Hello Jacob, first of all, tell us something about your upcoming work. What are you into at the moment?
Lately I’ve really been enjoying shooting in a very dark and moody style. I’ve always been drawn to darker imagery, and I seem to keep coming back to it. On the flipside, I’ve also been working on some pretty cool advertising campaigns that involve lots of planning and production – one of my favorite things to do as a photographer is collaborate with creative directors to make a specific vision come to life.
How has your work evolved over the years from when you were beginning?
Like many photographers, I started out shooting weddings and families, using only natural light. And like many photographers, my early work pretty much total crap. Over the years, I think I’ve really developed a unique portrait style that combines dramatic lighting with a strong sense of humanity and elegance in my subjects.
When you were 13, what did you want to be?
Good question. When I was 13, I wanted to play ice hockey for a living, although I had never done it once in my life. Still haven’t.
Who’s the first photographer that comes to your mind in a second?
What’s the place or what do you do when you feel you’re thinking in a bright way?
It’s always been the Grateful Dead for me. When I get in my car and crank up Scarlet Begonias, I feel like anything is possible. There’s a line in the song that goes “Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.” That line just kills me.
Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to.
Photograph a sitting president, in whatever style and location I choose. I also really want to go to Iceland.
Something you want the world to know about you.
I believe God is real. The God of Abraham and Moses and Isaac. And I believe that he is good.
Something that annoys or frustrates you about people.
It drives me crazy when people don’t believe in themselves, when they have no hope or ambition. We are all capable of big, crazy, awesome things if we will just stand up give it a shot. Quit your job, and do whatever you can’t stop thinking about. Everything will be just fine.
Your idea about social networks.
As my friend Bryan once said: Facebook is a dumpster fire. I’m a big fan of twitter and instagram (@jacobslaton). There’s at lot of good stuff on there if you follow the right people. I’ve gotten several great photography jobs entirely from twitter.
What’s overrated/underrated today?
Overrated: Fuji X series cameras. I own one, and it’s fun and everything, but it’s just another camera. It’s not “The Future of Photography” – photographers are the future of photography, not cameras.
Underrated: The Canon 40mm pancake lens. It’s a $200 lens and it rules. I’ve shot several magazine covers with it while my big fancy L series glass sits in my bag in the corner.