Sep 16, 2011

PROFILE | Chase Jarvis

Songs For Eating & Drinking. 2008.
Photographer Chase Jarvis embodies a trait that many artists either fail to fully convey, or that is cast aside intentionally. This trait is transparency. I'm not saying that artists who don't reveal their every process, motive, or thought about their work are by any means superior or inferior. Jarvis seems to take on this mode not so much as an underlying force to fuel a concept or theme behind his work, but as a largesse to his contemporaries and other aspiring artists and photographers.
In a large part this transparency is manifested through a live feed of his photo sessions, in and out of his studio, available for all to view through his website. He gives the opportunity to view his entire process, giving insight into the mind and methods of a professional photographer.

Of Jarvis' body of work, several projects seem to hold a place that realizes his true passion in the realm of photography as a social art form. One of such is his "Songs For Eating & Drinking".
In January 2008 some friends and I launched SongsForEatingAndDrinking with a simple vision:get a bunch of insanely talented musicians together--a spectrum of well known to emerging--and let them share songs, food and drink around a common table. Building an evening around long tables, remarkable locations, great food and great content, we record these performances using still, video, and audio capture and then share them online with the world for free. It has been a remarkable success since our first dinner more than 2 years ago. Since then, we've worked on a number of projects in a handful of amazing locations (burned out naval bases, rooftops, artist lofts), and with world-class musicians from bands like Pearl Jam, The Dandy Warhols, Pedro the Lion and more.
Jarvis brings a candid light to the field of music photography through SFEAD that allows an interesting view into the world of musicians. This theme of a merging of fields by Jarvis seems to be a device that he often employs and promotes. Through his photography Jarvis attempts to spark the viewer's interest in something that he's interested in. This quality of his personal photography lends a feeling of sincerity to his work.
Best Camera. 2009.

Showing a great interest in keeping up with technology, Jarvis also has a series of photographs taken with his iPhone. This series falls in line with a project that adopts its name from a mantra of his: the best camera is the one that's with you. He has created a world around this phrase and lives by it, attempting to remove the stigma around the supposed requirement for expensive equipment in order to produce "good" images. In this world is included a website, book, and iPhone app that shed light on a quickly growing form of photography. He attempts to validate this method that is sometimes seen as a blemish on the face of photography as an art. His argument falls directly in line with his position as a transparent creative, providing others with the encouragement to create.

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Mike Horn. Explorer. 2010.
In October 2005, Jarvis undertook an extraordinary and dangerous project to tag along with explorer Mike Horn as he traverses the world in his "Pangaea Project". Jarvis attempts to survive the South China Sea at a time when, according to Horn, 'it's not a good idea for sailboats to be in these parts this time of year'. Jarvis' documentation of this excursion truly conveys the spirit of this adventurer and reveals his own passion for his art.
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Jacek the Engineer. 2010.

In addition to his personal endeavors, Jarvis is well-known for his commercial photography and aptly so. He has been hired by the likes of Toyota, Apple, REI, and Reebok. He ventures into this world in a fashion that further identifies himself as more of an artist and less of a businessman. His view on his commercial work is that it should remain separate from his personal endeavors. He strives to keep his scope broad so that he does not become identified with a particular subset of the photography world. In this sense he seems to be a pure artist with a true passion for his work.

-Blake Knox


  1. Thanks for sharing this guy! I'm really enjoying going through his website.

  2. This is great! I like the photographs you included in this and that you made sure to include one from each series you mentioned of his. I really loved the quote "the best camera is the one that's with you." I constantly hear people talking about what kind of camera and equipment makes for the best images, along with many photographers hate of the age of iPhone photos. Making Jarvis's view refreshing and one I agree with.
    -Courtney Rodrigues