Jazmin Jones is a 20 year-old photographer and filmmaker. She was raised in the suburbs of Northern California, traveled the US with her sister, and currently lives in San Francisco. Taxidermy, smoke clouds, and teenagers are often sources of inspiration for the self-taught photographer.
When did you start to think about photography?
I’ve always had an obsession with documenting the world around me. It started simply, in elementary school with disposable cameras, taking photos of my friends at recess. I was in middle school at the start of the Myspace era, and I believe that cultivated my photography in a self-indulgent sort of way. While taking pictures of my friends and myself for our profiles, I began to understand composition and complimentary angles. It also provided an unrefined, online gallery space for my images, which prompted me to look at my photography from an outside perspective. It’s funny, crediting Myspace for the maturation of my creativity, but I’m thankful.
What does photography mean to you? and which kind of photography do you like more?
It seems impossible to pick a favorite kind of photography. The satisfaction I receive from documentary photography and portraiture is magnificently dissimilar. There’s something brilliant about being present to capture an authentic moment of beauty in the world, one that would occur whether or not a camera was there to document it. It’s also wonderful to have props, locations and models that you can manipulate. Your wildest dreams can come true in a moment of pure creation. I could never chose between those.
When you take a portrait, what is important for you?
When taking a portrait, it’s important that I end up with a photograph that feels real. I don’t want to see the directions I give to my subject displayed self-consciously on their face. It’s a hard thing to pinpoint, but you know when you’ve got the shot.
Do you think it’s important to follow a school to learn how to shoot?
School isn’t necessary to learn how to shoot, but a hunger to learn and an eye for imitation is. At this point in my career, I consider myself self-taught. I’ve taken several black and white beginners courses, mostly for the dark room privileges. I do plan to attend art school, to refine my craft, though.
What’s the photo you want to take and you never did?
Two answers come to mind. I once had a very realistic dream that I met Mary Kate Olsen. She kissed me in a public restroom and we had an impromptu photo shoot there. I woke up very disappointed that those pictures didn’t exist. I’d also like to photograph these elderly twins who are famous in San Francisco, Mary and Vivian Brown. I always pass this pizza parlor and I see them sitting in the window, wearing red lipstick and matching leopard fur coats. I’d love to do a photo essay on them. Between the Browns and the Olsens, it seems like I may have a twin photo series in my future.
What’s your photo-mission?
My photo-mission is as simple as my elementary photography endeavors. I want to document the beauty of the world and the people that surround me. I want to prolong precious moments. I don’t want to forget.
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