Then There Was Us

Jack Kenyon's work captures the quirks, stories, and emotions of everyday life

2023-06-30 – The Process

People, Interaction

In an era when technology often distracts us from the present, people watching and the photography that celebrates it serves as a gentle reminder of the magic hidden within our surroundings. This joy is imbued in Jack Kenyon's work; making photographs that allow us to peer into the kaleidoscope of humanity, capturing the quirks, stories, and emotions of everyday life. They offer an opportunity to revel in the human drama unfolding around us, to recognise our shared humanity, and to find solace and inspiration in the ordinary.

As part of our online content we believe that discussing the efforts, approach and process behind the project are just as important as the story itself. In our category The Process we ask a series of questions that discuss and explore the approach taken in different aspects of creating, looking at new and old projects, we explore the stories, thoughts, meanings and process behind it all from how a project starts, exploring inspirations and reasoning behind work, to the experiences and mindset of developing a project.

How do you start a project?

My projects usually start as an idea. It might be a news article, a video online or something that's made me laugh in conversation. I'll make a note of it and explore if it's been shot before, how it's been shot and whether I can do something unique with it.

What inspires you?

I get a lot of inspiration from other pictures. That could be photographs, films, illustrations or other visual arts. In particular I like pictures that have a formal quality to them, where there's a clear vision from the person creating it. If a picture makes me laugh, that's also very inspiring.

What do you intend to achieve through your work?

I hope to have a long career making pictures that I enjoy, and which have value to other people, whether that's artistic or commercial.

How do you manage to stay both personal and original in your creative endeavours?

It can definitely feel hard to make original work with so many great photographers out there. However, I think for me finding my own personal way of making pictures has been equivalent to finding my voice/aesthetic/style, which inevitably is how photographers make original work.

If you could change one aspect of our society through your work, what would it be?

I'd be happy if my photos just make people smile, but if I was to hope for something more, I feel like my pictures could be viewed as a celebration of peace. Capturing some element of what peace looks like, whilst we're lucky enough to have it, feels important to me. If that makes our world a bit more peaceful that would be great.

Have you ever felt that your personal expectations have limited your creativity? If so, how have you dealt with this?

Absolutely. It's taken me a long time to make money as a photographer, and it's always tempting to follow whatever the hot style is, in the hope that it will speed things up. Trying to think long term about my career though, over a 30 to 40 year horizon, definitely helps put things into perspective.

Which creative people do you admire? Why?

Photographers I'm particularly fond of are Hiromi Tsuchida, Brian Finke, Massimo Vitali, Kelia Anne, Dan Burn Forti, Vikram Kushwah and Nadia Lee Cohen. They all have a specific vision of how to make good pictures, they're often quietly funny, and they've been doing it consistently for many years.

If you had to start your career over based on something you've found through photography, what would it be?

If I could draw like Charlotte Ager, I would love to illustrate my people-watching pictures. Her work evokes so many more emotions than when I look at photographs, I'm quite jealous.

Is there a particular place where you feel most creative?

I don't think I have a specific place, more a time of day for creativity, which is always the morning.

Thank you for reading

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