How Leslie Jordan turned Instagram into his greatest showcase of all-things-awesome and then some
It was early morning in 2011 and Leslie Jordan, a young Canadian photographer whose name was everywhere on the Internet at the time, was sitting at his kitchen table in Toronto, just a few days removed from his most amazing photo shoot ever. In fact, it would go on to be one of his most mind-blowing.
But that was about to change.
By all accounts, Jordan had been quietly working on his photo business for years. He had had a small following on his site, but they weren’t substantial enough to sustain a serious hobby. Then, one night, he’d been invited to a party put on by his college buddy, the photographer Nick O’Leary, to announce Jordan’s upcoming photo project for the magazine, Avant Garde.
“At the party at the party that night Nick asked me about my upcoming project, and I mentioned it to a friend and got him to send me the magazine. I opened it up. I was sitting there reading “Avant Garde,” and I glanced at the title page of the magazine and said to myself, ‘This is fucking awesome.’ I went back to my friends house to get myself a couple of beers, sat down, and I just fell in love with this magazine. I became obsessed. By the next day, it had been downloaded 4 million times,” Jordan told me.
It took four years and three separate photo shoots, including a fashion feature, to make that four-millionth view.
I’m going to admit I was skeptical when I first approached Jordan to ask him about it. The guy’s not one I’d ever heard of. His name wasn’t all that familiar. He’s not the most photogenic, nor the most prolific, and he’s not someone I’d necessarily be attracted to. But the more I researched and the more I got to know him, I couldn’t help but find myself captivated by his work, his personality and everything else he has going on.
Jordan, who is about to release his brand new book, The Glamorous Life, tells me he was raised in a family of professional photographers, and was actually a budding one when he lived in