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Culture » Nagashia Jackson is pursuing happiness through photography

Nagashia Jackson is pursuing happiness through photography

Nagashia Jackson

Nagashia Jackson has always loved the creative imagery of great photography.  Unexpectedly, Jackson got her first break to take pictures in 2008 when her former supervisor, Jackie Turner, put a camera in her hands and said figure it out. That first assignment at work to take photos for Minneapolis Public Schools ignited the fire to follow the dream. Since 2010, Jackson has taken photos professionally. She currently shoots for rolling out covering special events such as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Soul Train Music Awards.

Current city shooting: Minneapolis
Social media handle: Nagashia_Photography
Favorite Restaurant: Waffle House
Favorite guilty pleasure: strawberry shake from McDonald’s
Favorite non-work hobby: coaching basketball

photo courtesy Nagashia Jackson

What inspired you to pursue photography?
I have always been a fan of Derek Blanks. He is a visionary and his work is so detailed. So, when my supervisor at the time put the camera in my hand and said figure it out, I jumped at the chance to learn how to use the camera. I was self-taught in the beginning and then I attended some photography classes.

Photo Courtesy Nagashia Jackson

Is there a specific moment when you realized photography meant more to you than just taking pictures?
My first studio photoshoot. When my client saw the images that I captured of her with her husband and their unborn child, she was in tears.

photo courtesy Nagashia Jackson

How would you describe your style of photography?
I try to capture moments and not capture images. Because when you capture moments you see into people’s eyes and you see their passion or their heart.

photo courtesy Nagashia Jackson

Have you ever been discouraged?
When I first started shooting professionally I wanted to take portraits. I became discouraged because it was not working for me. So, I kind of disappeared from the scene for a while and lost clients during that time. After praying, studying and working on my craft I overcame. I found my niche when I started taking sports, red carpet, and concert photos.

H.E.R. at the 2019 Soul Train Awards (Photo by Nagashia Jackson)

Who are the great photographers for you?
The great photographers for me are Derek Blanks, Laretta Houston, Dewayne Rogers, Drea Nicole, Robert Ector, and Tailiah Breon just to name a few.

Photo courtesy Nagashia Jackson

Among all the personalities you have photographed, who were the most significant ones?
Chaka Khan. I had the opportunity to meet her and she was so down to earth and very funny. … I had the chance to meet her and she was very nice. Janet Jackson because I was one of only two photographers in the state of Minnesota that were allowed to photograph her.

photo courtesy Nagashia Jackson