Michael Lee Jackson
Michael’s work is a celebration of nature, wilderness, animals, people and places and the stories they tell. What viewers are less privy to about my work is that beyond capturing and sharing moments, I am equally if not more intrigued and inspired by the things that people can’t see such as the drives to get to the locations, the conversations with strangers I encounter, waiting for the light to be just right and sitting in absolute darkness and silence for hours on night shoots with my dog, Shadow, or the occasional friend who comes along for the ride.”
“I was not born with a camera in my hand, though close to it as I have so many fond childhood memories of being the darkroom with my father, who has been a professional photographer for most of his life. He gave me a Nikon to shoot with when I was ten years old, if not younger.”
When I was younger, I never imagined I’d derive so much joy from driving through endless deserts, terrifying single-lane mountain roads or freezing in incredibly dark and silent locations staring at the stars while capturing hundreds photographs that will ultimately result in star circles if I didn’t set anything up wrong. But there you go; photography is my fly fishing. It’s a Zen experience for me whether or not I come home with the pictures I’d envisioned – though it sure is nice when it does work out. And the other thing about capturing moments is, sometimes one doesn’t necessarily know the importance of any moment until contextualized by history. I seldom know what I’m going to get when I pack my cameras into my truck and hit the road, but I know one thing for certain: If I stay home, my chances of encountering and capturing any of magic are zero.
Long before becoming a professional photographer, Michael became an attorney at the behest of civil rights attorney, William M. Kunstler with whom Jackson clerked during law school and on various matters for years afterwards. He’s also had the good fortune to have creatively managed and toured as guitar player for Ian Gillan from Deep Purple, toured with 10,000 Maniacs and with his own band, Animal Planet.