Image © Jake Stangel.
Jake Stangel has been selected as one of BJP's 20 photographers to watch in 2013
Author: British Journal of Photography
14 Jan 2013 Tags: Ones to watch
“He’s not your usual young editorial photographer, hungry to do anything to get assignments,” says BJP editor Simon Bainbridge, commenting on San Francisco-based photographer Jake Stangel.
“For a start, he cites seeing Ute Barth’s Untitled (98.2) as one of the key moments of his development at age 19, and he admires photographers such as Collier Schorr, Mark Cohen and Rosalind Solomon.
“And without being at all self-conscious about it, he seems to have absorbed everything that’s been going on in art and documentary photography in recent years, and then channels that back into these travel and lifestyle assignments he shoots. He brings a really considered eye to these stories that’s unusual for someone his age, but at the same time, he’s really free-roaming with his photography – you never get the sense he’s trying too hard; he’s enjoying the people and places these opportunities bring, and somehow that becomes his signature. He’s an outdoors type of guy himself and embodies what you need to do as a travel photographer these days, capturing flavours and experiences.”
The images shown here are from a commission, A Week In Seattle (actually shot over eight days) for Travel + Leisure magazine. “I deeply love Seattle, and I’ve tried to capture the flavour, the character and the Northwest attitude,” says the 26-year-old, who shoots a lot of assignments like these. “I’ve unintentionally, but very amicably, become a travel photographer. My commissioned work has taken me to three-quarters of the 50 states in America, as well as Mexico, Canada, Amsterdam, London and most recently India, which was incredible. I love exploring and soaking up wherever I go. For me, the act of photographing heightens the experience of travel. It allows me to process and appreciate what’s interesting and unique about a place; not only to pinpoint it but also capture it.”
Image © Jake Stangel.
Using film for around 80 percent of his work – whether personal, editorial or commercial – Stangel describes his approach to photography as “meditative, inquisitive, loose, balanced and focused on composition, especially on the nuances and qualities of light”. His editorial work this year has been wide-ranging. He’s photographed socialist rappers for New York Times Magazine, a US senator in Montana who runs a farm, and a cross-country ski event in Wisconsin that attracts thousands of people from all over the world. “A major part of what I love about what I do for a living is having the opportunity to meet and photograph some of the coolest and most interesting places, people, organisations and phenomena around the world,” says Stangel. “I’m drawn to situations I can explore and weave in and out of. I feel a lot of joy in wandering the streets or nature all day with a keen eye.”
Last year was a whirlwind, he adds, with many projects on the go at the same time. This year will be about making time for “more personal work, and more judicious and focused commissions”.
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