Jeff James

     Photographer and explorer Jeff James finds the world we live in simultaneously fascinating and confusing. Photography helps him process and hopefully gain some understanding of the human experience, our differences, and the reasons we have so much division. He has become more compassionate and humble as a person as a result of photographic explorations, striving to record experiences with sensitivity, and hoping to reveal a strand of the elusive threat that connects us all. His favorite past time activity is walking with a camera in hand to explore, to see and to discover, as well as writing and spending time with his family. 

Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Currently: Longmont, Colorado

Equipment: Fujifilm XT-2 w/23mm 1.4 lens

What it is that you want to say with your photographs?: It’s not so much what I want to “say” as much as it is what I want to discover. I feel a profound sense that I’ve come close to revealing a piece of the puzzle of the mystery of being when I make an image that “works.” There is a gratifying feeling that an artist has when they create something beautiful, and for me, that beautiful something alludes to a presence that is absent in the image. It’s chill-inducing, and it often makes me think of God, yet it’s not a benevolent entity that I’m trying to describe. 

What catches your eye when you're taking photos?: Usually it’s light, sometimes it’s color, and often it’s a juxtaposition of elements within a given situation. Very often those combined elements I find humorous, and I just want to show the irony of incongruent worlds colliding. 

What do you hope your viewers take from your photos? What are you hoping to portray?: I just hope that people enjoy them and find personal significance in them. I’m rarely trying to be literal, and I hope that others don’t spend too much time trying to figure out what I’m trying to see or say, but rather take away a new perspective and appreciation that builds on their own life experiences.

What motivates you to keep taking photos?: It’s a compulsion really; I don’t think I could stop even if I wanted to. I find that making and sharing images is easier than having a conversation with someone; and so in that sense it’s sometimes the best way for me to communicate. 

What do you love most about taking photos?: Being alone with my thoughts and intentions. 

Do you stick to a certain theme with your photos?: Not usually. I mostly photograph in a random documentary style, but occasionally I will veer off into tangents of themed work. I spent a winter photographing newspapers once, and another winter making collages from old analog images. It’s usually winter time when it’s too cold to walk and explore that I venture into a creative theme.

Instagram: @jeffreymjames