PHOTOGRAPHER SPOTLIGHT: JACKIE M BARR
SOCIAL DECAY: When did you begin to be interested in photography?
JACKIE BARR: My family has always been very creatively driven. Both my aunts and my mom are very talented painters and photographers, so it was something I grew up around. I started really getting into photography in high school when I joined the school paper. I worked for the online paper for three years and it was a great opportunity because the class had DSLRs you could check out.
I quickly realized that I enjoyed photography more than writing and signed up to shoot everything under the sun from head shots to school spirit rallies and even sports games. Having access to a camera and an excuse to shoot weekly helped me to start improving my techniques and style. From there, I convinced my parents to help me buy a camera for college and I've been shooting regularly ever since.
SD: Were you self taught, or did you go to school for photography?
JB: I am mostly self-taught, but I have taken two classes in my 7ish years of shooting. I took a film photography class in high school with Brian Chow. He pushed me to improve my composition and be more intentional about the images I created.
I took another class my senior year of college that was very similar, but for digital photography. The professor, Doug Wonders was incredibly knowledgeable and helped me return to thinking about the basic tenants of good photography (using light, line, having clean backgrounds, etc). He would go through an entire shoot with me and push me to explain why I chose one image over another and critique my process which was very helpful.
Outside of that, I'm always seeking feedback from other photographers and creatives about I encourage them to be highly critical, because with out that, there's no way to grow.
SD: Who would be your dream client to work with? And your dream model to shoot?
JB: Working with a fashion client that aligns with my own environmental style would be ideal. i.e a company like Brandy Melville/ Free People / Urban Outfitters that have a lot of their models shot out in the world, instead of just in the studio.
In terms of models, there are so many people! One girl, I have been following recently that I'm really hoping to shoot is Lilly Jean Bridger. I think her look is really unique awesome.
SD: What influences your style of photography?
JB: I started out as more of a landscape and travel photography so aI really like working with the environment around me when I shoot. One of my favorite parts of shooting is location scouting and finding great architecture, shadows, places with good light/ line etc. to use as backgrounds when shooting with models -- I have a folder on my phone dedicated to places I find so that I don't forget where they are.
I am also influenced by other photographers, of course. I only started getting into portrait and fashion imagery more recently and I'm obsessed with Marc Hayden's work. In every image, no matter the location, he always manages to capture an essence in his portraits that really sets his work above a lot of others.
SD: Manhattan or Brooklyn? Explain your choice!
JB: Well, I just moved from the East Village to Brooklyn, so I guess I would have to say Brooklyn! My neighborhood here definitely has more character and the neighbors are nicer :)
SD: Any exciting upcoming projects you can tell us about?
JB: Nothing too exciting at the moment, but I am working on building my portfolio site that will be live at http://jackiembarr.com/
Be sure to follow Jackie on Instagram @jackiembarr