JOSH HOTZ: "Spao pushes you to produce"
Josh Hotz is a man in motion, travelling the world to pursue skateboarding photography, but he hasn’t forgotten where he learned his first and most fundamental tricks.
“There are so many great things about the working and social environment at SPAO,” Hotz enthuses. “It really is a family; everyone has your back.”
“Being so close to like-minded people everyday makes you feel comfortable with even the most uncomfortable things,” he continues. “There is nothing more motivating that the constant availability of feedback and the great work being pushed out by your peers. I’ll never forget the drive that the wonderful environment of SPAO instilled in me.”
In addition to the value of good old-fashioned hard work, Hotz says that developing a keen artistic focus was a key takeaway for him while at SPAO: “I really learned how to produce work that speaks to your subjects and reflects your intention. Most importantly, to never back down from an idea. Vision, Content, and Craft are so important in the photographic process.”
“It isn’t a school where you are forced to complete assignments with strict criteria that you have no real connection to. Whatever your own interest is, SPAO pushes you to produce that, refine it, and bring it to a level that is good enough to gain you real recognition as a visual artist.”
Lately Hotz continues to pursue his core passion: skateboarding photography. He regularly submits work to publications worldwide and travels to keep the locations fresh.
“A few things I'm very stoked about recently are going on tour with the professional DVS Shoes team and getting an ad for Venture Truck Co. printed in the California-based Thrasher magazine.
On a professional level, Hotz knows how SPAO helped him build the confidence required to go out into the world: “SPAO provided me with the understanding and language to hold my own when defending, explaining and pitching my work to galleries, potential buyers, and clients in general. I’m very thankful to have been accepted into the program and for my desire to shoot skateboarding be accepted and respected by the teachers.”
Why should aspiring photographers consider the SPAO diploma program?
“I don’t think there is any other diploma program that offers the kind of one-on-one support, in the type of close-knit environment that SPAO offer,” offers Hotz. “It’s the place to find yourself, your aesthetic and your personal voice. If you have a vision, and you want to pursue it to its fullest, SPAO gives you everything you need to seriously put it into motion and produce it at a world-class level.”