Jack Ludlam is a still life photographer who works with both analog and digital mediums.
Raised in the Midwest, he now lives and works in Colorado, having earned a BFA from Regis University with an emphasis on analog photography. In his work, Jack captures “rough” subject matter in a clean, minimalist style that highlights the details and imperfections of the object in a hyper-realistic aesthetic, drawing focus to not only what it is, but the story behind it and what it means to people. His photos can be seen in advertising, but are quite popular in modern home décor and private collections. Studio Como features Jack Ludlam photography at Block 106 in Bozeman, Montana, our living showroom.
I’d say that one of the key themes in my work would be manual labor and its importance in modern-day society.
Many of the subjects of Jack’s photography — an empty cigarette pack, some rigging, a workman’s dirty hands or boots — would be lost in a composition that mirrored the nature of the subject. By creating that contrast between the subject and the style of the photo, Jack draws the viewer in to consider the object more carefully, illustrating “its importance in modern-day society.”
Because of its unique, multifaceted style and the timelessness of the subject matter, Jack’s photography fits in well with a variety of interior design styles. However, according to Jack, you might get the most out of the images in a “more contemporary and quiet setting” with minimal visual distractions. In this way, Jack’s style of photography is mirrored in the style of décor in which it fits best. “I think aesthetically I photograph things in a very specific and minimal way. By subtracting any distracting elements and focusing on the detail of just one thing the viewer is able to appreciate the subject matter for its own qualities.” In his own home, Jack displays a few of his own illustrative pieces and oil paintings that he loves.
Do you use any unusual tools, materials, or techniques?
When I shoot medium and large format film I have a very specific way that I process the film and print from the negatives. It is what gives the final image both high contrast and great detail.
Where does his art fit into a modern design aesthetic?
I think my work fills the gap between a rough and raw subject matter and a contemporary and clean aesthetic. I think that a lot of artwork that features similar subject matter can tend to be a bit dated. I think that my work has the potential to bring this type of subject matter into a modern space.
What are your favorite collections that feature your work?
The Chelsea Market in NYC has quite a few large-scale prints that are always fun to see in person! Also, The Ramble Hotel here in Denver has some small pieces alongside other artwork that I have always really enjoyed.
Did/do you have any teachers or influences that stand out in your mind?
My photography teacher in college really gave me a lot of freedom. I wouldn’t necessarily call in inspirational, but it did give me the creative freedom to pursue what most inspired me.
What awards or achievements are you most proud of?
Working with Svperordinary Gallery for a few years was a blast and a big accomplishment as my first gallery show. Also, working with Filson on several of their catalog projects was definitely an accomplishment. They have had some very talented artists and photographers become a part of that catalog and I am very lucky to be one of them.
Favorite media coverage?
I don’t know if this counts but several years ago when I was just getting started I was lucky enough to create a wine label for Mouton Noir wines that got some incredible coverage and overall was a really fun way to show my work.
What projects are you working on right now?
I am planning on starting a new body of work in January that really focuses on ranchers in Wyoming. I am really excited for that one!
Are you inspired by any particular people, places, subjects, etc?
Richard Avedon’s body of work called In The American West is always the body of work that I go back to. It is really incredible and it’s what inspired me to photograph the way that I do.
I hope to bring to light the beauty that comes with age and imperfections.