(pictured above: India Jackson)
Ken: Tell the readers a little about yourself.
India: From Washington, DC and currently in Virginia Beach, VA. 28 years old. Studied biology before receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Art + Design from Towson University (Towson,Maryland). I paint and draw as a hobby and am passionate about the minimalist lifestyle. Photography clients have included Christian Dior, overstock.com, Groupon, etc. I also do makeup artistry for Christian Dior and Silver Immersion as well as freelance. Moved around a lot growing up and was exposed to different cultures. Oh, and I make some amazing authentic Korean kimchi.
Ken: What separates you from the average person that picks up a camera and calls themselves a photographer?
India: I’ve heard that my “eye” or vision is different. My first photography experience was sneaking pictures of my Dad (who hates being photographed) with my Grandma’s Polaroid in the early 90’s. I started my career as a beauty model and quickly revisited my passion for photography then picked up makeup artistry in college. Having filled multiple positions that go into creating a photograph effects my attention to detail and interaction with my subjects and team. Because of my background, I love working with people who are not used to being in front of a camera or who think they are not photogenic. Making them comfortable comes natural for me and I really got behind the camera as a way of making others feel confident about themselves.
Ken: What has been your pinnacle moment as a photographer?
India: Wow it’s hard to pick just one, but a major moment was my first marketing job for Christian Dior. I’ve always struggled with wanting to put myself out there but being too shy or modest to really share what I do. To be requested by a brand with such a polished luxury image really was an honor and made me finally find the confidence I needed to further explore my creative personal work.
Ken: Tell us about the India Jackson brand.
India: I don’t really think of myself as a brand. When I first graduated from college I had taken advice from others and focused on how to brand, get business, and make money. This was one of the most miserable and unhealthy times of my life. In just a year of approaching things that way, I lost my passion and my work suffered. While I am a small business owner and must work and retain clients to keep bills paid, I really try to forget that so that my actions are not motivated by money. I just try to be true to myself and my supporters. I find that my work is better and both my clients and I are happier when I focus on making awesome images instead of branding. Visually I lean towards clean minimalist design, straight forward blog posts, creative yet clean images, and experimentation. I also love to help others who are getting started. Keeping it simple works better for me.
Ken: Sometimes I hear photographer complain about the social media age, where everyone thinks they’re photographers just because they take a pic that they think is artistic in nature and put a couple of IG filters on it…( of this I’m guilty ) – – what are your thoughts on this?
India: I think social media is amazing! Really, It’s wonderful to have access to so many different kinds of people and cultures. I love that more people are creating and I think it can be a therapeutic experience to make art when you are true to yourself. The only issue I see with it is pretending to be something you are not. As far as actual photographers who running a business worrying about Instagram enthusiast…. that’s just silly to me. The energy spent worrying about that could be put into making their work better. The only gripe I have is I think people shouldn’t do work for free. It decreases the appreciation and value of your work as an enthusiast and the photography industry in general when so many people are willing to work for free. Even if you only charge $25 or exchange your time for a guaranteed magazine spread, it’s better than essentially saying photography isn’t worth paying for…. but then again I think musicians should charge for their music and I actually still pay for what’s in my iTunes.
Ken: Lastly, Anything else you want to let the readers know? Doesn’t have to be photography related at all.
India: Don’t let anyone keep you from you dreams and goals! It’s so easy to give up after hearing a few “no’s”. When you make the decision to follow a path that isn’t the norm, there will be resistance and unfortunately it may even come from the people you love. Please don’t let that keep you from your happiness and success!
Lastly, do you! In the world of social media it’s easy to compare yourself to others but do know that looks can be deceiving. What’s right for someone else may make you miserable!
Ken: How can people contact you – what is your website and social media presence?
I am also a social media addict with instagram snapchat and facebook being my favorites and can be reached via:
and @theindiajackson on most other social media.