Interview with Jennifer L. Young
I’m happy to introduce Jennifer L. Young (some of you may know her as Jen and a camera). I really like her photography; the attention for detail, her eye in portraying fleeting instants, small but poignant moments of everyday life. I decided to put her photography under the magnifying glass and she kindly accepted.
Jennifer, can you tell us how did you get in touch with photography? And how long has it been?
My father was a photographer, and he always had his camera around when I was a child. However, I had no real interest in photography until about 4 years ago. While on our honeymoon, my husband bought a DSLR, and that sparked my interest. I then bought my own camera, and I haven’t put it down since.
What do you think photography brought into your life?
Photography provides me both a creative outlet and a way to relieve stress. More specifically though, photography motivates me to go places and do things – to seek out interesting things and explore.
Have you got any favorite photographer at the moment?
I recently discovered Weegee, and I’ve enjoyed learning about his work.
Where do you get your inspiration? What most attracts you in a photo?
I take my camera with me pretty much everywhere, even to and from work. I want to be ready in case I see something interesting, and in New York City, where I live, there are lots of opportunities. The city is full of interesting-looking people to photograph. I’m inspired by the city’s landmarks, as well as exploring different neighborhoods and shooting unimportant, but interesting, buildings.
I’m also inspired by many of the photos posted by my Tumblr and Flickr friends.
Your work is quite heterogeneous, how would you define your style?
For the most part, my photos reflect my surroundings – people I see on the street, a neighbor’s dog, a scooter parked near my apartment, a cup of espresso, a building with interesting symmetry. A few years ago I probably wouldn’t have noticed many of these things, but now I look at things with a different eye.
When I get in a creative rut, I’ll switch lenses or genres or explore a new neighborhood. I’m currently experimenting with tilt-shift photography.
Film versus digital photography. SLR cameras versus iPhones. What’s your stance on these debates?
I love the look of film, and maybe it’s something I’ll explore at some point. However, I like the instant gratification of digital and the ability to take an unlimited number of shots and process them right away.
If you were given the chance of working on a project with your favorite photographer, who would you choose and what that project would be about?
I’d like to work on a project with Natalie Dybisz, who goes by the name Miss Aniela on Flickr. Her self-portraits are amazing, and her book on the same topic (http://www.missaniela.com/self-portrait) really inspired me. I would love to do a self-portraiture project with her.
Would you like to share 3 or 4 photos that represent your work and maybe tell me something about them?
The first is a photo of a mohel I met in DUMBO. He was on his way to perform a circumcision, and he even invited me to come along (I politely declined!). One thing I like about photography is the license it gives me to approach people I might normally never meet.
New York City’s landmarks have been photographed to death, but I still enjoy shooting them. I took the second photo of the Flatiron building with a tilt-shift lens, and I like how it looks like the bow of a ship emerging through mist.
I love dogs, and I enjoy photographing them. I want to do more pet portraiture.
Thanks a lot for your time and looking forward to seeing more of your work!
If you want to see more of Jennifer’s work you can visit the following links
An interview by Sara Tomiolo