15-Year-Old Phenom Photographer Exhibits Fashion Photos For A Cause
You’d never know by looking at Jackson Potts’ images that he isn’t old enough to drive a car. He’s 15 years old, but harbors the photography portfolio of a seasoned professional, because he is a seasoned professional. Jackson started his career at the tender age of eight, but had a familial advantage when it came to mentors.
“When I was eight years old, my dad [Jack Potts] started taking me on shoots and letting me assist him,” says Jackson. “Before that, he would still let me shoot, but it wasn’t professional. I started doing my own stuff when I was nine years old. That’s really when my professional career got started.”
Six years later, Potts’ career is still ever-expanding. He recently wrapped up a series of shoots for a special exhibit at BlueOrange Gallery, viewable through November 19. Potts teamed up with several Houston fashion designers to shoot special pieces designed in conjunction with Houston’s fashion week (Nov. 18-21) for a series of events that will benefit the Tahirih Justice Center, and organization serving ethnically diverse immigrant women and girls.
“Jackson has shot photographs of six different models in over 25 gowns at several locations,” says Potts’ manager (and coincidentally Montrose District business ambassador) Dennis Beedon. “He selected the backgrounds, the locations, the lighting, makeup and hair for each one of the models. He did everything from start to finish.”
While Jackson acted as the head photographer for the special shoots, his dad Jack Potts, was assisting. Jack beams like a proud papa when asked about his son, quick to pull out his iPhone and scroll through some already-taken photos from earlier shoots. It truly is a family affair for the two of them, not to mention a labor of love.
“My dad was a really good teacher, because he’s been doing this for 30 years,” says Jackson. “Most of my study has been with my dad. My younger brother actually knows how to assist and shoot as well.”
Being homeschooled allows flexibility to pursue his work, which comes in handy on projects like the one for BlueOrange Gallery, where some shoots took up to 12 hours to complete. Jackson estimates the ratio of school work to photography is about 50/50. Though it sounds grueling, Jackson takes it all in stride. After all, it’s just a part of what he does, and ultimately, who he’s become.
“It’s kind of hard to judge [how much time I spend on it], because photography is just what I do,” says Jackson. “I’m thinking about my images constantly.”
Though Jackson has a laser-like focus and the drive of someone well beyond his years, people don’t always know how to react to a youthful face in such a prestigious field, but he’s not worried about their perception.
“At first people think I’m just a kid with a camera, not really taking it seriously, but when they see my images they’re impressed.”
When they learn a proceed of his images sold at BlueOrange Gallery will benefit the Tahirih Justice Center, they’ll be even more impressed.