Updated: Apr 26
This is Jackson.
Jackson, tell us more about how you got started in photography?
Photography to me was something I kind of fell into and fell in love with.
When I graduated high school in 2018, I decided I’d go to Long Beach City College and figure out what I wanted to do.
I’ve always been obsessed with film so I said “why not” and took a film class. My teacher was amazing, I remember her telling me one day after class that I had an eye for this, and from that day forward I fell in love with the art form.
So when Christmas came around that year my friend and I decided I should ask for a camera and see how far I could go with it.
Photography is a stepping stone into developing a filmmaking style and is for me.
Thanks to my whole family, I received a camera, lens, and a tripod on Christmas Day.
I was already studying and watching a lot of movies at the time, so I decided to take advantage of it and started to take notes on angles, colors, dialogue, staging, blocking, and style; basically anything I could use for inspiration to make my own within photos.
Around the middle of 2019, I started to learn more about my camera, posing, and directing, which got me really excited for what the future holds.
From then on, I began to take it seriously and found my footing in fashion / portrait photography and film direction.
How difficult is it to standout in the world of photography?
Standing out in the world of photography is definitely not an easy task and something I am still trying to fully grasp because in light terms everyone can use a camera.
But to stand out in the populated community, you have to know how to use it creatively.
I look at photography like I would a film.
For example, if a director’s films look or feel like everyone else’s you would start to get bored and forget about them; photos are the same way.
One of my new favorite directors right now is Nicolas Winding Refn and in an interview with "Nowness" on YouTube he stated, “Anything that’s normal is so F***ing, uninteresting.”
I now live by this and remind myself before every shoot, if I want to stand out, my art has to exceed “normal.”
How would you describe your photography & how is it different?
I would only, so far, describe my photos and style as powerful, editorial, and very film-inspired especially from the visual styles of Tarantino, Scorsese, Spike Lee, and Tarvosky.
I use digital for the most part and have recently learned more about shooting with film.
I like my photos to ooze and convey power using tricks I’ve learned from film school.
For example my favorite director of all time and biggest influence is Quentin Tarantino, whose filmography is filled with characters in power or on a quest to regain power.
With this in mind, I get my photos to convey that message along with the look of a magazine cover.
I can’t wait to continue to perfect and sharpen up my skills.
Jackson, what can we expect to see from you in the future?
Since I’m only going into my second year of photography and film, I have a lot of projects to come in the future.
The direction I’m taking with film is to become a screenwriter and director, and with photography I want to become well respected and work for big companies and people.
I have 2 short films written and will be filmed this year, along with a visual fashion project to be finished before summer.
You can expect to see a lot more collaborations from me with the other artists in Long Beach.
The future is very exciting for me and I hope a lot of you are here with me.
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