You’re an original, and SWFT rides empower you to stay true to you. From work to play and anything in between, we want to celebrate the thrill that comes with being unapologetically you. Our newest series, What Moves Us, is a celebration of the creators, doers, movers and shakers that make the SWFT community what it is.
We were contacted by Justin Bettman, a talented photographer and creator about doing a photoshoot with our SWFT ZIP e-bike! We love hearing from creatives in the community who are inspired by our products, and we sat down with Justin to find out more about what he does, why he chose SWFT, and what moves him.
Please tell us about yourself? How did you grow up? What do you do now?
I am a conceptual photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. I grew up in a suburban town in Northern California, went to college in LA, and then moved to NYC to work as an art director in advertising. I really enjoyed working as an art director, but I ultimately decided to leave the ad agency world to pursue photography full time. I feel so lucky to do what I love every day.
What inspires you every day? To keep moving forward?
I find that I'm inspired by figuring out ways to put a clever twist on ordinary situations to make them slightly surreal and stylized in my work. Outside of photography, I enjoy being active whether that's surfing, running, or biking. I also have a strong appreciation of interior and set design.
How did you get started in your profession?
I had a clothing company in high school where I'd have friends design shirts, get them screen printed, and sell them as limited edition runs. I started to sponsor bands and had them wear the clothes on tour and I would go to the shows and photograph them wearing the clothing. I eventually learned that I liked taking pictures more than running the clothing company. To understand how concepts were created, I started out as an advertising art director and eventually made the leap to full time photographer.
What has been the most successful/interesting project you've done or been a part of?
My favorite project I've done was my personal project Set in the Street where I build photo sets out of unwanted furniture outside on the street. I leave the sets up after I take my photo and it's fascinating to see what people take and add to the set. It becomes its own art piece.
“I find that I'm inspired by figuring out ways to put a clever twist on ordinary situations.”
What is the most challenging part of your profession?
As an artist, I think I thrive with the technical side of the craft. But sometimes it can be challenging to think about what you want to tell the world.
I've been really busy with commercial projects that I've enjoyed the past couple of years, but in 2023 I'm hoping to start shooting a new personal project.
What made you go Electric when it comes to Bikes?
I realized that so many of the trips I take in my car would be possible and much more convenient with an e-bike so it reduces the amount I use my car pretty drastically. I also live in an area that is quite hilly where using a normal bike would be difficult.
Tell us about your experience
I really enjoy riding the SWFT bike. Compared to a love of the other e-bikes on the market, it has the perfect mix of being functional with a throttle where you don't have to pedal but also looks rad with its thick off-road tires and its long comfy seat.