Jason M. Peterson

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Jason M. Peterson is a photographer based in Chicago who is known for his high contrast, black and white street photography.


Your work as an artist is an amazing example of crafting a distinct look and having a unique aesthetic. For those photographers out there that are still trying to find their look, what advice do you have for them?

Only shoot what you feel. Find your own voice, it makes it easy to shoot and create everyday. Be humble.

How often do you shoot?


Image: Jason M. Peterson

Image: Jason M. Peterson

How do you manage the balance between your photography and your professional career?

It’s all the same. A dead end job would make you separate what you do. I don’t have that. Photography is like working out for my professional job on Sundays under the lights.

Over the course of your photography career, you’ve gotten to shoot Chance the Rapper a few times now. Can you tell us a bit about your experience working together and how your images and his music play off one another?

Chance is half my age, but a big inspiration for how to live your life as a good person. I got the opportunity to shoot Chance in the studio while he was finishing coloring book. I knew how big the album was going to be and how important Chicago was/is to him.

Image: Jason M. Peterson

Image: Jason M. Peterson

How do you hope to see your photography continue to progress in the next 5 years?

Get better everyday. Meet cool people. Surprise myself.

Do you plan on releasing prints or a book at any point in the near future?

I have a limited set of prints now. I am in talks with a few publishers for a book this year.

Who are your top 3 photographers of all time?

  • Harry Callahan: His view of urban life and shadows is a big influence
  • Lillian Baseman: Graphic contrast makes me happy
  • Hiroshi Sugimoto: Clean and perfect light

We’ve read that you are an avid collector of photo books. For those looking to expand their photography knowledge and build a photo book collection, what are 3 books that you would say are must-haves?

Too many… Ray Metzker city stills, Clifford Coffin, Ralph Gibson, Robert Wilson, Sugimoto….

Image: Jason M. Peterson

Image: Jason M. Peterson

Besides for classic black and white photography, what are your biggest influences in creating new images?

Music. I listen to music when I walk and shoot. I try and feel the photos I am making.


More of Jason's work can be seen on Instagram

PhotographyRyan Berg