Today, I am thrilled to share a conversation with Jordan Parks, a lifestyle and portrait photographer based in St. Louis, MO. A self-described golden hour junkie, she loves capturing the little bits that make up her everyday.
How did you get into photography?
That’s kind of a tricky question. I come from a family of photographers. My Grandpa ALWAYS had a camera with him. I remember my Mom taking us out to snap photos and then go develop them in black and white. My Father is an architect and has a slight obsession with the Arts. I think it’s in my blood, really.
I remember going to Florida when I was about 13 and taking loads of pictures. After I got my film developed, there was a picture I took of the beach that sticks with me to this day. I remember thinking how beautiful it was, how it was exactly as I remembered it and being in awe that I TOOK THIS PICTURE. I’ve pretty much been carrying some sort of camera around ever since.
How would you describe your style?
Simple. Simple simple simple. I didn’t really realize it until a flickr contact told me she could spot my images out from a mile away. I like the image to be free of clutter; focused on one thing.
What message do you want to convey in your photographs?
I like the “viewer” to imagine themselves in the image. As a witness, more or less. I am very selective about what I post, and when I do, the image speaks to me in some way. It is taken exactly as I see it and framed exactly the way it happens. I rarely crop in post.
Who inspires you and why?
This is tough. I mean, I feel like I am inspired Every. Single. Day. I am not stuck on one single photographer or style at any given time. As a portrait photographer I definitely take inspiration from others, but I find that I tend to lean more towards lifestyle photography.
I like capturing not only my family but my clients in everyday settings and documenting the little bits that make up their everyday. I feel like these are the things that they will want to remember most, as opposed to the smile at the camera for the Christmas card type of image.
What is your favourite thing to photograph?
My three boys. Hands down. It’s absolutely cliche to day, “It goes by so fast!,” but with the three of them all four years apart I see it. And it’s fleeting.
What is your favorite recent photo and what is the story behind it?
This image might seem a little mundane to some, but it was taken after my husband and I celebrated our tenth anniversary. We had dinner and he obliged me in taking a walk after to shoot. We’ve lived in two places, had three kids, been on many adventures and realized on our “date” that we were out on the town in my minivan. Times. Have. Changed. But I’ve enjoyed every little moment along the way.
What projects are you planning?
I’m currently involved in a 10 on 10 with an amazing group of photographers. We take ten photos on the tenth of the month to document our day and post them to our blogs. It’s been an absolute treasure for me, because I get to capture an entire day of my kids and our life, as opposed to random pictures here and there. I started a Project 52 this year but failed miserably. I think I made it to week 13? Having three kids has certainly thrown me for a loop:)
What would your superpower be?
Time travel. Seriously. But I wouldn’t want to go into the future. That would be too much:)