On a family visit to Colorado at age thirteen, Jonathan Beckerman grabbed his mother’s Canon A-1 35mm camera, hopped on his bike, and rode 13 miles into the rugged mountains in search of the ghost town of St. Elmo. Being young and alone in the midst of nature’s beauty was a transformational experience. “I remember aiming my mother’s camera at the scenic mountainscape and opening the shutter,” he says. “I remember feeling like this was something I could dedicate my life to.”
Jonathan eventually studied film, photography, and visual arts at Ithaca College’s Roy H. Park School of Communications. He then embarked for Los Angeles, where he worked in film and photography, shooting high fashion models, celebrities, album and book covers, luxury lifestyle products and, documentaries. Beckerman’s clients appreciate him for both his technical skill and creative vision, particularly his innate ability to capture “the soul of things.”
While Jonathan was living in smoggy Los Angeles, the mayor vowed to make LA the nation’s greenest city. “I began to wake up and make changes in my own life, ‘man in the mirror’ style,” he says.
He ultimately traded his life in Los Angeles to live on his family’s land in the Connecticut countryside. In pursuit of sustainability, he started looking at the world with new eyes. Jonathan began letting go of conventional patterns, while envisioning innovative new approaches to mitigating his carbon footprint. Beckerman began creating and re-creating everything, from commercial endeavors to recycled functional home designs. He has a 2nd-usage vintage and antiques business, builds his own furniture, and helps his aunt and her husband with their small organic farm, Wiltshire Farms. He also volunteers at another organic farm—Fort Hill Farm in New Milford, Connecticut—weeding, planting harvesting, washing, and packing.
“When you have your hands in the dirt where the Weantinogue Indian tribe once camped and farmed, it’s natural to think of the past,” he says. “It really brought me back to the roots of America, when most people lived off of the land. The people who do this work now are soldiers fighting to keep our nation healthy. This is an honorable cause—one that I want to help celebrate and promote with my photographic vision. Ultimately, I want to tell the story of the sustainable living movement.”