Behind the scenes of lifestyle photographer Blake Jackson's stellar shots

Behind the scenes of lifestyle photographer Blake Jackson's stellar shots

CultureAugust 06, 2018

In just a short amount of time, Denver-based photographer Blake Jackson has made a clear impact on how independent artists function in the Mile High City. To think, it was only 4 years ago when he picked up an iPhone 4 to begin capturing everything he could by way of urban landscapes, street art and graffiti — self taught AF. And he says even before he bought his own fancy camera, publications were reaching out wanting a piece of his vision, forcing him to rent one at the time. Since, he’s been a part of the wildly popular hashtag #theyshootn on Instagram, countless fashion layouts, brand visuals, and it’s rare to click on a local musician’s site without seeing his handle, @jake_blackson, right there in the promotional photo credits. All that Denver love, he says, is what inspires him still and continues to push the new model of art forward.

“Povi is an artist I respect. She’s since moved back to the Bay Area, but I feel fortunate to have worked with her a handful of times. She came to me with a concept that involved flowers and fruit, so I jumped all over it. I edited this to bring out the deep blues in her eyes to juxtapose with the yellows and whites.”
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“Photography has introduced me to so many incredible people. Bryn was always one of my favorite models and personalities, but I didn’t know much about her until we actually took photos together. Since then, we’ve established a deep friendship. We had to do a little breaking and entering to pull off this shoot.”
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“This was taken out in LA earlier this year. Trey Taylor is just the coolest cat out here. So warm, energetic and free. And this could not have come at a better time. I was having a really, really bad visit to LA; everything that could go wrong definitely found a way to happen. So meeting and working with him was such a breath of fresh air.”
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“I have nothing overly profound to say about this one, I just love the Eastern culture meets schoolgirl vibes Aaron pulled off in this outfit. Oh, also, Lucia has come such a long way with her modeling. We shot about 6 months before this particular shoot and let’s just say she is so much more comfortable in front of the camera. That’s encouraging as a photographer. It shows she takes her craft seriously.”
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“Representation in media is big for me. If I would have had a positive, creative role model of color when I was growing up, I know that would have changed my life for the better. As photographers, we have so much power to show the world what we consider to be beautiful and I don’t take that lightly. This was taken as part of Tiana Porter’s hairline campaign. I chose to have them posed like this to show the significance of black women to have each others back, so to speak.”
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“One of the many reasons I prefer shooting on location as opposed to in studio is the ability to utilize your environment. Shapes, textures, colors. Kia broke out this jacket and I knew it would go perfect with this location off Colfax.”
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“I shoot musicians pretty regularly, and not just on stage. Yasi is by far my favorite vocalist in this city. Not only does she have such a unique voice but her whole aura is amazing. This is from one of our multiple shoots. The folks at the Botanic Gardens were kind enough to allow us to use their green house. What you don’t see is the chaos all around us — kids, parents and strollers everywhere.”
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“Albreanna Watson is just an all-around bad ass. There’s not much more to say. Paper cranes, big natural hair and vibrant colors. She absolutely killed this look.”
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“I do so many of my shoots in areas that most won’t, areas that many photographers consider to be ugly or not aesthetically pleasing. There are many places that go untapped by portrait and fashion photographers in this city, in my opinion. Shout out to Lem for killing this shoot and for Aaron Rodriguez for being such an incredible stylist.”
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“This shoot is probably my favorite work to date. I consider myself to be a rather positive guy who spreads love wherever I go. But I also have a darker, tortured side to me that I have a tough time expressing in my work. However, Zoe was so open to helping me bring my vision to light. I’m not sure if others will agree about that this is my best work, but when I look at it (along with all the other images in this set) I see the work I’ve been dying to pull off.”
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“As much as I love shooting elaborate sets with models outfitted head to toe in designer, nothing is better than a low key photo shoot in a residential space. There’s just something about getting intimate with your subject and breaking down walls to get organic moments. My friend Shea was kind enough to let us use her pad, and Kia Jones absolutely killed this shoot.”
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“I don’t have much commentary to add to this, I just love the image and Hosnah is amazing.”
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“Bret is so easy to work with. She barely needs direction and just kills it every time. We wanted to evoke power and respect in this shoot, and that all starts with the styling by Shayla Preeshl. Oh and shout out to the rain waiting until we were almost done with our shoot to start falling.”
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“I’m rather obsessed with colors, specifically color blocking and matching. My process is typically find a dope spot to shoot at and work backwards from there, working within the framework of the location in a way that will complement the area. Kia found these pants somewhere, somehow, and they accent the location perfectly.”

[all photos courtesy Blake Jackson — hey, thanks!]