www.jaredleeds.com

What did your 18 year old self see you becoming?

The last vestiges of my dream to become an NBA point guard disappeared as I came to terms with the fact that I wasn’t getting any taller than 5’6″, had no ups and never even made the varsity squad. Photography was definitely an interest but didn’t become solidified until my junior year of college when I started taking photos for my college newspaper.

When was the last time you watched the sun rise?
Last week I photographed rowers on the Charles River as the sun rose over the Boston skyline. Not a bad way to start the day.

Can you remember the first time you got paid to take a photograph?

Right after I graduated from college, MIT paid my way and a per diem to photograph anthropology students doing research in northern Brazil for a week. I took the opportunity to spend three months traveling and photographing all throughout Brazil. It was the trip of a lifetime.

If you weren’t a photographer, what would you do?

I’ve asked myself this question many times and if we’re basing this on what’s realistic, maybe a furniture maker, something in which I’m creating and not constantly sitting behind a desk. If we’re talking about things that are completely unrealistic, mountain biker.

When you need it, what inspires you?

My family, my friends, people who live life on their own terms, riding bikes in the woods, film, music, the competition.

How do you get your news?

NPR, Boston Globe, New York Times, The Onion

What do you know now, you wish you’d known when you first started out?

The importance of building and maintaining relationships, both professional and personal.

What might surprise people about you?

I know this is on my website, but in college I climbed the famed Citgo sign in Boston, twice. Looking back, this may not have been the smartest thing to do, but I don’t regret it. Apparently this has been made impossible since then. Here’s a picture for reference.

What were you like as a 10 year old?

I was slightly chubby, shy in the company of strangers, observant, athletic. It wasn’t until I picked up a camera and was forced to go and make photographs of people that I started to come out of my shell. Photography opened up a whole new world for me.

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