Sol Snapshot: A Q&A with Jake, Our Resident Photographer

February 2, 2024

Sol Snapshot: A Q&A with Jake, Our Resident Photographer

Jake has been a photographer since middle school. As a designer here at Sol, he translates that passion into all things visual, from creating new logos and building websites to shooting photos for our clients and working on full-length documentaries. Becca, our senior content manager, sat down with Jake to learn more about what inspires his creative process.

How did you first get into photography?

My mom is a really good photographer. She took a lot of photos when I was growing up and probably got me my first camera when I was a kid. In middle school we had a photo club that had a darkroom, so I got to learn all the darkroom processes, like developing film and making prints. Throughout high school, I took digital photo classes, too, so I’ve always just done it as a hobby as long as I can remember.

What are some of your favorite photography projects you’ve worked on?

Definitely, the most fulfilling photo project was my recent train trip. I took a ton of photos. At work, I love going out to asphalt job sites and filming the road being paved. People may see road work as an inconvenience, but roads are the fabric of this country. It is especially fulfilling to me to show people how roads get made and change their perspective.

How did you get into videography from your background in still photography?

I hadn’t shot much video before starting at Sol. I took a couple of classes in college, but it wasn’t my main focus. When I started at Sol, I began taking on motion graphics projects, even though I found the process really tedious at first. But I kept doing more video projects and got better with experience. I think with video, you can really tell a story in a more profound and engaging way than with design alone.

What guides your overall approach to design and videography?

I always come back to Dieter Rams’ 10 principles of design, especially that good design is as little design as possible. It’s about making sure every element has a purpose. For video, I focus on exposing processes and objects’ histories in a way that shifts perceptions, like with our asphalt clients.

What’s been creatively inspiring you recently?

I got back into shooting film recently, which has been really exciting. That recent train trip also inspired me creatively, too. At the High Museum, I saw an exhibit from artist Sonya Clark called We Are Each Other. It focused, among other things, on Confederate flags — specifically, the truce flag that they used to surrender, which was just a repurposed tea towel. I really appreciate the little-known facts and histories behind objects.

What do you want to explore more at Sol?

I love it when we get photo- and video-heavy projects. It works out that there’s not always enough of that kind of work to solely focus on it, which is good since I like the variety at Sol. I know Becca and I also want to do a project together exploring how birds inspire creativity, so keep an eye out for that.

Get to know more about the Sol Design Co. team over on our website


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