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Architecture photographer captures the heart of LA

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At the age of 15 he would observe the city from the car window. Those moments became the foundation for his interest in architectural photography. He one day picked up his parent’s 35 millimeter range point and shoot camera and began taking photos of buildings. He never thought this would become something he would enjoy over the years and pursue.

Josh Cho, 33, leans back in his chair as he sits in his Art-15 class. He wears a white T-shirt, a pair of faded jeans and his hair is ruffled. He chuckles as he reminisces over the beginning of his journey.

“It started in the dark room at Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies High School,” Josh says as he recalls the school in Culver City.

Josh took multiple art elective classes there because he needed it in order to graduate high school. He then added a photography class to the mix. He says that a part of falling in love with this particular form of photography was looking at black and white landscape photography books that his high school teacher kept.

Josh admired the photos by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston.

“They’re macho men taking pictures of rocks,” Josh says.

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Josh is now an adjunct instructor at El Camino College and he teaches photography classes twice a week. He also teaches wedding photography at Fullerton College.

Josh says, “I immediately fell in love with (architecture photography) because it’s similar to landscape (photography).” Because of the classes he took Josh came to love the process of photography and decided to continue his studies in that field.

In 2002, Josh enrolled at Santa Monica College where he developed an interest in commercial photography. Once enrolled in the photography program, Josh became involved in commercial fashion photography. However, he was unsure if this was the right field for him.

Josh received a glimpse of what it is like to work with others when working with his classmates who were also majoring in the same field. He loved photography, but he wished for something more independent. That’s when Josh returned to architectural photography.

The direction of his interest in commercial photography to the fine arts was startling, and had only transpired after taking art classes outside the photography department at the university during his undergraduate studies.

Josh ended up taking architectural shots for an assignment and enjoyed it more than he had enjoyed fashion photography.

“It probably had a lot to do with my love for landscaping.” Josh says.

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Aaron Giesel, an adjunct lecturer at California State University, Long Beach, says, “Josh is a good loyal friend, we have developed a good friendship over the past five years based on our strong mutual interest in art, photography and teaching.”

To get to this point in his career, Josh had to sacrifice having a normal life and it is because he’s working around different client schedules and he sometimes has to wake up early for dusk shots. He wasn’t working everyday, but he had to be available. Josh says he often thinks that photographers have multiple jobs, running around wearing different hats, so it’s kind of a sacrifice not having things consistent.

Josh has other hobbies such as rock climbing, but right now he’s being treated for his back. He had an injury that’s preventing him from continuing this hobby. He also likes to bike ride in the city of Boyle Heights as much as he can just to have an excuse to get out of his house. He tried surfing once and couldn’t get into it.

About twice a week he goes to art galleries with his wife or friends.

There have been times, when Josh says he has thought about quitting but “once a project comes along the thought goes away,” he says.

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Architecture photographer captures the heart of LA