Sometimes it seems like all we photographers do is take.
Taking shots, capturing moments- these clichés, and others like them, have hung around for good reason. They offer easy explanations to the rest of you as to what it is we photographers actually do.
You should know, from this moment forward, photographers take nothing. Not a single thing. Why?
Because it is our place, and it is our art, to give. We give history another song to dance old dances. We give generations ahead a chance to hold more than a few tired stories of days gone by. We give the less fortunate, the downtrodden, and the minority voices an equal chance to be seen, recognized, and believed. Our work bears witness. It testifies.
I have held my lens to a world full of color, character, and creation, and for all I have tried to give back, it has given me so much more than I will ever be able to describe- except to say it has given me a very precious thing: perspective.
Perspective teaches you to find the joke, while others expect the punch line, giftwrapped neatly. It lets you observe- and thus work- with a brutal kind of honesty. You recognize life in the proper scale, at its native speed.
The racers roaring by at 200 miles an hour eventually slow down, and roll into the quietness of day’s end, laughing about near misses over cold drinks in the afterglow of night.
The air conditioning breaks down but two thousand people keep grooving and sweating in a big noisy concert hall. And the band decides to give thanks for everyone who keeps dancing- so they play it better, harder, and just a little bit sweeter than they thought they could.
You find yourself riding shotgun in the middle of an airshow, and the ground never feels the same again.
Life is sweetest when, and where, that certain kind of magic happens. If we are fortunate, all the years of work and reflex and simple good luck roll into the right shot, at the right second, from the right angle. That is the kind of art that can change your life as much as it can change mine.
The Iditarod changed my life. Volunteering in Haiti and learning, painfully, that images, like disasters, have no language barrier. One day you’re finding the right light for Steve Wozniak; the next day you’re sweating around the Culinary Institute of America. Hitting open roads with bikers who care as little for where they just left, as to where they may end up. It all has changed my life.
I have, and will, shoot whatever interests me for whoever interests me. I am currently the Chief Photographer of the Iowa Speedway. I have worked on behalf of global and national interests without losing my Midwestern roots. My published work ranges from magazines such as Relix to product catalogs.
I have taught at the college level, instilling a love for this art form. I have a wonderful team of excellent photographers, and can provide a team as large and as specialized as needed.
I have done the work to prepare myself. I am ready when you are. Have Passport, Love Travel.
I am Jennifer Coleman, and I am your photographer.