An amazing artist from London. Jack Davison is a familiar name in the portrait photographer’s circle. His pictures are earthy in emotions and gathers lots of attention from the viewer. What could make a memorable portrait, the most powerful one with certain characters to it? In this interview with us, Jack speaks about his idea of photography, his current projects and most importantly stories behind these haunting portraits.
Jack’s vision towards shooting a street portrait would definitely be beyond your expectation, over the years he has developed this unique sense of doing stuff incredibly. He also shares us his interesting way of making a portrait. Lets get to hear more from the photographer himself.
Few words about Jack Davison?
I’m an Essex-born, London-based portrait and documentary photography. I studied English Literature at Warwick University but spent most of that time mucking about with cameras. I spent 6 months of 2013 shooting in America and I’m currently developing that project 26 States into a book, whilst planning two new projects starting in the next few months.
What makes Portrait Photography so special for you?
I love the interaction with the subject, many of the people I photograph – I am meeting for the first time and thus have to try and find a moment of understanding between I and them. To try and catch them unawares and catch the looks when people let there guard down.
How do you approach a portrait, could you please brief us your process?
I tend to wander up to people that I find interesting and chat to them, tell them about myself. That’s what sometimes people forget to do, you’ve really got to give some of yourself away and put something at risk. In that situation, both the photographer and the subject are sharing moments of awkwardness and uncertainty and that’s what is so important and ultimately rewarding. Most of my portraits are shot with little preparation, the spontaneity of that meeting is very important.
All sorts, peoples faces, mugshots, films, those around me, found photos, the work of others Jamie Hawkesworth, Bryan Schutmaat, Vivian Maier, Vivianne Sassen to name a few.
Mamiya RB67, Olympus OM-1, Panasonic LX5, Nikon D7000
For Jack, What should a face convey and how does it fulfill a perfect photograph. Few words on it please?
That’s fairly subjective on that particular face, and there’s never really a perfect photograph. Perfect to one person might be appalling to another. For me as I said above it’s about finding the moments of shared understanding and recording an aspect of that person effectively.
Your Portraits are emotive and keep the viewers interested about their stories and the life behind. How do you achieve this special trait while capturing them?
I try to grasp at some kind of emotion in my portraits, it doesn’t have to be the obvious one – it could be the subtle one just shimmering beneath the surface. I also think the lack of context I present the images in can be intriguing, often they are only marked by a name, time and place and the rest is left to the viewer. If you state everything before a person sees the photograph they will already have to many set notions of what to expect : it’s again the unknown that’s the exciting unnerving element.
Any final words of advice or thoughts for young aspirants in this field?
Shoot every single moment you get, and make time to shoot and print your work. Thanks 121.
You can find Jack Davison on the Web:
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted to Jack Davison. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.