Spotlight | Jennifer Hughes
"I am a photographer. Art school grad. Wife. Mom of two girls. Mom of two pit bulls. Just about in that same order. As a child, I grew up in the country wanting to live in the city, now I live in the city longing for the country. I crave open spaces and love minimalism- probably because when you live with 3 other people and 2 large dogs, clean open spaces are hard to come by. This love manifests itself in my favorite photos. Clean lines, abstract shapes, hard light, shadows, black & white, darkness, grain... these are the things that inspire me to create and make me excited to be a photographer. I've always made my living shooting pictures... for over 25 years now. I hope that never ends. :) "
Favorite movie, book, or song?
Favorite song recently is anything by Lord Huron. I especially love the texture and echo-y quality to their songs. "Love Like Ghosts" is on constant replay...
Favorite thing to do besides photography?
Running, hiking, anything outside and spending time with my husband and 2 girls.
Black. I know... it's the absence of color, but it's my favorite.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Somewhere warm and coastal, definitely near a beach.
Favorite place to shoot?
I love the architecture and lines of the city, any city, but I also love shooting in tropical locations. Palm trees are an obsession of mine, maybe because we don't have them here in Baltimore.
My first camera was a...
Describe yourself in three words.
Sarcastic, perfectionist, sensitive (in no particular order)
Describe your work in three words.
Not all the work I do fits into these 3 words, but my favorite work does: Linear, minimal, clean
Favorite app to use?
"People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. the good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give our best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."
- Mother Teresa
When and how did your journey as an artist begin?
In high school. I used to draw all the time and then started taking photography classes. My senior year I had a double period of photography and knew at that point it was what I wanted to do. From there I went on to Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and got a BFA in photography.
What camera(s) do you prefer to use?
I have 2 Canon 5Ds bodies and love them. You can't beat 50mp camera in the convenience of a 35 mm format.
Could you describe a bit about the type of photography you pursue?
Interiors and architecture are what I do most, but I also dabble in food and lifestyle, especially when shooting hotels/resorts.
What is your greatest inspiration?
Light and line. I like to follow light- the quality of it, absence of it, shape of it, color of it. And, I'm constantly searching for linear patterns.
What artists in your field have influenced your work?
Sharyn Cairns, Felix Forest, Rich Stapleton, William Abranowicz, Frederik Vercruysse
Are there any projects you are currently pursuing or would like to pursue?
I have an ongoing project that I'm working on, but haven't had much time for lately, called "Mono." It is a mostly botanical/food study, using a macro lens and very low light. I was inspired by looking at a lot of work done in Norway for different restaurants and chefs. I love the quality of light there and its softness. It is a great contrast to the linear work that I do and a good visual break for me. It takes me back to my days in college when I used to shoot using recording film. (It is a beautiful, super grainy, film and when it's blown up large almost looks like an illustration. I did a series of large-scale nudes with it for my senior thesis).
This project has affected my overall approach to shooting food in general. I love to deconstruct. I like things messy... it's a total opposite approach than my architectural/interiors work where I obsess about everything having correct perspective, focus, clean whites, etc... you can't live like that all the time, you need balance and this project gives me that freedom.
I also have another project coming up, as well. It is a fine art commission for a bank's corporate office. We will be doing 12 large-scale photographs of landmarks and architecture around Baltimore. I'm excited that the approach will be very clean and minimal, much of it being abstract. I love these types of jobs, where I actually feel like I'm shooting more for myself and am given full license to create the way I see. Really excited to start this one!