We wrap May 2011 with a bit more indepth feature on Jeremy Jackson, our Ladybrille Man of the Month as we explore how the young photographer is mapping out a brilliant future in the world photography for himself.
Born into a family where his father is an Animator and his mother a Textile Artist, Jeremy Jackson was always surrounded with creativity and knew he wanted to work in the creative field, even as a young child. At age 8, Jackson began learning tap dancing. “[Tap dancing] helped me a lot with interacting with people and developing some stage presence,” said Jackson to Ladybrille Magazine, in our exclusive interview with the rising star. Pursuing his love for the creative field, while other high school students attended regular schools, Jackson enrolled at L.A County High School for the Arts. While there he further targeted his love for the arts by enrolling in the “Visual Arts” program. “That was a pretty (neat) school because everybody there was in an artistic discipline.”
While laying the foundation for a future in the arts, Jackson thought he wanted to be a graphic designer. “I took all the graphic designer classes I could and I always also had an interest in film.” Jackson pursued his career as a graphic designer enrolling after high school at Burbank’s Woodbury University as a Graphic Design major. It was there that his career choice for the future took a turn into the world of Photography. At Woodbury University, Jackson was fortunate to meet the late Julius Shulman, the world famous architect. Shulman had a close relationship with the school, and lucky for Jackson, his work was gaining him notoriety on campus. Shulman’s wife reached out and suggested he assist Shulman to learn more about the field. “Over the course of the year (when I assisted him), I developed a close relationship with him and learned so much about photography, what it takes, how to treat it as a business,” explains Jackson to us.
“A lot of it is luck, a lot of it is persistence. Shulman had no formal training, but he developed a close relationship with [a] famous architect and they both made each other famous.” For Jackson this was an introduction into an important business and career principle in life. “I learned the importance of really surrounding yourself with the right kind of people and also never giving up on your goals and dreams. Shulman really gained a lot of notoriety, especially in the later part of his career. But, even in his 90s, he was still working. It was so inspirational for me to see someone in that late stage of his life, still passionate about his work.”
Working with Shulman and learning photography exposed Jackson to beautiful architecture, discovering new things and meeting interesting people that stimulated his mind. “All of these experiences really inspired me to become a photographer.”
What Led to Jackson’s Work in Africa?
After his work with Shulman came to an end, Jackson applied to the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles where he has been studying for a little over three years. At the Art Center, Jackson has been exposed to learning all aspects of photography from Commercial Photography to Fine Art photography, and Filmmaking. During one of the school semesters, Jackson took a course that was part of a program at the school called “Design Matters.” The course/program has strong relationships with non-profits around the world to help provide solutions for them.
In his course, the non-profit chosen was Project Concern International (PCI). PCI was celebrating its 50years anniversary and wanted a re-branding of its image with new marketing materials etc. In Jackson’s class, there were two other filmmakers who thought it would be beneficial for PCI to make a film. They pitched the idea to the organization to have PCI send them to Zambia because they felt Zambia encompassed all the work PCI did. PCI bought the idea and sent Jackson along with the other two filmmakers to Zambia. Jackson while there juggled two acts as a photographer and filmmaker to help tell the story of PCI and the clients they represent. “It was my first time in Zambia and it was an amazing experience, not your typical tourist experience of Africa. . . it gave me such appreciation for the kind of life I live in the USA. It was a very emotional experience and at the same time uplifting for me. I felt there was a much stronger sense of community and culture that I really appreciated.”
What Next for Jeremy Jackson?
The twenty three year old emerging star just inked a gig with famed celebrity photographer John Russo. He hopes to continue to create work that is personally and commercially fulfilling. “It is about working my hardest, making sure I don’t get burnt out by balancing work with family and friends, being honest, and in the case of projects like the PCI project, really being careful about not exploiting your subjects and treating people with respect and integrity.”
Check out a collection of Jeremy Jackson’s photography work here.
Production: Designmatters at Art Center College of Design
Writer/Director/Editor: John X. Carey -WWW.JOHNXCAREY.COM
Client: Project Concern International
Producer: Shawn Ruggeiro, Elisa Ruffino, John X. Carey
Cinematography: Kyle Murphy, Jeremy Jackson, John X. Carey
DP: Kyle Murphy
Featuring: Dr. Jim Turpin, Tobias Tembo
Music: Jonsi and Alex: “Stokkseyri”, Jonsi: “Boy Lilikoi”, Sigur Rós: “Seaglopur
Founded in 2007, Ladybrille® Magazine is a California based pioneer digital publication demystifying the image of Africans in the west through contemporary African fashion and celebrating the brilliant woman in business and leadership, with an emphasis on the African woman in the diaspora. Our coverage includes stories on capital, access to markets, expertise, hiring and retention, sales, marketing, and promotions.