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Shoot Your Shot: A Conversation with Jonathan Ivan


“5 ounces of creativity. 2 cups of willpower and a shot of tequila with a side of lime.”

From the luminous streets of Las Vegas, to the warm hills of the City of Angels, Jonathan Ivan has shown persistence and has taken advantage of today’s technology to make his career as a photographer happen.

How has being is Los Angeles given you advantages with your work?

I feel like a lot of people use the title “LA photographer” to their advantage. I have. People see it as a trophy to live in LA so you have to put in the work to make sure you can deliver that expectation. Using your resources is important too since “anyone who is anyone” stays in LA.

Do you prefer to work with digital photography or film?

I prefer working with digital. I haven’t dabbled enough with film to say I prefer film. I’ve actually been inspired by Petra Collins to start using film. I think her images are pretty cool.

Do you work exclusively with taking portraits of people?

I have taken portraits of dogs and cats before. That was a lot of fun, but for the most part I love working with people.

What is it about the human form that you find most interesting?

I have worked with a few dancers in LA and I think it’s so amazing how fluid and comfortable someone can be in their body. The human form in general is a beauty.

How has social media changed your way of working?

Social media has played a big factor in the way that I market myself and communicate with clients, but I feel that I’ve done a great job of straying away from becoming an “Instagram photographer.” Social media is a valuable tool.

Do you have any deal breakers when it comes to photography?

A deal breaker for me is when a client doesn’t trust me. My goal is to make everyone as comfortable as possible and for them to trust my vision.

What is it like working with celebrities vs. working with regular people? What do you prefer?

I prefer working with regular people. I like having a one on one conversation with my clients to capture and understand their vision as well. Photoshoots run much smoother when I can be more personable with whoever I’m working with.

Do you have any signature elements in your work?

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I’m in love with symmetry and I love when my work is centered and in focus. It creates a more defined look.

You have side pieces that are raising money for a cause, why did you choose Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth?

The summer heat and cold winter in Las Vegas can be brutal, especially for the homeless who have nothing, considering the shelter in Vegas is small. I was on my way home one night when I looked up and saw a sign for NPHY. A kid who is homeless is being set up for failure, with little to no opportunities for a successful future. I looked into NPHY and saw how much they had to offer and saw an opportunity for greatness for these homeless kids, so that’s why I continue to donate to this organization.

How did you come up with the “Notification” series along with “I-15″?

I had a set of pictures that I really liked and wanted them to convey how social media is a big part of today’s world. As far as the I-15 series, I took some pictures of my favorite places in LA, and I reverted to my brother for help and what the series should be named. He said “The I-15 Series”. I-15 is a highway between Las Vegas and LA.

To find out more and purchase any of Jonathan’s work to help NPHY, click here.

To see more of his work, check out his website by clicking here.

Instagram: @j0nathanivan


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  • I see Jonathan not only is a visionary, an artist, and an acceptional human being, but also as an inspiration. He used what he had made It work for not only his personal gain but to better the community as well. Most people are so caught up in fame and fortune that they become blind. Jonathan has used his creativity of creating art to better the world as a whole. I cannot say that I’ve seen anyone else collaborate with a charitable organization just for the sole purpose of helping provide safety, security, and most importantly opportunity for the upcoming generations. A very selfless act. He works hard to earn a living, is super humble, and does what he loves to do everyday. Not many people can say that. You know what he does comes from the heart. I applaud him.

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