Jody Ake was born in the American South and attended the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico with a major in photography.
Later he moved to Portland, Oregon to continue his education. He received a Masters in Photography from the University of Oregon and shortly thereafter relocated to New York City. While living and working in NYC and Brooklyn, Ake continued to explore collodion as his process of choice, shooting portraiture, landscapes and still life subject matter, and has maintained his profession as an independent photographer throughout. He currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon. His self portrait is the last in this series.
Jody creates portraits, nudes, still lifes and landscape images using the wet collodion process. Invented in 1851, the method entails coating a glass plate with collodion and exposing the plate while it is still wet. The end results are ambrotypes, appearing on glass in the form of a negative until backed by black velvet, thus rendering the positive image. Jody is one of a handful of contemporary artists who have revived this photographic method, hand-mixing all of the necessary chemicals for each and every exposure. I am featuring two bodies of work, Portraits andLandscapes, using these methodologies. Needless to say, Jody is a master technician, bringing a strong and consistent sensibility to a process that is unpredictable at best.
In his words:
‘I believe the portrait can disclose more about the subject than what is found on the surface. The subject , either willingly or subconsciously, shows us more than he/she intends. The camera can see more than the naked eye, moving past our persona and catching a glimpse of who we really are. With this in mind I turned the camera on myself. I hoped to see deeper, looking to see if there were aspects of myself that would be revealed in the image. After years of self-reflection I started photographing other people, looking for differences and similarities between them and myself.’
Jody recently won the directors award at the portrait contest hosted by Santa Fe Workshops