Oakland, California–based photographer Jermaine Jackson Jr. has had a lifelong passion for his medium from the time when he was a child growing up in Chicago, but on attending Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, he chose to study sports administration. “My mom insisted that I take photography courses while there, but I resisted,” he recalls. “I didn’t want my work to become the emphasis of unnecessary critique, and I wanted to keep it fun.” Despite that, with a mounting reputation of being the campus photographer and collaborating with fashion students, Jackson eventually switched his major and—after discovering that photojournalism wasn’t his niche—learned how to incorporate photojournalistic elements into his portraiture and fashion work, defying boundaries and expectations to develop a style uniquely his own. Now, Jackson shoots images for clients like Airbnb and the New York Times, inspired by all forms of artistic media but especially painters such as Ed Hopper, Hughie Lee-Smith and Rene Magritte. “Photography has always been an intimate thing for me; it feels like a dance,” Jackson admits. “My philosophy is always make whatever you’re photographing the center of your world as long as it’s right in front of you. Pretend nothing else matters until you make the image you want the exact way you want. I always photograph things or people as if they would be displayed in a museum or featured on a magazine cover. It’s my tiny way of manifesting and maintaining interest in my career.”
The transcendental work of this Boise-based illustrator and animator engages viewers with its incredible detail.