Featured photographer, Jack Simon
Today JCH is very fortunate to have an interview with an extremely talented photographer from the Burn My Eye collective, Mr. Jack Simon. Let’s see what Jack has to share with us.
Hi Jack, thanks for being on JCH. Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself and how you go into photography.
Seven years ago I began photographing our travels with a digital point and shoot. When I realized the immediate feedback helped me take better pictures, I started exploring photography in general at home. As I looked through photography books and photography in museums, it was the work of street photographers that captured me. Also, I’ve always liked exploring cities and began appreciating the added enjoyment photography gave to that exploration.I have had my images published in several street photography books and had images shown at the 2011 Format Festival and the 2012 London Festival of Photography.
How would you describe your style of photography?
I’m interested in finding images that might evoke a story within the viewer but no theme or idea is on my mind when I am shooting. I guess it’s a gut feeling about a scene that attracts me. and I react usually before my head/thinking comes into it.
I notice there are a lot of overlay images, with visual comedy being a strong feature in your collection. Is this something you are looking for when out shooting, or just something you stumble across?
As I said above, I’m really not looking for anything specific. I’m finding visual comedy on the street and complex images from reflections now perhaps out of habit. I would rather, though, find new themes emerge. I don’t seem capable, though, about coming up with these first and finding them.
If your photography had a voice what do you think it would be saying?
Tell me a story about what you see?
Where would you like to see your photography develop in the future?
I hope someday to come up with projects that interest me rather than finding singles. I always want to grow as a photographer but the nature of that growth or direction is not clear to me. Almost all of my photography is using natural light. Maybe some day I’ll learn how to use flash and other lighting more creatively since I am very attracted to beautiful light.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to share with the readers of JCH?
My daughter and I are starting a fashion/style blog which will merge her passion/obsession with style/fashion and my street photography passion/obsession.
Could you tell our readers what photographers inspire you?
Alex Webb and Constantine Manos along with many of others in the Magnum group are especially inspiring. I liked the strongly complex and colorful visuals they produce. Although I appreciate the humor or some photographers like Elliot Erwitt, the very beautiful look to Manos and Webb is what really attracts me. I think they have a way of taking what would be an ordinary scene and elevating it to another dimension.
Do you have any advice for people who are starting out or are struggling for inspiration?
Enjoy yourself! Actually I would give that advise to any street photographer. You are going to spend a lot of time wandering around and looking for something interesting to shoot. For myself, then it is great to have things to enjoy during that time. Then you are in the mood to for seeing more too. Spend a lot of time looking at great images from photographers you admire both in books and museums. Online viewing is fine, but seeing photographs in print, and especially on walls is really inspiring.
Any messages for the readers of JCH?
I recommend keeping your camera out and with you as much as possible. Some of the best opportunities arrive when you are not looking for them. I spent two weeks in Japan with lots of photo opportunities but my favorite photo from the trip and one of my all time favorites was taken in the airport lounge on the way home.
Thanks Jack for agreeing to share your work with us and be part of the JCH community. I am in complete agreement with you about reading books and seeing real prints. Get out to an exhibition and get inspired. But don’t forget to check out Jack’s links below.
Recent book “Interior Landscapes”: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3074215
Burn my eye http://www.burnmyeye.org/site/about-us/
Please remember that the images are reproduced with the kind permission of Jack Simon and may not be used or reproduced without permission.