Photographer Jacob Maentz Wins Jumpstart Contest!
Congratulations to Jacob Maentz, Winner of PhotoShelter’s Jumpstart Your Photography Business Contest!
Calumet is proud to announce the grand-prize winner of PhotoShelter’s Jumpstart Your Photography Business contest, Jacob Maentz, a freelance photographer who lives with his family in the Philippines. Maentz was one of over 2000 entries from all over the world, in all different specialties, and his grand prize included over $5000 in photo gear from Calumet, including a Canon 6D, as well as one-on-one time with PhotoShelter’s Dream Team Advisory Board and a one-year membership to a professional photographic association.
PhotoShelter is dedicated to providing photographers online tools to build and grow a successful business. Over 76,000 photographers us PhotoShelter’s website, social and SEO tools to share their work and attract new clients. For more details, visit photoshelter.com.
We had a chance to ask Maentz about his photography and what winning this prestigious contest means to him:
What was it about the Philippines that made you want to stay there and raise your family?
There were certainly a few factors in our decision, but my wife is from here so having extended family around was one of the big reasons. When I am traveling there is always plenty of help around to look after our children and financially we can keep some of our costs down as well. From a photography standpoint, it’s a great place for me to be able to step out my door and see new and exciting things. Even after 10 years of living here I still run into new things I haven’t seen before.
What is it about photography that made you want to dedicate your life to it?
There is something extremely addicting about taking photographs, and it’s a hard obsession to explain. For me, it’s partially about the ability to be able to express myself and what I see in the world and also about the human side of telling important stories. It’s mixing humanity and artistry into a single medium and I think that is what I find so compelling.
What special skills do you bring to documenting such uniquely different lifestyles in another part of the world?
I think of myself as a very patient person when dealing with others and am inherently interested in learning about their way of life. I believe this attitude transcends into creating strong relationships which in turn helps set the stage for stronger imagery. I also have an adventurous side to me which is important when trekking to remote locations and dealing with physically demanding situations.
What is your favorite part of your job as a photographer?
My favorite part about being a photographer is probably the freedom to travel and ability to constantly interact with people from different places and backgrounds. On every trip I take I learn new things which helps make me understand myself better. Although there is a lot of backend work to make a trip successful, being out in the field and traveling is the most enjoyable part of this job.
How did you come to apply for the PhotoShelter contest and were you surprised that you won?
The first time I heard about the PhotoShelter contest was by an email they sent out introducing it. It looked interesting and I kept the email in my inbox until I found a good time to sufficiently answer their questions and apply. I never expected to win something like this, but I always thought it would be rewarding to perhaps be one of the finalists. I was very surprised to hear the news when they made their decision.
How will winning this contest impact your business and photography going forward?
Besides the gear provided by Calumet and a camera by Canon I will be able to have one-on-one time with PhotoShelter’s advisory board. I am hoping to get some good ideas and suggestions from them on how to build up my brand more and expanded my business. Ultimately though, I am inspired by winning this and it’s a good confirmation that I am doing the work that I should be. It really does help to get a boost both financially and motivationally and I am trying to make the most of it to help push my business and photography to the next level. Thanks again to PhotoShelter for the opportunity and for all of the sponsors who took part in this.
To learn more about PhotoShelter’s contest and see Jacob’s reaction to winning the grand prize, as well as the work of the other gold winners be sure to see Photo Shelter’s follow up interview from the contest on their blog.
And, don’t forget to stop by Jacob Maentz’s portfolio to see his work photographing indigenous communities in the Philippines.