Now Boarding with Jake Anderson Photo
Jake Anderson is a film photographer from the Midwest. His love for art and his clients, from the behind the scenes to the final images, exudes throughout his brand. (Especially his love for his wife, son, and dog!) His love for these pieces transfers to the way he interacts with the moments around him. It is incredibly pure, which allows him to tell his clients’ stories so well. It’s simplistic. It’s honest. It’s breathtaking. It doesn’t end here, though. Within his clients’ stories, they choose venues or place with purpose, and Jake seamlessly includes them into his story-telling. It is important to him, but of much deeper importance than to simply photograph what surrounds them. He currently travels mostly for his clients for weddings, engagements, editorials, etc., but more existentially, he travels because he values experiences. He travels to share experiences with his wife and also to broaden his perspective of the world.
Experiences can impact your life in ways you’ve never imagined and open your eyes to things you never knew. Don’t be afraid to take a step out of your comfort zone, because, like Jake, it can enable you to tap into a whole new side of your creativity.
When you plan a trip, what things do you seek to include in your trip? Why?
Where I stay has a huge impact on the feeling/experience of the trip, so I spend a ton of time researching my accommodations (is it local, have a good aesthetic); consequently, typically that means I stay in an Airbnb. I want to feel like I'm actually experiencing the true nature of the location I'm in, and being able to wake up, walk down the street and randomly find an incredible coffee shop and overhear locals talking about their days is one of my favorite things to do.
I also almost always find a place to swim; whether it's a hike with a waterfall at the end, booking accommodations with an incredible pool, or finding a secluded beach area on the French Riviera, swimming always is a top priority for me. It may be because I truly love to be in the water (my wife gets a little annoyed by how much this is true...I also get crabby when I'm hot, so I like to think of my swimming to cool off as a service to her ;) ) and to be surrounded by the beauty & character of water, but I also really enjoy the people watching it affords. You become a bit more intimately aware of the culture you are in (keep in mind SoCal surf culture is just as much a form of culture as Italian culture is); you become incredibly aware as to the aspects of life that culture holds valuable.
Lastly, food. Always good food.
How does traveling impact you as a creative?
Being able to see new things and have new experiences allows you to feel differently. The way I feel sitting under an olive tree in Tuscany can then inform my decisions when shooting a Tuscan inspired event or session. I can then channel the feelings I had in that experience to the textures, the mood, or the colors of the shoot. Being able to tap into those feelings are incredibly important to me to be successful.
What do you find inspires your when you travel?
Scenery and landscape always intrigue and amaze me. I enjoy being able to audibly say "wow", and these allow that to happen. I'm also inspired by the situations you can find yourself in when you allow yourself to just walk around and get lost. I was in Florence this fall, and went down the block to do the coffee dance with the locals (this is a thing in Italy) - on my return, I saw a massive door ajar, and decided to walk in. I found myself in one of the most impressive churches I've ever seen...I didn't even know it was a block from where I was staying.
What are some of your favorite places that you've visited?
Super cliche, but Italy has a special place in my heart. I love the consistency it holds as a whole, yet the diversity it displays regionally is incredible. Lake Como is vastly different than Rome.
I also really really enjoy the West Coast of the U.S. My wife and I love to hike and explore, and these area allow us to do so.
What are your essential travel items?
- good book
- camera (duh)
- extra film (rather have it and not use it than need it and not have it)
- good shoes - my airline lost my bag while I was in Florence and I had poor pair of shoes for a day. I shot a wedding the next day with bloody heels - not fun.
- swim suit!!! Always looking to swim!
- data plan within the country I'm visiting. I'm lucky that AT&T covers internationally really well, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to have data (not just relying on wifi)
- good seats on the flight. I have pretty good status with Delta, so I am upgraded every-so-often; even so, I book either Comfort or First. I'd much rather spring the extra cash for a better seat than arrive crabby and sore. (you also get priority boarding this way, which ensures I get a spot in the overhead bins for my camera gear)
What would you say to someone who has a desire to travel, but something may be holding them back?
If you truly want to travel, you kind of just have to buck up and do it. As I was getting into the photography thing, I knew I wanted to head in destination direction, and, consequently, meant I had to show my clients I knew how to travel. I got a credit card and started earning miles/booking sessions I needed to fly to; this is a route to get into it. Also, ask yourself, "What's the worst that can happen?". You loose a few hundred dollars? So what, get it back. You spend a night in an uncomfortable bed? No big deal. You don't want to spend a few nights away from your family? Bring them with (earn miles faster ;) )! Experiences matter; pursue them.
Photographs by Jake Anderson