It’s not too often I find myself lacking a clear vision or not at least knowing what project I’m going to tackle next. Brainstorming a new idea, putting that idea into action and then pulling it all together to create a final product is always so exciting for me, and why I think the way I operate my blog has worked so well for me this past year. But when it came to taking the professional head shots I needed for my capstone, I found myself lost. I had no idea where to go to take them, what lighting to use, or what position to pose in that wouldn’t accentuate my awkwardness (turns out, no pose can erase awkward.)
Thankfully, I had the help and expertise of my good friend Eric Jackson, director of Derachio Vision Photography, to turn to. After seeing the incredible shots he’s taken of not only me, but dozens others, I had a million unanswered questions that I wanted to ask him about how he got started and grew his business into what it is today, while still being a master’s student.
J: What initially drew you to Syracuse? What did you study as an undergrad?
EJ: I came to Syracuse to be in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and to play football. That is honestly what drew me in. (And it was a beautiful sunny April day that looked like Cali so I was fooled lol). In undergrad I studied Television Radio & Film with a minor in Information Management and Technology.
J: When did you decide to pursue photography more seriously?
EJ: In the world of television and film, I have discovered a lot of opportunity in film production, whether it is fiction or nonfiction storytelling. I really fell in love with the art of composing the shot. When we watch a film, the visual aesthetics help take us to another world or connect to someone’s story that could be both similar to and different than our own. This prompted me to want to be a cinematographer, which is very close to a photographer except with movies. In my pursuit to become a cinematographer, I wanted to learn everything there is to know about using cameras, so I thought being a photographer as well could make me an all around great Director of Photography for both movies and pictures.
J: Why photography? What exactly do you like so much about capturing a moment?
EJ: In photography specifically, it’s amazing to think that you are freezing a moment in time that will never happen again in that same way. The person in the photo will never be the same age or person, and even the environment changes. Freezing that moment to connect that person and that environment to always be remembered speaks to us on a very emotional level that is really astounding to me. It is so much more intricate than just taking the picture- you put someone’s heart and soul and who they are in that moment into the picture, and it creates something that lasts forever.
J: What is your ideal career? Where would you like to see yourself in 5-10 years?
EJ: In 5-10 years I look to own my own production company. In this company, we want to tell stories that matter, both through film and through pictures. Everyone has a story and these stories are what connect everyone across the world. People understand stories across cultures, religions, languages, you name it. People understand the emotional aspect of human nature and interaction, so telling stories through film and pictures can really bring people together, and that is what I look to do in my company.
Right now, I am really working to finish creating an amazing body of work that portrays what I want to do. I use social media so that people can stay updated with what I am doing, but also as a platform to tell other people’s stories. As I finish getting this big body of work finished, I will post more regularly to get people excited about the vast number and type of people I encounter and how unique and amazing each individual is.
J: What are your favorite photos to take?
EJ: I love portraits, both in studios and outdoors. I love being able to allow people to have a photo that really resembles their beauty and personality. It makes me happy to be able to deliver a photo to someone that will make them fall in love with themselves and who they are. It’s an amazing form of self-reflection.