Alan Jacques became fascinated with photography as a teenager in the late 1960s when he began reading photography annuals. His first project, in summer 1968, involved shooting two of his friends with an old truck on a vacant lot. His camera was an old Kodak Brownie Starflash.
In 1972, he became serious about photography and bought a 35mm camera. He enrolled in his first photo course at the Mind’s Eye Photographic Gallery in Vancouver and began exploring street photography. He also acquired a full time position working in a photofinishing lab.
Throughout the 1970s, Alan honed his skills as a photographer by exploring a number of subjects, including wildlife in the Serengeti, professional sport teams and Helmut Newton inspired shoots with models. He even took a job as a full time bowling team photographer for a few months.
Alan became a part-time freelancer and taught at the Burnaby Arts Centre and Creo3 Photography Gallery. He also placed 2nd in a professional sports photography contest.
In 1981, he made the award-winning short film Marathon – the Ultimate Challenge and spent the next five years in the film and video production business. Soon thereafter he became dissatisfied with doing work for clients and entered a phase of very personal still photography focusing on his family. During this time he was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, forcing him to adapt to new methods to continue taking photographs.
In June of 2001, Alan’s love for photography reawakened – focusing on his two passions, street photography and the female form. His goal was very clear: to do photography as a creative outlet, as art.
What distinguishes Alan’s work today is experimentation. “I’m always striving to see my subjects from a fresh point-of-view. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but the successes make the exploration very worthwhile.”
Alan works in all three photographic media – film, digital and instant film. He claims Parkinson’s disease has actually made him a better photographer. “I now spend much more time thinking about and looking at photographs, both my own and the work of other photographic artists. I focus more on the quality of my images rather than the quantity.”
Alan has undertaken numerous projects exploring the streets of Paris and Vancouver. His work has been presented in 17 gallery shows including his first solo exhibition at Visual Space Gallery in April 2016. His work on the female form was recently represented in a group erotica exhibition at Hot Art Wet City Gallery in Vancouver of October 2016.
Alan also delivers an artist talk called Evolution of a Photographer which reflects his eclectic history in photography. He debuted this talk as part of Capture Photography Festival 2016. He will be delivering two talks as part of Capture 2017 on April 19th and April 25th.