Meet Jacqueline. She’s good with a camera and likes to get freaky with film.
What’s your name, age and where are you from?
Jacqueline Kursel, 21, Madison, Wisconsin USA.
How are you doing this evening Jacqueline?
First snow of the year in Madison today, not bitter about it yet. So doing well.
That’s a good time of year. So I guess while we’re talking about Madison, how does your Wisconsin heritage play into your photography?
I am inspired by fellow Wisconsin photographers, artists and musicians. I think we are all influenced by Wisconsin’s landscape and all that the seasons have to offer.
I feel really connected to this place and the people here. I really rely on that, on how familiar everything is. It gives me the security to get freaky, get creative. Does your other creative endeavor, your music, fit into that same vibe?
Definitely. I love playing music, but I love hearing what my friends come up with even more. They do half the work for me. I can listen to a record and immediately have a dozen different ideas that I want to shoot. Recently, I’ve been listening to good friend Samantha Glass’ new album, ‘Mysteries from the Palomino Skyliner’.
As long as I can remember seeing your photos they’ve all had a consistent vibe, besides being grainy, black and white they’ve all had a certain consistent quality, why do you think you developed a recognizable style so quickly?
I’m not entirely sure. I think part of it is just a natural inclination. It’s a style I appreciate in other artists and always stands out to me when I’m looking at other peoples work. I also think it’s because I’m stubborn. I’m stuck on these ideas and imagery. I shoot with the same damn camera I got when I was 16 and still shoot with the cheapest black and white film I can buy. It’s habit.
Speaking of habit, you sure love not cleaning your negatives, huh?
I knew you would say that, because you are so OCD with yours. I intentionally drag them through shit!
Someone has to counteract me I guess. You’ve only shot one fashion thing right? Do you think you’ll do more?
Yes only one but yeah, I could see myself doing more. Its outside of my comfort zone but I can think of ways that It could really work for me and I’m interested in trying some things out.
I’ve heard you talk before about how you have these kind of backstories to your photos? It’s reflected with you using usually a limited number of models in all of your work.
I usually have some kind of story or idea before actually photograph anything. I hardly shoot spontaneously. Sometimes the idea is more elaborate, sometimes not. I actually shoot a pretty limited number of people mostly because only a limited number of people will tolerate the things I want them to do in photographs.
When are you getting done with school and doing something even more awesome with your life?
AHHHH FUCK NOT SOON ENOUGH. I graduate in May 2013. And after that? More awesome, for sure. Can’t wait to start really planning and considering my options.
Huge thank you to Kenny Monroe for enduring all of the bizarre things I ask him to do and for putting up with having a camera constantly in his face. Shout out to my weird-ass parents for encouraging me to fly my freak-flag. All my love to the state of Wisconsin.
Interview and portrait of the artist by Spencer Wells.