We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Thayn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, what do you want your legacy to be?
I want my legacy to be that my art was able to document the beauty of reality. In this age of social media, I feel that a lot of visual art has become a very performative act and individuals want to portray their lives as one thing or even something it is not. I fear that social media has created illusions and unrealistic beauty expectations. I want my art to be able to show the true beauty of individualism, authenticity, and in what might be considered ordinary. I love photographing nature for the proof that true beauty exists on its’ own with no expectations. I want people to remember that I made them feel seen and valued. I want people to remember that I made them feel beautiful.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is constantly evolving but one thing I want to stay true to is documenting my life. I do love to do themed shoots or create ideas or visions and then execute them visually. But some of my favorite photos have been while I was riding in a car or going for a walk or in my familiar places. Something that sets my art apart is the ability to make the ordinary look really cool. Something I am proud of is not giving up. I got to where I am by continuing to photograph. A lesson I have learned is trial and error. Another lesson I am currently learning is patience, and that being a valid artist doesn’t mean your art is the only way you support yourself financially.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love spending time in nature so if my best friend came to visit I would take them to my favorite spots. I would take them up my favorite canyon or make a day beach trip. I love brunch so I would take them somewhere delicious and to my favorite coffee shop. I am growing a garden this summer and I would definitely hang with my friend there. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have always loved photography and was fascinated with it at a very young age. My own relationship with it has grown so much throughout my life but one group that especially inspired me was my university. I studied visual art at Utah Valley University and graduated in the photography program with a Bachelor’s degree. I want to make a shout out to the photography program and all of my professors. This is where I learned to shoot, develop and print from my own film negatives. The program pushed me as an artist and on a technical level. I also want to shoutout to my professor Travis Lovell because he encouraged me to apply to the program and constantly supported me throughout. Challenging my own thought patterns and beliefs, he told me I could do hard things, (study abroad to Germany with the program and then 10 days later leave my home town and move to Los Angeles.) I took his history of photography class twice due to his enthusiasm and knowledge on the matter. I feel like all of my art professors at UVU helped me gain confidence in myself that I am an artist and can grow my talents further.
all images by Jennifer Thayn