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Captured: Q & A with Photographer Patrice Jackson

Patrice Jackson by Malia James

Patrice Jackson is a photographer whose work has been featured on album covers for JEFF the Brotherhood, Old Lights and Turbo Fruits, and in publications such as, Brooklyn Vegan, The Tourist, Popwreckoning and FAULT Magazine, to name a few. Her most recent project involved capturing Austin‘s South by Southwest festival for Shadowscene.

In an age when digital photography seems to rule everything around us, Jackson has chosen to shoot primarily with film.

“I am just a diehard film fan. I love the grittiness and intimacy of it all. There is just a certain magic when it comes to shooting film that I don’t feel when I am shooting digital,” she explains. “I like that feeling you get of not knowing the results of your shots straightaway. It also challenges my mind and really makes me think about composition and lighting more than digital does. With digital it’s just so easy to fire off 1,000 shots mindlessly.”

Jackson’s hobby-turned-profession has afforded her traveling opportunities and encounters with some of her favorite musicians. Although she juggles a job at a bookstore and drifts between Kansas City and New York City, she still makes time for photography, something she has considered a passion for several years.

The Spec had the opportunity to interview the young artist, read below to find out about her photography adventures…

Dum Dum Girls

Tell us a little about yourself…

24, photographer. Born in Memphis, Tenn. but grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. I drink a lot of coffee and I really like cupcakes.

What music are you listening to right now?

The Maccabees, White Fence, Ty Segall, The Horrors, Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles, Bleeding Knees Club, Blood Orange, Theophilus London, Kindness

What’s your next live show or festival going to be?

Arctic Monkeys and The Black Keys in Denver, Colo..

What’s your shooting weapon of choice? (What cameras do you use?) Favorite to shoot with?

I am like Inspector Gadget when it comes to cameras. I have good variety and thanks to my extreme indecisiveness, I tend to carry many on me. The contenders are my Minolta XG-1, Nikon N80, Nikon D300, Holga, Polaroid 600, Polaroid Spectra, LC-A+ (which was stolen, sadly) and disposable cameras. My weapon of choice though is my Nikon N80. I know it like the back of my hand. It was the first proper camera I bought when I was 18.

How long have you considered yourself a “photographer”?

I’ve considered myself a photographer for about three years now. Before it was just a way for me to create a visual diary of my adventures. It was never something I saw as a possible profession until people started requesting my work.

Favorite photo(s) you have taken of a band/musician?

I’ve always preferred portraiture to live music, so a couple of my favorite photographs I have taken are naturally portraits.

Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys

One of my personal favorite photographs that I have taken of a musician has to be this portrait I did of Alex Turner. I am such a massive fan of the Arctic Monkeys that the fact that I mustered up the courage to ask a person, whom I in many ways idolize and consider a genius, was surreal. One of my closest friends Kelsey was with me at the time and there are just a lot of good memories attached to this photograph.

Jamin of JEFF the Brotherhood and Jessica of Heavy Cream

My next favorite is of my friend Jamin (JEFF the Brotherhood) and Jessica (Heavy Cream) at a house party in Nashville. I really love this image because of the mystery behind it. Letting your mind come up with its own story for the image.

Band you haven’t photographed yet but would like to?

The Maccabees, Blur, Jarvis Cocker/Pulp, Florence & The Machine, Cat Power, PJ Harvey, Fiona Apple…I am sure there are more, but these are the ones that come to mind straightaway.

Best advice you’ve been given regarding photography?

Don’t compare yourself to others, it’ll only drive you mad. Focus on what you are doing and the story you want to tell.

Advice you’d give to aspiring (music) photographers?

Have your own point of view. It’s the most valuable thing you can bring and it makes your images more honest. And also, don’t take things personally. Every situation is different, as is every artist. If you have a bad experience, don’t overanaylze and let it consume you. Just let go and continue on. It’s really easy to get discouraged in this business, but remember to have fun and don’t lose track of why you are doing this in the first place (and hopefully that is for your love of photography and music).

Favorite photographers?

Annie Leibovitz, Linda McCartney, Sam Taylor-Wood, Gordon Parks, Robert Frank, Jim Marshall, Cass Bird, Lauren Dukoff, Marlene Marino, Malia James, Ben Rayner, Matt Wignall, Sophie Van Der Perre

Most memorable (good or bad) experience while shooting?

JEFF the Brotherhood

One of my most memorable experience isn’t necessarily while shooting, but it has to be seeing Dan Auerbach play in some person’s backyard at 3 A.M. in Austin during SXSW. The show was completely insane. The Strange Boys and Hacienda joined him on stage, making it an incredibly rowdy night. Tequila bottles were passed around from the band to the crowd and everyone was just having the most amazing time of their lives. Dan accidently hit me with the neck of his guitar and I got a busted lip, I lost my friend, someone stole my Polaroid camera but oddly not the extra pack of film I had in my bag, and I fell asleep on the kitchen floor of the place I was staying at the time. It certainly was one hell of a morning and I loved it.

Favorite bands to shoot?

Foals, JEFF the Brotherhood, Heavy Cream, Arctic Monkeys, Black Lips, Turbo Fruits, Delta Spirit, Xray Eyeballs

In your opinion, what makes a good live shot?

I think what makes a good live shot is a photograph that captures the spirit of the subject and evokes emotion. When I see a photograph, I want to feel like I am there.

What’s your favorite part about being a photographer?

For me, photography is like stopping time. Taking a photograph of a moment that can never truly be created again and preserving it. I also love the traveling and meeting new people along the way. With each adventure, I learn and grow so much, not only as a photographer but as a person.

The Big Pink

Dum Dum Girls

Flaming Lips

Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys

Turbo Fruits


Kid Cudi

Backstage at the Turbo Fruits, Natural Child, Pujol New Year's Eve show

Heavy Cream

All photos in this article, unless otherwise noted, are by Patrice Jackson. To see more of Jackson’s work, visit her website.


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