Omar "Meez" Jones is a biker, photographer, and entrepreneur whose self-avowed best talent is making a living off his lifestyle. His photography made waves when Apple billboards sprung up all over the Bay Area last year featuring a photo of two silhouetted bikers hitting wheelies. One of the bikers was him and the photo was taken by his good friend @Iamkamalx. Meez was thrilled to see a platform of this magnitude benefit a culture he is proud to represent.
Meez’s passion for photography started at an early age when he was simply a kid from the Bay who enjoyed taking pictures with his iPhone 4. He decided to make his lifestyle a career during an overseas trip in 2013 that cemented his passion for visual storytelling. Today, a decade later, he's made a name for himself as a prominent Bay Area photographer.
Meez turned his hobby into a lifestyle by "grinding hard and making a difference." His mission is to demonstrate that anyone can be a photographer as long as they enjoy it and remain rooted in passion. He says, "I don't want people to think that just because you don't have the best equipment, you aren't going to be a good photographer."
Meez defines himself as a lifestyle photographer. His work captures the subtleties and mesmerizing beauty of Oakland's street life, culture, and landscapes. He strives to foster an understanding of the people and communities he photographs and through his lens entices us to fall in love with Oakland over and over again.
Meez is inspired by everything and everyone. He says, "I use my camera lens to express myself and share my vision and passions. I am inspired by life's journey and often draw on my own experiences in my work. I want to tell the story of where I’m from."
He also enjoys telling other people's stories, turning the moments of their lives into art. He says, "I try to highlight people from all walks of life. I have made lifelong friendships snapping pictures, always being mindful of handling other people's stories with respect, honesty, and care."
Meez's advice for aspiring photographers is to "stay true to yourself and the story you want to tell.”
Connect with Meez on Instagram @lamomeez.