Jay Eads Photography bio picture

I have a difficult week ahead of me, and lots to do… I’m so wound up that I can’t sleep.  I often wonder if other photographers feel this way, but there is a real clarity and decisiveness in the hours after midnight.  I never seem to hem or haw over what processing, which tones, B&W or color.  It all just makes perfect sense as I work.

I finished this image for Emily tonight — wait, no it’s this morning now — and something about the simplicity of it made me happy.  And given the day I anticipate having tomorrow, happy is good.  Ha, I just heard that out-loud — happy is good.  Understatements aside, I’m thankful for clients/friends who let me take their pictures, and allow me to give them back.

Despite being a complete sucker for wild, dramatic images, it is the basic portrait that keeps me coming back to photography.  I think it is the joy of a good frame, the creative outlet and the basic storytelling of portraiture that holds such allure for me.  If you’re reading this late at night, sleep well.  I’m gonna go try that now, myself.

  • February 15, 2010 - 11:12 am

    Tor-Ivar - Wow… this was an amazing portrait!

  • February 16, 2010 - 7:14 am

    BethanyAnne - that is just beautiful, sir.

    And it’s like 11pm right now. Good night!

  • February 16, 2010 - 7:14 am

    BethanyAnne - that is just beautiful, sir.

    And it’s like 11pm right now. Good night!

  • February 18, 2010 - 10:56 am

    Ned - That is VERY nice….Well Done!!!

  • February 24, 2010 - 4:34 am

    Kerry Trujillo - Lovely.

  • January 29, 2011 - 12:46 am

    hi im Gaby! - this is so hawt…
    mmmm…

I was driving home after shooting a wedding (another blog post for that soon) when I saw him. The banjo, the hat, the overalls… I knew I had to pull over and take his picture — if he would let me, of course.  Permission was definitely going to be in order, because I wanted to use my octobox, I saw the picture in my head before I ever got out of my truck.

Erik has been playing the banjo for 33 years, and it shows. His effortless picking was only outshone by his amazing handlebar mustache.  He told me that he loves shooting in front of The Kiva, a great little grocery in Eugene, because of the appreciation their customers show him.  I guess people who like good wine and good food also like good music.  I’m planning on doing more impromptu portraits here in town… bring on the Spring.

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This shot was a special request by Erik.  Happy to oblige.

  • February 16, 2010 - 7:17 am

    BethanyAnne - Holly snap these are amazing. Especially #5!

    Love it!

  • February 16, 2010 - 7:17 am

    BethanyAnne - Holly snap these are amazing. Especially #5!

    Love it!

  • February 19, 2010 - 2:29 am

    Shari DeAngelo - I absolutely love every single image here, Jay. Exceptional series.

  • February 22, 2010 - 6:59 am

    Lauren Hurt - Jay you are so cool, and so is this dude. These pictures make me want to start using lights, they’re just perfect!

  • March 2, 2010 - 12:14 am
  • March 4, 2010 - 8:42 am

    Gina - Your portrait work really tells the story. Each photograph is fascinating imo. It’s such a treat to view your work!

  • March 19, 2010 - 9:41 pm

    jess - jay! don’t know how i missed this shoot but i love the mood, tones, etc. so beautiful. :)

  • March 20, 2010 - 10:07 pm

    Harvey - I just want to mention that I came to your site this morning (as I often do) for inspiration. This shoot continues to inspire me over and over and over again. I love how there are so many different takes on one man playing a banjo in the street. Each one impresses and inspires for a different reason.

    Thank you.

  • April 14, 2010 - 8:06 pm

    Nirav Patel - Incredible Jay. As everyone else has mentioned, you are truely an inspiration. If you’re ever in San Francisco shooting a wedding and need a second, or third, or fourth shooter, please let me know haha. I’ll work for peanut butter and possibly some jello. Seriously though, it would be an awesome priveledge to be able to work with you. Take care man.

People are what motivate me to take photographs. The interactions. The conversations. The unique qualities that make us all valuable and interesting. But… I do occasionally take pictures of things, as well. Many times my thing pictures are for lighting tests, but I usually do have something going through my head as I take the shot. I’ll share a few here, and I’ll share a little about what they make me feel/remember. Just something different.

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I took this during a session with a senior, and I recall thinking to myself with a sense of nostalgia, “I remember the warm summer air as a high school student. 3 months felt like 20.” Now, having been out of high school for about 17 years, my summers go by in a flash… and they feel more or less the same as the winters, from my cubicle. 

