Dazed Digital


Jon Jacobsen

December 8, 2011

The prodigious 21-year-old fashion photographer connects the style of city

  • Text by Satellite Voices

Guest Feature by Fer Munizaga

Jon Jacobsen is a 21-year-old Chilean photographer whose dramatic style and vision is causing waves throughout the local industry. His life outside the city has always kept him in conact with nature, something that is constantly reflected in his work, as well as in his inspirations. His work for local magazines like Paula have elevated his work and he's ready to breakout and go global.

Satellite Voices: When did you start your career?
Jon Jacobsen: It was more like a process of coincidences that led me into photography. I didn’t have any artistic motivations at home, only the art classes that I took at school. However, the desire to start photographing began after I got a small digital camera (Canon A75) and my first computer, as well as the arrival of a new art teacher who taught us a lot of different art disciplines and artistic movements. Eventually, the topic of photography got me interested and I started researching, encountering the immense possibilities that current tools such as Photoshop, could deliver me. I felt the need to do the same that I was seeing in my research and started learning on my own.

SV: How many years have you been working professionally as a photographer?
Jon Jacobsen: My first job was in 2006 for the local magazine, Paula. They contacted me to do a special issue dedicated to teenagers, being recommended by Simon Pais, a well known Chilean photographer. By that time I was only 16-years-old, so I really wouldn’t consider myself a professional then, although I learned a lot.

I think I could say that the start of my carreer as a photographer was when I started taking it seriously in 2008. I turned my world around my work because before that it was just a hobby, a way to channel my emotions but since I tried to work with people with to learn from including models, make-up artists and designers.

SV: What inspires you to shoot?
Jon Jacobsen: My work is based on what I experience and feel every day. It is an infinite field of inspiration where I steal little moments of the day to create the metaphors in my work, whether it is in self portraits or fashion productions. It also inspires me how organic and surreal this world can be if you look it with foreign and curious eyes.

SV: What are you currently working on?
Jon Jacobsen: This year I finished studying (I am a graphic designer), so I set up my portfolio to present myself to the world of work. I am in plans of finding jobs that can help me rent a room in Santiago because I am from Quintero, a small town near Valparaiso and next to the sea. It is a huge change for someone that is used to live by the woods and ocean, but I know that this is the only way to make my work grow.

I am also working on a project called "Retratos a 20" ("Portraits for 20"), that is a photographic service which gives high quality portraits for only $20.000 pesos (US$ 40) to people. Besides that, I am participating in exhibitions, publications and sending my portfolio to every place I imagine.

SV: What do you think about Chilean photographers?
Jon Jacobsen: I am a person who believes that mistakes are part of knowledge, so it is important to question life without experiencing prejudice and fear. For this reason, I feel that photography in Chile is shy. I still see it very technical, based merely on that the picture has to be 'pretty', when I insist that you can go further. The conceptual side of photography is still hidden by the 'catalogue' pictures in magazines, unless you do something that is already done out in Europe. Anyway, I have confidence that this will change. Photographers like Noli & Provost leave me very calm. Also the work of Rocio Aguirre, which is very different from mine, but I see a similar concern between her creations and mine.

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