Photographer/Director, Jason Lindsey joins Heather Elder Represents, bringing with him, work documenting his passion for all things outdoors and family. We asked him to give us a peek into who Jason Lindsey is. Here is a small sampling.
You’ve said that growing up, you were surrounded by people who were “salt of the earth.” How has that impacted who you are today?
I grew up in a small town where everyone either worked in a factory or a farm. Hard work was the price of entry. Both of my parents worked in factories, and I was the first person in my family to get a college degree. These experiences defined my work ethic. I learned early to adapt and make things work. When you are on a farm, and the tractor breaks down, you fix it with the one wrench you have on the tractor. You don’t wait for someone to rescue you. Thinking creatively and having a level of independence continue to serve me well.
You’ve used your passions to help guide your career. Can you share what some of those passions are?
My big passions in life are family, hiking, kayaking, backpacking, camping, and about any activity in the outdoors. I am also devoted to conserving and restoring native forests and prairies. These things have encouraged me and my work in many ways. My son had a very tough start in life, and 20 surgeries later, things are good. This experience inspired me even more to love and photograph families. I was also unbelievably affected by the doctors and nurses who saved my son’s life. The passion and dedication they have to their work are astonishing.
I have completed many personal projects related to health and have many more on my list to complete. If you look at my portfolio, it is pretty easy to see all the work I shoot in the outdoors. I have several personal projects in the works related to these passions. Check out my Renewal project to see one I have been photographing about using fire to restore prairies and woodlands.
Where did your interest in art and photography start?
I can’t remember a time I was not doing art. I always loved art, and my Mother and Grandmother had art projects, paintings, and creative activities going all the time when we were young. As soon as I discovered an art class in school, it was my favorite subject, along with science. When I found the darkroom in middle school, a light bulb went off because it felt like a perfect marriage of art and science. Though I loved photography, my visual inspiration came from painters and nature.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
First, our family is very tight, and we do almost everything together. My son is now 13, so I am sure that will start to change a bit. We spend most of our free time in nature. We have a cabin on a creek in the woods and are restoring and protecting a forest and prairie.
What are some personal projects that are on your to-do list?
I am shooting a portrait project with kids related to my interest in conservation. I also have several Fine Art photography projects, including some mixed media work with old photographs. I am working on a new series of paintings. My list of personal projects is at least ten pages long. I once had a painter tell me he knew an idea was great if it was on his list for several years, and he still wanted to do it. I tend to subscribe to that philosophy as well.
You come from a graphic art/art director background. How does your graphic design background help you as a photographer?
My degree is in graphic design, and I learned all about communicating with a purpose. I think that the basic idea is constructive. Working as an Art Director for five years gives me great insight into the process with clients and the challenges the creative team is facing. When I first start a job, I put on my creative director hat and think about it from their perspective. I also find it extremely helpful when making quick decisions on set and working out solutions with creatives and clients.
Where are some of the most exciting places you’ve traveled for a project?
I am such a curious person; I love seeing behind the scenes of anything. Traveling for a project allows me to discover something new. I’ve gone to a local factory to observe something being made. I’ve ridden in a big tractor on a construction site. I’ve been known to lay in the mud with a camera in my hand. That said, I spent three weeks on assignment in the Amazon Jungle traveling by dugout canoe – which was amazing. I taught a film-making workshop in Iceland – one of the most visually stunning places on earth.
Where did you come to believe, “there is always another way?”
I think it started as a kid working with farmers in the field. They had such inventive ways of engineering and fixing things. I have been fine-tuning this belief and pushing myself to ask the question, “Is there another way,” when faced with today’s tightening budgets. I was working on a personal project recently, and my idea involved traveling all over the world and would have been time and cost-prohibitive. I wanted to do it, but I had to find another way. I came up with another idea that involved shooting it in my kitchen and a second idea to start painting again. I am thrilled with the results, and both solutions are more unique than my original expensive solution.
Do you have a bucket list? If so, what is one item on it?
I would love to travel the world for a year with my family.
From the random question files: What is your least favorite word? Why?
Can’t. I think that mindset sets one up for failure from the beginning.
What is the last image you shot on your phone?
I saw this when driving to the gym this morning. It was such a cinematic scene I could not pass it up. I am addicted to creating images.
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