I first met Luke Jackson whilst I was a baby fresher, where he lived across the hall from me. Both taking Publishing, we often had classes together, when we actually attended them… Usually we were recovering from a heavy night spent with friends, but actually it was one particular night that I discovered Luke was quite nifty with a camera. I always relied on my iPhone for hideously drunk photos – Luke took out a disposable camera instead. The photo below is one that was taken that night. There’s something about using film compared to a digital camera that makes a photo more like a treasure. Plus, its unpredictable result is always exciting to see when they’re developed.
Knowing Luke’s enthusiasm for photography, my first ever shoot I organised I knew that I had to get him on board; his artisan, rustic vibes were the perfect attributes I needed for my article on tattoos at the time. That was nearly a year ago now, but as I’ve been putting THE OLIVE GAZELLE together and looking back over my projects, I wanted to catch up with Luke and showcase his work that I’ve always thought has stood out above others.
Luke first found an interest in photography around four years ago, he commented that it was induced by spending time with his friends at college, “they were very creative.” Luke openly admits that he’s never been academically bound, meaning neither himself or his parents pulled him away from embracing his creativity. Now studying Film and Screen Studies at Bath Spa University, Luke has future aspirations of directing his own film one day, but adds that more realistically he’d love to work in Sound Synchronisation, whilst still being a photographer on the side.
Luke’s first professional camera was a SONY A200, but before that he owned a retro HOLGA 35MM. Being young with little money at the time, Luke explained that to get his SONY A200 he had to trade in nearly everything he owned to CeX. “Most of my stuff was worth nothing so I ended up using all the store credit on the Sony which was the cheapest camera in there. I was out shooting that night.”
Luke is mainly interested in street photography, and claims that although he isn’t bound to one particular style, his work signifies that this is his favourite style. “I like photographing places because you have plenty of time to get the picture. But I prefer taking photos of people. People are just more interesting to me than places, every person has a different story to tell, a different sense of style and a different outlook on life. Furthermore, it’s almost impossible to take the same picture of a person twice.”
One of Luke’s main influences is American street photographer, Vivian Maier, although interestingly he admires her mentality to the craft over her work. “She took hundreds of photos and seemingly spent most of her income on photography, yet she never tried to get her photos published or gain recognition. I really admire people who dedicate their lives to their passion and aren’t affected by a lack of recognition in their lifetime.”
Like Maier, Luke’s favour place to shoot is America. “It’s got everything a photographer could possibly want. Every type of landscape and setting you could possibly want to take photos of, and a seemingly endless supply of ‘out there’ people to take portraits of.” Although for now, Luke still sees photography has a hobby, and will always remain skeptical about turning it into his career. “Once you have to monetise a hobby it becomes a thousand times less fun. I don’t want to have to compromise my style or what I take pictures of, and it’s easier to do that when you forget about money.”