photograph the 150th Gettysburg Reenactment. The results (see below) were absolutely stunning.
I've worked for a few clients with huge budgets, and for many who had very little. But the lesson I've learned is that when an artist is inspired, the money doesn't matter. The work will shine. Thanks, Jonathan.