Art

The Other Side of the Camera: A portrait of photographer Jonathan Beller

Jonathan Beller is a Rhode Island photographer specializing in stills, portraits and editorials. I recently worked with Jonathan and can testify to his professionalism and skill behind the camera. He has had the opportunity to photograph a handful of stars, including one of my favorites, Jason Isaacs, who starred in “Brotherhood,” a series filmed in Rhode Island. 

Before he became a photographer, Jonathan did some acting and modeling as a child. It was those experiences that sparked his curiosity in photography. As he posed in front of the lens, he wondered what it would be like to be on the other side of the camera.

His childhood interest eventually turned into a career. During the filming of Harvest Moon in Rhode Island, Jonathan took headshots of Paul Sorvino, Jerry Stiller and Ernest Borgnine. He also took trips around the globe, including to Sierra Leone, finding interesting and alluring subjects wherever he went. However, life’s circumstances and the way he processed them eventually got in the way of his career, and he stopped taking photos. 

In 2017, Jonathan was hospitalized with sepsis and was told by the doctor that he was “knocking at death’s door.” Like many great artists, Jonathan was able to find the beauty in his circumstances and began taking photos in the hospital he was staying in. This series is among his favorite because it highlights a part of his life that was both a tragedy and a triumph as it related to his photography. That same year, however, Jonathan’s mother had a stroke and his father passed away. It seemed no matter what had been gained something also was lost, and it is something Jonathan says he still struggles with. 

Despite the pandemic, Jonathan has been able to push forward and maintain a sense of self and purpose and has once again been inspired by unfortunate circumstances to turn back to photography. Lately, Jonathan has been taking photos in the confinement of his apartment, including stills and depictions of cosplay characters based on popular Netflix shows. Jonathan says that he plans on getting back into photography full time and is using his ongoing experience as motivation. When that time comes, I and the world will be waiting to see what he has in store.

To learn more about Jonathan Beller please visit: jonathanbeller.com/ or @jbellerphoto on Instagram.     

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