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I do love people. As I mentioned, people are the main motivation for my photography. I was with my friend, Jared, shooting for fun on a sunny June evening in 2007 when I took this. Jared is a huge reason I am a photographer right now. I learned a lot from him, and we even shot my first wedding together. It was intentional. This shot, I mean. I saw this carved into the bench we were sitting and chatting on, and I knew I had to take a picture of the carving and put it on my website to explain why I do what I do. So I did.

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Shooting on the campus of the University of Oregon. I never went to college, and I regret that.

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Stay in the lines. That’s what they tell you when you learn to color.

If you are lucky enough to become an artist, you get to decide where the lines go.

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This was taken as I was waiting for a senior to go back to their car and change into a new outfit. It felt alien to me, like a shot from the moon. I hadn’t changed the white balance from the custom kelvin setting I had done for an earlier idea, and the blues made the rocks seem more interesting on the LCD than they really were. At that very moment, sitting on the riverbank, pushing rocks around with my chaco’d feet, I realized how much camera settings can affect the mood of a picture.

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I’m a sucker for B&W images. I shoot about 20 images a session, from the hip, without composing, with the sole purpose of converting them to B&W, just for fun.

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Taken at a Christian camp in Eugene. Each one of these stakes represents a changed life. No extra points were given for placement, angle, height, or depth into the earth. No deductions were made, either.

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“I’ll shoot my own textures… I don’t have to buy them from someone else… and maybe people will buy them from me. Unless it’s a fad, then no one will care…”

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I was disappointed that I didn’t get the waves centered on this shot, and that I had almost blown the highlights in the sky. I really liked the image, but wished I would have paid attention to the histogram and composition. I chuckled to myself a bit about how much of a photo dork I had become. The confused looks on the faces of the clients I was shooting told me the chuckle wasn’t internal. This one reminds me to shoot for fun when I can, not worrying about “perfection.”

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Diptychs and Triptychs make me happy. I’m not great at them, and I think they are an art-form all to themselves.

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I took this long before the final image (which contained a bride and groom). I always pay attention during weddings for interesting locations and inspiration. I’m not a big shot planner, I like to be spontaneous, but I most definitely keep my eyes open.

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My wife and I have taken our little boy to see a Christmas parade in the little town of Coburg the past two years. This is a 30 second, handheld shot at F/14, turning and swirling the camera.

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I am so melancholy. Even at a beautiful fall wedding, with warm air, lots of laughter, amazing food, and the sounds of birds and river…  I am taking lonely shots of the water for a desktop wallpaper. Geez – there really is no “off switch” to it for me. I’m not unhappy – I have a great life. I wonder what the disconnect is?

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  • February 7, 2010 - 1:06 pm

    Andrea - Aside from the FANTASTIC photographs, the thoughts you had about each one are just amazing. I LOVE 1, 3, 4 and 7 thoughts but I like them all. I have lots of shots stored on my computer that I took and I should do something like this…… explaining why I took them and what was going through my head when I did!

    You are very much an inspiration for me Jay!

  • February 7, 2010 - 6:55 pm

    daron - i love these. and i think they qualify as fine art. :)

  • February 8, 2010 - 6:29 am

    jayeads - daron – that’s why i went looking for them 😉

    thank you!!!

  • February 8, 2010 - 7:45 am

    BethVillero - I love these, and your explanation with each one. really great.

  • February 12, 2010 - 4:05 pm

    Melinda - Jay, I love seeing your non-portrait work. These are really great shots. Thanks for sharing another side of your creative self.

  • February 14, 2010 - 5:50 am

    jayeads - really… the non-portrait stuff? hmm, thanks! i’ll try to do more every so often.

  • March 14, 2010 - 1:25 am

    Branden Harvey - Hey Jay, I really admire your work. I’m a highschool student and a striving photographer. I’ve been thinking about my future a lot. Why do you wish you’d gone to college? I’d love to hear.

  • April 15, 2010 - 2:39 am

    shipra - stumbled onto this post and found it to be pleasing on so many levels. I don’t know you and it’s not likely we’ll meet anytime soon, but I felt a connect with you as a photographer through these images and the way that you explain your thoughts about them. I think your work has great depth and beauty. The triptych above is lovely, (I’d-buy-a-copy-lovely). Thanks for sharing.

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