Mentor – Allison Jacobs
Mentor – Allison Jacobs

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I’m blessed with an amazing group of photographers who are going to help mentor during Ultimate Intro to Photography: The only beginner workshop you’ll ever need. Each week you will submit images for critique from myself and one of the mentors. Did I mention they are video critiques? This week I want to introduce you to Allison Jacobs. Allison and I met in a photography workshop years ago and I was blown away by her talent and kindness right off the bat. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet Allison in person. She’s as beautiful in person as she is online. Her laugh is contagious and she is so fun to drink margaritas and listen to a mariachi band with. Plus, Allison is creating a BONUS Photoshop Tutorial video for the workshop! Check out her beautiful work at – Allison Jacobs Photography.

1. Why did you start photography?
I started photography to capture the moments, places & people in my life that I didn’t want to forget. I wanted to stop time with my camera.

2. What were your early goals for your photography?
One of my first goals when I bought my SLR was to learn how to shoot in Manual. I wanted to have complete control over the camera and be able to make all the decisions so that I could execute my vision.


3. What surprised you the most about photography?
How easy it was to become totally & completely obsessed.

4. Your most embarrassing photography related moment.
I’m not sure that there is one standout moment but I do know that every time I drop off film to be developed I feel certain they will call me out for being a total fraud. I take a lot of risks with my photography and with digital I don’t have to share them if I don’t want anyone to see. But with film when I take a risk I know that someone will be looking at it other than me so I have to actively remember not to worry about that part of it and just shoot. If something doesn’t work the way I hope then I just have to learn from it and try again.


5. Please show us a photo from the beginning of your journey and one now.
This is October 2009. I had my used Canon Rebel XT for about 5 months at this point. I’m absolutely sure that isn’t even close to his natural skin tone.

Then this one is from May 2013. I know that it is two years old now but I thought it was a cool comparison to the October 2009 photo.

6. What is your favorite picture right now.
Love, love, love this one. It makes me happy every time I see it.

7. Favorite part about photography.
The joy of creating and seeing the world in a new way. I also think it is absolutely wonderful that there is always more to learn. I love that I can still be constantly pushing myself to improve and practice.

8. What one piece of advice would you give yourself when you were just starting out?
Trust your instincts. Relax. Enjoy it. Stress less about getting the perfect image, because there really isn’t one. Stop comparing yourself to other photographers.


9. What was your biggest lightbulb moment?
Maybe when I realized & learned how important it is to use the light to help tell the story and enhance the image.


10. What other photographers inspire you?
Sam Abell is one of my favorites. He is a master of composition and an inspiring storyteller. I have a book of his called The Life of a Photograph where he provides his recollections of making the images that are shown in the book. It is such an amazing insight into his process.

11. What do you consider your biggest success as a photographer? Failure?
I’m not sure that I have one thing that I would count as my biggest success or failure as a photographer. I feel like the road hasn’t been a straight one but instead it has been bumpy with lots of curves and hills and surprises along the way. It is always frustrating when I feel like I’m not making progress as quickly as I would like, but at the end of the day I’m grateful for every shot I have of this wonderful crazy life and I would say that is a success.


12. Favorite place you’ve ever lived or visited?
While I love where I live now, I would have to list Panajachel, Guatemala as one of my favorite places that I have visited. Maybe I would list San Francisco, California too. And maybe Austin, Texas. New Orleans is pretty great too. Mexico has some great beaches. Hmmm, I like lots of places I have been.


13. If you could go on a photography vacation and photograph anywhere in the world, where would you go?
The list of places I want to see and photograph is super long and includes places in the United States like Savannah, Georgia to places like the Ta Prohm Temple in Cambodia. Basically if I can take my camera and see somewhere new to me then I would be happy to go anywhere.

14. 3 words to describe you.
I asked my son and he said I am helpful, nice, and adventurous.

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