Biography

Jeremy Hogan (1972) comes from a photography, journalism and art history background. Hogan began photographing skateboarders in Porterville, California when he was 14.

Hogan is the grandson of sharecroppers like those depicted by Walker Evans and James Agee. Both his grandfathers rode trains as hobos.

In 1969 Hogan’s father dropped out of high school and went to Vietnam. He came home disillusioned with America. He soon became angry at the system. During Hogan’s childhood, with little stability, his family inhabited various suburban dwellings. This experience was far from Utopia or the American Dream.

For nearly a year, beginning during the summer of 1979, Hogan’s family was more or less homeless living in a trailer on a government plot on a hilltop not far from Yosemite National Park. But living out in the wilderness away from suburbia with frequent trips to Yosemite were good experiences for Hogan.

Hogan initially learned photography by looking at the action and advertising photos in skateboard magazines sold in the skateboard shop he had started with his mother in 1987. The skateboard shop didn’t last but Hogan’s interest in photography did.

When Hogan was a freshman in high school he began shooting part-time for the local newspaper. A writer for the newspaper had a malfunctioning camera so Hogan offered to take some pictures. The editor liked the image Hogan made and began offering him freelance assignments.

It didn’t take long for his high school art teacher, who had made a series of award winning short films during the 70s, to take notice. When Hogan was a sophomore a directed studies class in fine art photography was created utilizing the high school’s abandoned graphic arts darkroom.

Hogan was given open-ended fine-art photography assignments on a weekly basis with absolutely no rules except he create photographs true to developing his vision. He was given three hours per day to work in the high school’s darkroom in addition to time spent in a darkroom he had built in his parents’ home over the summer.

Hogan shot photos for the local newspaper, his high school newspaper and the yearbook. He was learning both journalistic and fine art photography techniques which he soon began to combine.

Hogan began attending the local junior college after high school. He couldn’t afford an expensive four-year school. It turned out that one of the college’s instructors was getting a degree from Cal Arts. This instructor borrowed books from Cal Arts’ extensive photography collection then loaned them to Hogan. Hogan also made friends with painter Shane Guffogg who had been assisting Ed Ruscha. This exposure to the LA art scene had a major influence on Hogan’s photography.

During this time Hogan was also assisting on a part-time basis for fashion and celebrity portrait photographer Stephan Schacher who had recently graduated from Art Center College of Design. Schacher often rented or borrowed lights for his photo shoots. Afterwards, Hogan used the lights and the studio. In 1992 Hogan moved to Hollywood
for the summer where he was immersed in the LA photography scene. At this time Hogan also met San Francisco Examiner photographer Kurt Rogers. Rogers encouraged Hogan to keep making documentary photographs and introduced him to Pulitzer Prize winning photographer Kim Komenich who had a reputation for mentoring young photographers.

Komenich recommended that Hogan transfer to San Jose State where Jim McNay was running one of the hottest photojournalism schools in America. The art school photography programs were more expensive than Hogan could afford without taking out large student loans. Hogan began classes at San Jose State during the Fall of 1993 but
modeled part of his curriculum after the courses taught at the much more expensive Art Center College of Design.

Komenich taught Hogan a class in documentary photography using the syllabus from the class he taught at an expensive photography school in San Francisco. Hogan was also fortunate that McNay convinced National Geographic into paying one of its staff photographers to teach for a semester at San Jose State.

This had never been done at any university. Fortunately Hogan was in the class taught by George Mobley who had been a photographer at National Geographic since 1961. During this time Hogan photographed the 350-mile United Farm Workers march to Sacramento which proved to be a life changing experience.

Hogan interned as a staff photographer at the Modesto Bee during 1994, the Indianapolis News during 1995, the Kansas City Star and the Palm Beach Post during 1996 and at the Ann Arbor News during late 1997.

In may 1997 Hogan received a B.S. in Journalism with a concentration in photojournalism and a minor in Art History. Hogan is the first and only person in his family to graduate from a University.

In September 1997 Hogan began a full-time job working as a newspaper photographer in Bloomington, Indiana where he won the Hoosier State Press Association Photo of the Year and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize during 1998.

Since 1998 Hogan has self-funded documentary photography projects in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Belarus, Japan, India, Mongolia and Turkey. Hogan’s personal projects include images of Tibetan Exiles, Post-Soviet Mongolians, Post-Soviet Belarusians, and images of Mexican-Americans.

Hogan continues to find time to make photographs that defy easy categorization. Hogan blends what he has learned from the documentary, commercial and fine art fields of photography into a style of photography that is entirely his own.