The Life of the Party
by EAM Staff
A few months back I had the pleasure of having lunch with an up and coming rave photographer from Lebanon, Oregon.
Jon Paxin is 19 years old and has only been taking photographs seriously for a year. And by seriously, I mean, he did not finish high school because he was faced with the chance to photograph a major show as a professional photographer. He did go back and complete his GED.
Paxin actually got into photography through his sister, Kayla Laughter, who is a great film photographer. His grandfather also happens to be a professional photographer, so the
photographic eye seems to run in the blood.
"I wanted to get into photography just to try it out my freshmen year, but it was a really popular class and so I couldn’t get in until the end of the year. Ever since then, every term I was in a [photography] class."
He took three years of photography which allowed him to check out a camera every summer to continue learning on his own. He was really took inspiration from one of his teachers who had traveled the world as a photographer. By his junior year of high school that teacher left for a new job, and the replacement teacher was actually a writing teacher. So he had the opportunity to help her teach the class because he had more photography experience than any of the other students. It was February, of his senior year of high school that he started attending raves with his friends. He thought, "I’m a photographer, I bet I could shoot some raves." So he checked out a camera, took it to a show and was amazed at the response to his photos from teachers and his friends.
Omar Hani, owner of PDX Booth saw his work and asked if he would like to host his photos on his website. They worked together for a while, but have since parted company.
Paxin would like to be out on a national tour by the end of this year. He’s had the opportunity to shoot some really big raves in the Pacific Northwest and will have the chance to possibly shoot for Armin Van Buurren at Freaknight in Seattle this year.