Jeremy Perez-Cruz is currently the Director of Brand at Buzzfeed Media where he works with clients to create unique products and experiences for their audiences. Jeremy is also a passionate photographer and has developed a global community, #StreetWeekly, through social media focused on learning and sharing the art of street photography.
This is article is a continuation from a previous conversation with Jeremy where we focused on his design experience and his current role as the Director of Brand at Buzzfeed.
Inspired to Photograph
- Jeremy has had a lot of inspirations through growing up but again his Dad had a lot to do with it and even gave Jeremy his first Canon AE-1 in highschool.
- When Jeremy had moved out he had met a few photographers that also lived in his building. These two photographers were John Deeb and John Paul Douglass who are now very recognized for their work. During their time together they would take road trips and during their excursions Jeremy noticed both Johns were photographing constantly. This interested Jeremy and it wasn’t long after that he started a tumblr and began posting a photo everyday.
- For Jeremy, photography has been a way to break the constant habit of looking down at his phone and taking time to really look around and observe what is around him.
I really want to encourage people to slow down and look because again we’re all looking down at our phones, we’re all on the subway with our headphones in and no one’s paying attention and sometimes you know there’s people in need; but a lot of times are just like really beautiful moment.
Discovering Your Own Style
- Jeremy get’s a lot of questions from photographers just starting off around his editing techniques and how he captures his images. A big part of his style has come with time and experimenting. There are a ton of Lutz packs and presets out there and he does mention that he enjoys the VSCO packs but he also goes on to say that those tools shouldn’t be where you end. You should continue to experiment and tweak things to learn and understand what you like and dislike. Along the way you may just find your own point of view and that is more valuable.
Tips for Creatives
- As the Director of Brand at Buzzfeed, Jeremy sees a lot of job applications come his way. One thing that stands out for Jeremy is versatility. He believes that generalists are very underrated and can sometimes be overlooked. When he is looking for a full-time hire, individuals that can perform a wide range of tasks are a more viable option for Jeremy because it allows them to assist on a number of projects.
- Creatives who can present and write well also really have an incredible advantage. A lot of a creative’s job is to present and sell a client on a direction. You may not always get the opportunity to present in front of someone so if you can write a clear and articulate email in place of those opportunities then you will stand out.
- Team chemistry is also a big part of hiring. People who are modest, kind and are team players, Jeremy say’s he’ll hire nine times out of ten. Having a positive impact can effect the entire outlook of a team and contributing negatively to that can also effect how everyone works. Being able to lift people up around you and help when needed will always give you a big advantage.
Fake It Till You Make It
- While “Fake It Till You Make It” Is thrown around a lot as creatives it also takes a lot of humility to ask someone when you don’t know how to do something. Yes you should absolutely take on new challenges for the opportunity to learn and a lot of our conversation was a result of that. However being able to ask a question and take the time to learn versus “faking it” and potentially doing a terrible job is very valuable and will you help you grow in your career.
There’s nothing better really than having a great meal with like a friend and having a good conversation.
Food For Thought
- Jeremy is also a huge fan of ramen which is a favorite on the podcast and mentioned in previous episodes with Zach Mack and Lydia Pang. Some of our favorite New York spots including Minca, Mr. Taka, and Ivan Ramen get a shoutout.
- Jeremy currently resides in Carroll Gardents and shared with us a few of his favorite spots that he frequents including Pizza Motto, Claro, and La Vara. He also mentioned Clover Club which he thinks has some of the best cocktails in the world.
- I also asked Jeremy about some dive bars and he mentioned Boat, Brooklyn Inn, and Montero’s.
- In addition to taking photos mostly everyday and being the Director of Brand at Buzzfeed, Jeremy has also been working on a few side projects centered around his street photography and the #StreetWeekly community.
- Jeremy has been working with master printers in New York to produce limited edition prints of his photographs. This relates back to his experience working in a gallery setting. In addition to prints Jeremy has also been working on a photo book comprising of his work from the past few years in New York City.
- A major project Jeremy has been focusing on is hosting a street photography conference in New York. Jeremy will work with photographers he admires to lecture, show photography documentaries, and also have a gallery show of all of the guest speakers work. Very exciting news and I hope I can go!
A big thank you to Jeremy for sitting with me for as long as he did and kindly sharing his experience.
Don’t forget to subscribe and listen where ever you get your podcasts. As always feel free to email me if you have any suggestions or comments about the episode!
- John Deeb
- Jonpaul Douglass
- Aundre Larrow
- Dave Krugman
- Pizza Motto
- La Vara
- Clover Club
- Brooklyn Inn