John Philp Thompson, a Chicago-based photographer

Who are you, John?

I’m John Philp Thompson, a Chicago-based photographer, model, list-maker, risk-taker and menswear blogger. Originally from Texas, I’ve been in Chicago for 4 years now. I have a twin sister and am pretty dang close to my family, who are back home in Dallas. I love live music, cooking and identify as a bourbon drinker. 

Oars + Alps Oarsmen blog

Sunsets in Cape Town, South Africa


How did you land on your current profession and (notably awesome) lifestyle? What were the most important steps that got you to where you are?

I definitely didn’t aim to be doing what I’m doing now when I graduated college. It was a series of fortunate events: being at the right place and time. The most important thing is to trust your gut and take risks. Lean into the weird & quirky things you’re passionate about —they’re what separate you from everybody else.
Oars and Alps oarsmen blog John Philp Thompson

Pondering my next move in Paris


Where have you travelled to this past year, and how does your routine change when you’re away?

This past year has been crazy-good to me. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to South Africa, Finland, Italy, France, the UK, and I even traveled across the US by train. I haven’t been anywhere in Asia yet, and I’m dying to go. I always try to build in a workout while traveling, but it’s hard. I’ve found the best way to explore a new place is to jog through it, or rent a bicycle to get your bearings and understand the neighborhoods and the layout of the city. 


Cape Town, South Africa. Volunteering with the kids of Grassroot Soccer.


What does a typical workday look like for you?


If I’m not shooting (behind or in-front of the camera) I’m usually catching up on editing, or updating the blog. I’m often in-transit and working on the go. The typical workday means that that there is no typical workday.


Oars and Alps oarsmen blog John Philp Thompson

Running the docks in San Francisco. Photo by Dylan Nord.





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