Jillian Garrett has been taking professional photos for more than a decade, predominantly specializing in food and macro photography. Her latest work can be found in Blue Ridge Farmer Magazine & Bear Hunting Magazine. A staunch supporter of the outdoor lifestyle, she has recently begun photographing hunting trips.
I have been taking photographs for as long as I can remember. My first camera was my mother’s Canon Rebel, in the old days of 35 mm film. Growing up in the time before digital, I spent a good portion of my allowance paying for film development. As a freshman in college, I bought my first digital camera, and the picture quality was so grainy that it still makes me laugh to look back on some of the images. Years later, with the launch of several businesses, I invested in another Canon Rebel – only this time it didn’t require 35 mm film. I spent more than a decade with that camera, using it to photograph food & raw ingredients, as well as fashionable portraits. I learned a great many lessons during that time, often through simple trial and error, and realized how much I loved showcasing the beauty and texture of a meal from garden to table. The culmination of my photography came with the publication of our first farm-to-table recipe collection, Apothecary Farm Cookbook: Expanded Edition. As my husband and I became more interested in self-sufficient living, particularly hunting, I began photographing our adventures. I found that I enjoyed the challenge of taking tasteful photographs not only of the animal harvested but candid shots of the hunter too. There is so much more to hunting photography than the classic – and classically maligned - “grip and grin.” It made me want to redefine how hunters represented themselves and their kills on the hunt.
My main desire is to offer customers the sort of candid portraits that best represent the person being photographed. I loathe doing staged shots, which people often find awkward and uncomfortable anyway. I would much rather spend time putting someone at ease, to better to capture their true smile or genuine laugh. We oftentimes show more of ourselves in that single unguarded moment than in an entire album of photographs.
I also want to offer outdoorsmen the ability to have their entire hunt documented in a tasteful manner, not just the end result. As a hunting community, we need to move away from taking only vulgar and gory trophy shots. The experience of hunting is about so much more than that, and it is time we began showing that aspect in a more creative light. I look forward to the opportunity to do just that.
Showcasing the personality of each individual, with an emphasis on candid outdoor portraits
Capturing the splendor of prepared meals as well as raw ingredients
Hunting portraits tastefully documenting the beauty of the experience