Jonathan Yacoub

​Tell us a little bit about yourself

Hey everybody! My name is Jonathan Adel William Yacoub, it’s a pretty long name, but long names make you distinguished and dignified right? I’m Egyptian, my family comes from a long line of pharaohs and royalty. I’m totally kidding, that’s not even remotely true. Im 23 years young and I graduated from the University of California Riverside with a degree in Psychology and Biology; I have plans of moving forward to dental school. My ultimate goal is to become an Endodontist who shoots weddings on the weekends. I enjoy photography, automotives, the girlfriend, urban art, adventuring, and stuff. Good stuff. Awesome stuff. I wanna be the stuff. I am the stuff. Welcome to the stuff.

How did you get into photography?

Sigmund Freud talked about how memories in the past can disappear but only survive in some form of favorable condition. Photography is that condition for me. My buddies and I used to pillage thrift stores for vintage cameras, I found a Canon A1 for next to nothing and that was the dawn of my photography career. My mother used to have an 80’s SLR, and she would take photos of our family on vacations, trips to Disneyland, AYSO soccer games, and whatever else we did as children. Sometimes I like to look back on those memories and take a trip down memory lane.

What means photography to you?

To me, Photography is the embodiment of a particular emotion or setting captured into a still image. That’s a pretty vague and textbook definition, but it’s true. If I can’t feel the despair, excitement, joy, love, sorrow, warmth, sentiment, or whatever emotion was displayed at the time. Then you did it wrong.

What type of photography do you like the most?

I definitely love lifestyle photography, it tells a story.

What is your typical shooting gear?

I have a Canon 5Dc and a Canon 5Dmkii, most of the time you’ll find me shooting on a 35L or a 135L.

Describe your post production workflow

I don’t do too much in post, I believe in “getting it right in camera”. In ACR ill usually just adjust exposure, increase blacks and match it with fill light. Then increase the contrast as well as level my white balance. Hit it with a touch of clarity and vibrance and then export into photoshop. In photoshop I just remove blemishes, sharpen details like the eyes. Then ill hit the image with a ton of curves, do some potential masking and finish the image off with some selective coloring/color balancing. The process usually takes me 5-10 minutes.

What is trending in photography right now and what is the most unnecessary trend in the field of photography?

People are using VSCO presets, that’s probably the biggest trend right now. The most unnecessary trend would probably be selective coloring (When a woman’s lips are red and the rest of the image is B/W). Its pretty terrible haha.

How do you direct your model to make your photos look so relaxed?

I just like to hang out if that makes any sense. I don’t put an urgency on getting good images. I believe in proving a relaxing environment, because how your subject feels will be portrayed in the images you take. I also like to be myself, i typically dance around and act like a fool. It seems to make the models pretty comfortable.

What's your recipe for great portraits?

1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 medium onion (chopped), 1 glove of garlic (minced), 1 jar of tomato sause, 2 large eggs, 2 cups of cheese, ½ cup of grated parmesan, 2 teaspoons of parsley leaves, 1 teaspoon of salt, black pepper, seasoning salt, mozzarella, and cheddar. Wait, no. That’s a recipe for lasagna. My recipe for portraits? There is no textbook recipe, just shoot in good light and have fun with it.


This interview was originally published on


Jonathan Yacoub

Jonathan Yacoub is a Photographer from the USA.