Interview With Jackie Alpers From United States

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Jackie Alpers

Jackie presents scrumptious and attractive culinary images, creating alluring moments of cuisines that will stir your appetite.

Interview With Jackie Alpers From United States

Interview With The 2022 MUSE Photography Awards Winner – Jackie Alpers

1Can you introduce yourself and talk about how you got into photography?

Hi, my name is Jackie Alpers and I am a food photographer and author of the Taste of Tucson cookbook. My parents had several coffee table books in the mid-1980s, including “A Day in the Life of America” which first piqued my interest in photography and inspired me to sign up for the black and white photography classes offered at my high school. I loved developing film and making photographs in the school's darkroom.

2Where did you study photography?

After high school I got a degree from the Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio.

3Do you remember your first shot? What was it?

Yes! My mother bought me a Mickey Mouse 110 camera at the grocery store that came loaded with black and white film. I was 7 or 8. My first shot was of my little brother crouching in the driveway sucking his thumb, our family station wagon was parked in the garage behind him.

4What equipment do you use?

I use a Canon 5Ds and prime lenses, including the 100 and 50 macros.

5What do you hope to achieve?


6What compliment inspired/touched you the most?

I'm truly touched by every compliment. I'm inspired every time someone expresses admiration for my work.

7What inspires your unique storytelling?

That's a hard question to answer, I think it's a cumulation of my life experiences mixed with my particular sense of humor and improvisational skills.

8What THREE (3) words describe your photography style?

Dynamic, relatable, fun.

9Congratulations! As the winner of the MUSE Photography Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?

Thank you! It's a huge honor and I'm thrilled! It means the world to me and I'm just thrilled to share this with the team at Visit Tucson.

10Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2021 MUSE Photography Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

I have been working on a series of images documenting the Sonoran style cuisine of Southern Arizona that includes food from local chefs and my own regionally inspired recipes. The recipe for the barbacoa taco I photographed was created by James Beard nominated chef Maria Mazon of Boca Tacos in Tucson for an article I wrote about the women chefs. Since it was the height of the pandemic, Maria was nice enough to package all of the elements of the taco separately for me to take home and recreate in my studio.

In my portraits I am looking for honesty and vulnerability. I believe that vulnerability makes us nicer human beings and that this makes the world a little more friendly and more understanding. People who show themselves vulnerable give the other the confidence that they themselves may be who they are.

I am most fascinated when I can see opposite qualities of a person at the same moment. I find this exciting because people are complex. I hope that the portrait touches something of the viewer himself.

In this series, I chose to use only daylight to make the image as natural as possible.

11How has winning an award developed your career?

I think that over the years, winning awards has given me more confidence to just be myself.

12Name 1-3 photographers who have inspired you.

Irving Penn, Romulo Yanes, Diane Arbus.

13 What advice would you give someone who would like to become a photographer today?

Be yourself and never give up.

Winning Entry

Boca's Barbacoa Taco | 2022


Culinary arts photo of a beef barbacoa taco from chef Maria Mazon for the magazine cover article, Women's Work, also written by Jackie Alpers, which explores the historical…
(Read more at MUSE Photography Awards)

Jackie Alpers

Jackie presents scrumptious and attractive culinary images, creating alluring moments of cuisines that will stir your appetite.

Meet Nicoletta Cerasomma, winner of the 2021 MUSE Photography Awards from Italy. Click here to check out her interesting interview article.