This month, we’re featuring an interview with Jacob King, who has been a lab assistant with us since October 2017.
What's your sun sign?
How long have you been at LATITUDE and what originally brought you here?
I hit my one year mark Halloween 2018. I started going to LATITUDE about a year prior to that, after being urged by a few friends to check them out as I was developing and getting scans from Walgreens hour photos (in retrospect, yikes). I slowly started to come and was shown a lot of love and attention by the staff and lab assistants, probably prompted by my clear confusion and nervousness in using the equipment. Within a couple months I was coming quite regularly, getting to know the staff and regular users.
Besides your photography, what are you up to these days?
I keep busy when I'm not shooting. Creatively, I am also an active partner of FDC Studios (@fdcstudios, thefdc.org), a creative studio space in Logan Square shared by many local creatives I've either grown up around or met over recent years. We host workshops and events, while using the space as a creative and socially active outlet for members of the creative community. We will actually be opening our storefront in March, featuring artwork and brands from local companies and Chicago based artists.
I've been working with the Park District for several years as an Early Childhood Instructor, leading daycare and after school classes, as well as science classes with another organization throughout different schools and educational centers.
I dabble in a lot of other odd jobs from carpentry to photo assistant work. By the end of this year, I plan on finishing my bachelor's degree at Northeastern Illinois University. I'm one of five siblings and am fortunate to spend time with them frequently as we all still live in the city.
How would you describe your photography?
I have been using photography as a tool with many purposes over the past few years as I have developed more of a style for myself. Whether that tool has been for therapeutic use, as a communicative device, or an item for documentation, I have always found comfort in having a camera on me. I love portraiture, a visual dialogue between viewer and subject. My portraiture is often of people dear to me, such as friends and family in moments of spontaneity, or of individuals I am inspired by, such as artists, musicians, or those active in the community.
You're shooting ALL THE TIME. What motivates you?
Haha, I have a camera on me most times, if not three. I have collected a handful of SLRs (my main baby is a Nikon N6006), a little militia of point and shoots at this point, may some RIP. 😇 But honestly, it's partially from FOMO. There have been too many times I've been driving or walking around and WISHED I had a camera. I even have a "glove box camera", so I can pull over in those golden moments during rush hour, or running into a friend on the street. Ultimately, it comes down to the intrigue of the minutiae of daily life, with a desire to value the mundane and remember the unexpected.
Who would you love to shoot some day?
There’s so many. Musically speaking, Gucci Mane hands down. Or Shrek.
Who/What are three of your inspirations?
1. My Momma. She kills it in all areas of her life and managed to raise five kids all at the same time. She's got multiple degrees, a good head on her shoulders, and a lot of love for the people in her life. :)
2. LATITUDE. As a whole, the individual staff & assistance, and even the users. I have learned so much in this space (pretty much all my photo skills outside actually shooting), the inspirational, creative individuals I have grown to know there, and the sun that shines through the glass block windows in the late afternoon.
3. Gucci Mane. His story is truly one of making the best out of the worst. His autobiography was amazing, he started a genre of music and an entire wave of artists, is now a health god, and his relationship with Keyshia K'aoir is absolute power couple goals.
What is something you're most proud of?
This past fall, I organized a charity event for CPS along with my dear friend Ashly McCord & the gang at FDC Studios. We managed to raise over $2,000 dollars the day of the event, plus school supplies and other donations since then. It was a lot of work but an extremely gratifying experience. I hope to continue to incorporate my love for the arts and desire to do right by our future and this city's future, so be on the lookout for cool things in the future.
On a side note, I was able to meet Lil B "The BasedGod" this summer and have corresponded a couple times since then. Whenever I think of this and the blessed opportunity I have to exist on the same Earth in the same time as Lil B, I always remember I should always be proud of what I do. Thank You Based God.