Jeffrey Stroup

Since childhood I have loved taking photos. Capturing little pieces of my life one moment at a time. I'm a sentimental person and I cherish the time I spend with friends, and all of the beautiful things I see. Photography is my way of holding onto these things. I have been fortunate enough to make a career out of this passion of mine for the last several years. It has taken me to different countries, and all across the US. I have met all sorts of amazing people along the way, and am always looking for my next adventure. Life is short. We need to experience all that we can while we're still capable.


I know plenty of people who are content living their lives in the safety of a secure job and a comfortable couch. Which is perfectly fine, but not for me. I need adventure. Whether it's rappelling down a frozen waterfall, climbing to the roof of downtown buildings, or wandering around the Mojave Desert; I need adventure in my life. Around ten years ago I discovered urban exploration, which is the hobby of going places that you're not supposed to go, such as abandoned buildings, tunnels under the street, and climbing bridges and buildings. This hobby propelled me as a photographer as I learned to conquer the difficulties of shooting in less than perfect conditions. The feeling of being somewhere that so few have ever been is indescribable. It has become a compelling force in my life. A need more so than simply a desire.


Some of my favorite photographers are street photographers. While I wouldn't say that street photography is my forte, I appreciate it and practice it. I think it is incredibly important to document the world around us. Sometimes it's uplifting, and sometimes it can make our hearts ache. Sadness as well as joy. The human condition. Life. It all holds beauty in it's own way, and needs to be captured for future generations. It is vital that our children and their children and their children's children see an accurate portrayal of the world that we live in. Street photography does this. By capturing the every day life of the city that we live in and the people who surround us, we are able to tell the story of what life is like in that specific time and place.


The advent of digital photography, especially smart phones and apps like Instagram; brought on a flood of 'photographers.' While it is exciting to see so many new tools and resources, it has also over saturated the world of photography. I am a strong believer in the benefits of creativity. I think that everyone should have a creative outlet even if they don't see themselves as an artistic person in the traditional sense. We were born to create and build. It is human nature, and now with affordable DSLRs, smart phones, and the plethora of photo editing software and apps; everyone can be a photographer. However I like to detach myself from the world of digital photography whenever I can. There is something so special about capturing a photo with film. You have to be careful and calculated. That perfect shot might be out of focus or poorly exposed, but you won't know until the film is processed. It is a far more rewarding feeling when you end up with a beautiful film photo. It feels more real and genuine. I have dozens of Polaroid cameras, along with a handful of 35mm and medium format cameras. While it is so much cheaper and easier to shoot digital, film will always be a part of my photography.


It is nearly impossible for me to put into words the deep seeded longing for travel that I feel. It is a big world, full of interesting places and people. I want to see as much as I can. Mountains, deserts, oceans. People, cultures, lifestyles. I am always looking for opportunities to see new places. Constantly planning new trips, and looking for excuses to get away even if it's only for a day or two. Of course Ohio will always be home to me. Professional traveler and adventurer Josh Gates said "Travel does not exist without home....If we never return to the place we started, we would just be wandering, lost. Home is a reflecting surface, a place to measure our growth and enrich us after being infused with the outside world." I was born and raised in Northeast Ohio, and I will probably live here for the rest of my life, but in the mean time I will explore every inch of the globe that I can.