Thursday, May 3, 2007
Photographer: Jennifer Juniper Stratford
On January 2nd I had to do a shoot in Los Angeles and thought it would be a neat idea to cold-call a photographer whose website I had been visiting over and over and over. It was LA photographer and video artist Jennifer Juniper Stratford. I sent her a note, counted the hours, and waited for a response. The next day she sent a note back saying "Sure, tell me where and when and I will be there." She never asked why, what are you up to, who are you...any of those things. She just trusted and showed up, right on time as expected. I was so psyched she was open to this...what a cool way to start the new year.
Jennifer points her camera at things she loves and is fascinated with: Dungeons and Dragons players, net-famous performance artists, old and abandoned video games. Her shots have this great innocent empathy to them and they are showing us things I never really thought photographers ever wanted to point their cameras at. And not a trace of cynicism in the shots at all...which is so important when looking at people who might be considered eccentric. Her work reminded me of photographer Chris Verene, but much kinder. When I brought him up, she really had no idea who he was. Sometimes working in a vacuum leads to creating great work.
Jennifer went to school at The Art Center in Pasadena, a big commercial photographer factory where her fellow students were graduating and getting big gigs, like HUMVEE campaigns, while she was photographing this odd and curious subject matter, far away from any commercial concerns. "When I graduated, they just couldn't give me any advice...they just didn't know what to do with me and my work, " she explained. For some reason this story was comforting and inspiring....well, see for yourself. See all her work HERE, and some of it below.