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Horseshoe Bend Arizona Landscape
Antelope Canyon Arizona Landscape
Horseshoe Bend Arizona Landscape
Interview with Az Jackson, Photographer, Sydney, Australia
EWW: I am curious to know what qualities of your work would others comment on first?
Az: I go to great lengths to deliver images that people can get lost in and I would say what is most often commented on is the vivid colors and the detail in my images.
I also get a lot of “WOW’s” and congratulations and I even had one of my fans refer to me as the Ansel Adams of color, which I’m absolutely grateful for.
EWW: The flip side of that would be your initial thoughts about your own work.
Az: I respect my work and I love that a lot of other people appreciate my art so that I can continue doing what I do.
In an average shoot, I will have a full gamut of images from what I think are some absolute rippers right through to snapshots and test shots. Shooting this way helps me improve and keeps me grounded at the same time.
EWW: When you do a shoot, what are some of the challenges you face?
Az: Believe it or not, after 15+ years of shooting, one of my biggest challenges is still my camera settings.
I shoot the inspiration I see in front of me using whatever camera I think is going to deliver the best results and only worry about the technical side of things as an afterthought. I find shooting this way provides me with less technical challenges and more creative freedom.
EWW: Your gallery contains color as well as black and white. What considerations do you take when deciding whether an image should be color or black and white?
Az: None. My black and white images are most often created in the editing room. I love inspiring with color but unfortunately, the world can often be misinterpreted as a dark place and a lot of people find comfort in black and white, so I create them for that market.
EWW: Excluding subject matter, are there themes that consistently run in all your work such as colors, perspective, lighting, movement, style, etc.?
Az: Some people would say that I’m into color and you could probably recognize some of my most popular images from the vivid colors but I’m actually into delivering inspiration.
With my art, I want to help lift people’s spirits and distract them just long enough for them to appreciate the beauty of the world around them.
EWW: Do you think it is important for photographic artists to have their own website, in addition to another gallery they appear on? If so, why?
Az: 7 Billion people and counting. It’s extremely hard to get recognized in this world these days and you would be setting yourself up to fail if you only have one outlet.
Things were different a decade ago so throw out everything you were taught about the art world and seek feedback from your biggest supporters… your customers… from your own website, from social media and other community-based photography sites. Increase your creative footprint and you’ll increase awareness of your art.
EWW: Do you use social media platforms to market and promote your work? If you do use social media platform, which one(s) work the best for you? Why?
Az: These days social media is a necessary evil. Based on my research on social media is actually destroying the social construct of humanity. All the major platforms have cheated us, sold us out, broken our trust and are now seeking to silence our voice and further constrict our freedoms while making billions. Personally, I don’t think that’s fair and I don’t want to be a part of the problem.
So, therefore, I use social media very carefully and strategically. Facebook has taken away the chance to become popular by hard work, so I don’t post images to Facebook directly. I post links to my website and the images pop up on my feed. I use social media only as a means of awareness.
A business tip from one of my mentors… Find where your customers hang out and only focus on promoting to your top 2-3 social media platforms.
EWW: Just to wrap up this interview, do you have any final thoughts about you and your work, that you think would be important for others to know about?
Az: Art is subjective and personal and what I have learned from this experience is that you have to have total faith in yourself as an artist.
If you are looking at becoming an artist or to delve deeper into your craft, listen to and follow your intuition first and foremost. In fact, allocate some “me time” and ask yourself some honest questions about your life. If you can match up what you want to do with who you want to become in a way that helps others, then you have a recipe for success. Ponder this… If you died today how would others perceive you? What would they say about you? What would be your legacy?
Be the inspiration you seek. Be the leader you follow. Be a part of the solution, not the problem.