Visual Arts: Photography, Works on paper
Hi. I’m Ellen Jackson, and I create bespoke portraiture of horses and humans.
I began in freelance photography over twenty years ago after apprenticing for advertising photographers and studying theater in college. My work has been used by companies for branding, in magazines for story illustrations, and by families for one of a kind heirlooms. I have a narrative mindset about creating images. I love a good story. So I guess it’s fitting that I enjoy every opportunity to discover and interpret the stories of my subjects. It’s also a nice excuse for indulging some nosy impulses.
Significant to my photographic motivation is the notion that I was born with “Horse Fever.” (I think this is a colloquial term….I’m not really sure, but in my family, it’s used to describe little kids who won’t shut up about wanting a pony) My gramma used to say that I had it, and I remember feeling proud that someone should recognize me this way. My earliest memories all revolve around horses. Recognizing my mania (and likely weary of my begging), my dad indulged me by giving me a horse when I was ten years old. Growing up with a horse around the house was pure bliss for me. And now, so is meeting new horses and their people through photography.
My artistic passions are twofold. You’ve learned about my equine appreciation, but then there’s photography. The entire process of image-making is deeply satisfying for me. I love the pursuit of a fantastic image. Photography is essentially limitless with opportunities for capture, possibilities in digital post-production, and artistry in traditional darkroom printing. To me, photography is more than a technical feat or commercial endeavor. Even with strategy and attention to the minutest details, photography always allows for spontaneity. This is the alluring center of the art form.
I am a strategist, observer, animal lover, people liker, narrator, and crafts(wo)man. I gravitate to the underdogs and the long shots. I think we are all artists, whether we realize ourselves this way or not. The best thing I ever read about art is the following quote from a talented, hardworking musician named Otis Gibbs. “There are only two people in art who matter: the creative individual and the person experiencing it. Everything else is an artificial filter.”