Intimate Conversations with Creatives At Home
I met Josh two years ago when I joined Smilebooth’s team. We were both working as lead techs at the time. He was one of the first people who I met when I started. He was energetic, kindhearted and genuinely cared about people. Frankly speaking, he is amazing. He’s amazing simply because of how he makes people feel. He makes you feel seen. And when he asks “How are you doing?” you can tell he truly wants to know. I’m not sure if it’s because of the gentleness of his voice or the way he makes eye contact with you. Whatever it is, Josh has it.
Since then, he is now the production manager for Smilebooth and still freelancing, but less with fashion photography and more with production. During our first interview, I remember him expressing interest in doing more freelance production work, so I followed up on this transition. I asked him about work, how he’s navigating working at Smilebooth, his freelance projects, and if he was happy. He assured me that happiness was a choice and that he was indeed happy.
Josh lives in Bridgeport, a neighborhood on Chicago’s south side of town. During our recent follow-up, I asked “Why Bridgeport?” and he responded, “It’s a neighborhood, it feels like a community. A lot of places in Chicago feel like a big college dorm.” When Josh and I were shooting his portraits for this feature in Bridgeport, I was able to witness the community vibe first-hand. I had Josh wave for a shot and the entire family across the way started waving back. A small gesture, but a friendly gesture indeed. In some parts of the city, you can barely get a “Good morning,” back. He describes his apartment as a “home” and “very functional.” He shares his home with his girlfriend, Laura. It was very interesting seeing how they were able to blend their separate uniqueness into one home. It’s well curated and feels very cozy.