Jamie Kripke Interview

For Jamie Kripke, it’s about the experience. It’s not just the finished product, but the act of making it. This is how he sold his first photograph and how he kept his motivation before his career was lucrative. And it’s how his work is what it is— honest and beautiful.  Kripke’s photographs convey his knack for seeing the story behind the mundane, for seeing the experience.

Kripke recently stopped by the Madelife recording studio to chat with Danny, Angelo and Frankie, on the Talk Talk Show.  “For me photography is so much about the experience, it’s not about the actual picture. It’s about everything that leads up to making that picture and that’s kind of why I do it,” he told the Madelife team.  Kripke sold his first photograph to Powder Magazine for fifty bucks after he and a friend came up with the idea to shoot a picture of a skier who had skied off a cliff and landed on the road.  For Kripke, the experience was the value, he made fake ski tracks and had his friend lay in the road.  “It was purely fun. We had this goofy idea and then were like, ‘let’s go do it.’” He sent it to Powder on a whim and that’s when the light bulb went off. That’s when Kripke realized he could be a professional.

Kripke grew up with a businessman father and an artist mother. When he was 15 he started using his mom’s old camera and quickly became the high school yearbook and paper photographer. “I just gravitated towards it and never stopped.”  In high school, he saw a college counselor who told him he was creative and would be well suited for a job  in a lab or with ceramics, “I just walked away from that kind of confused because I knew I didn’t want to work in a lab.”  But the thought of doing art and a lucrative career was still something that Kripke didn’t believe was a real possibility.

After he graduated college, where he fluctuated from business to pre-med and eventually philosophy, he realized that most of the classes he had taken were art electives. From there he pursued photography, taking on many apprentice roles with photographers he admired and doing his own work on the side.  But it wasn’t until a unique skiing experience that the possibility of a career in photography was actualized (you have to listen to the interview to hear the story)!

Whether you know the story behind Kripke’s photos or not, it’s easy to connect with the experience they portray.  He lives and works in Boulder, Colorado and also travels all over the world, having experiences, taking pictures and proving that college counselor wrong.  To find out more about Kripke and his work, check out this week’s Talk Talk Show and visit his website: http://jamiekripke.com.