This week (for those of you not following along on Twitter) we did an APW How-To shoot on Maddie’s pony farm. (I know. Most days as a blogger and writer are not terrifically glamorous, but every so often it’s all ponies and eyeliner) And during that day I got to hang out extensively with Chloe Jackman. She was one of our models, but she also happens to be APW’s newest Bay Area Photography sponsor. (And y’all, we literally have not had a new Bay Area Photography sponsor in YEARS!) So the first thing I want to tell you about Chloe, before we get to her completely impressive talent, is how effing fun she is to hang out with. How she’s a ball of hilarious energy. During the shoot, I’d be sitting there with my eyes closed, sitting very still getting my makeup done, and I’d hear Chloe making a joke, and say, “Wha???? Someone tell me what she’s saying!” Because I wanted in on it. The idea of having her hanging around on my wedding day is such a good idea I can’t even stand it.
But the second thing I want to tell you about Chloe is that she’s particularly, and uniquely, talented at doing the most amazing photo shoot portraits of you, with killer lighting, in the same two-second time period you’d normally be getting snap-and-go wedding group shots. Seriously. I’ve never seen anything like it. But first, a story. For the past year, I’ve been complaining that the wedding industry pushes photographers to look to the new breed of “superstar wedding photographers” (sigh) for inspiration, which ends up with a whole lot of photography that looks more or less the same. So one day, when I was flipping through Vogue (yes, I do that!) I looked up and said, “Why don’t more photographers try to be like the modern greats, for goodness sake! Like Annie Leibovitz?” So somehow, yesterday, I found myself modeling with Chloe, in the middle of a sawdust barn at Maddie’s house, taking photos with a giant shovel, while Chloe climbed a ladder in a long dress and flexed her biceps. It was amazing. It was super fun, super easy, and I felt like me having the most fun I’d ever had on film. I felt totally like myself, but also a little bit like I might be a model for Vogue (which I’ll take, please and thank you).
And then we all retired to Maddie’s living room to swill cold Cokes and chat, and Chloe started talking about her work. We started talking about her love of photojournalism, but also her love of getting a posed shot RIGHT, and how she’d spent the last few years teaching herself everything she needed to know about lighting to take the best posed shots she possibly could. I nodded, and then she showed me this:
And this: (I know.)
And here is the funny thing. The one thing I’d totally screwed up on with our wedding photography (actually, this is possibly the only thing I’ll really point to as having screwed up on the whole wedding) was not paying any attention to group shots. I knew, in my head, that I had to do group shots with family and friends, but I didn’t want to do them. I was super focused on candid art shots and photojournalism, and figured I’d never frame the group shots anyway, so they didn’t matter. WRONG. So, I rushed our (amazing) photographers through our group shots, and as a result, they look rushed, and I look like I don’t want to be there. And guess what? When we go to see family, what do they have framed? It’s not the amazing artistic candids that I have framed. It’s the group shots. The pictures I rushed through, and hence don’t like. Mistake, y’all.
So I was crazy excited to talk to Chloe Jackman about her particular talent, and a skill set that I’ve rarely seen in wedding photography. This is a woman who can knock out pro-lighting in her sleep, and get you group photos that you’ll be crazy proud of to see on your Grandma’s wall, because they’re art. And she can do it fast, and then move on to her other core skill, wedding photojournalism, and capture the heck out of your wedding day. She told me, “I’m thrilled to offer my clients a dynamic, editorial style that is fused with a photo journalistic approach,” which is exactly what she does. All while making you laugh. How’s that for multi-tasking?
And at her core, Chloe Jackman Photography just gets the APWers. She says, “I love the APW community because it is full of people who love, appreciate and understand that what I am is an artist. They are ready and willing to go on a creative journey with me and know that means it could get a little crazy. APW nurtures acceptance, and that is something that I really appreciate as the product of interracial parents and someone with friends in the LGBT community. I have seen and experienced my share of injustices in the world and chose to surround my self with people who are open and accepting of others and want to help spread that message. Also! On that note I was in a feminism documentary when I was 16.” (What? Awesome.) She describes herself as, “A vibrant, colorful, enthusiastic, sarcastic, spitfire who promises to make your photography experience exciting and painless,” which nails it. Plus, she started Lovely Me Photography with two girlfriends as a counter culture to Victoria Secrets lingerie twigs. ”Because not everyone deserves to feel beautiful, every woman is.” BAM.
In short, I seriously CANNOT WAIT to see what crazy amazing collaborations you and Chloe Jackman Photography come up with. Her wedding photography rates start at just $2,500 for the Bay Area, plus she travels anywhere, and she’s your photographer for life. Maternity? Kids? Other crazy artistic project? She’s on it! Plus, she’s put together a special package for APWers all over California: $3950 anywhere in California, which includes a 40 page 10×10 Wedding album, DVD of images, Assistant and 50 4×6 prints of photographer’s faves. Y’all? HIT IT.