We had the good fortune of connecting with Constance Jaeggi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Constance, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Horses have always been my biggest inspiration, and also happen to be the reason I was first compelled to pick up a camera six years ago. As a competitive cutting horse rider, I attribute a large portion of my personal development to the presence of horses in my life. These animals built my confidence in and out of the show arena over the years and this relationship and their power and strength is something that I wanted to portray and express photographically. As soon as I picked up a camera, it became clear that creativity was a big driving force in my life, merging with an interest in art that was passed down to me by my parents. I quickly built a studio which could accommodate horses. The studio setting enabled me to express my fascination and passion for horses in a new and fresh way. Over the years, my interests have expanded to also telling the stories of people people who live similar lifestyles to me, lifestyles in which the horse plays a prominent and central role. Whether I’m working in the studio with digital cameras, documenting the lives of the people who live with and care for horses on my Hasselblad, or developing and printing in the darkroom, the creative process is all encompassing and requires my full attention. Creative careers can be extremely frustrating. It isn’t always easy to stay inspired, and I am my own worst critic. But these challenges and the small moments of satisfaction when I know I’ve captured the moment I was looking for are what drive me forward and motivate me to continue creating.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a photographer who’s focus is on horses, and as a horsewoman myself, I believe I am well positioned to understand how to best capture these animals and their relationships with the people who care for them. My work can be divided into two parts. The studio portraits of horses are part of my oldest and still ongoing project that I started in 2017. It was the subject of several exhibitions, notably a solo exhibition at the Cowgirl Museum in Fort Worth, Texas named “Aspects of Power, Light and Motion” which is one of my biggest accomplishments. Recently, I’ve taken to film photography and am working on several documentary style projects, telling the stories of people connected to the horse in one way or another. Photographing on film has been exciting and challenging. Being mostly self taught has meant making a lot of mistakes along the way, sometimes struggling to stay inspired and believe in my own work. Having a mentor and fellow creative to review my work and help shape my projects has resulted in an important lesson. Finding a person I trust to review and critique my work has tremendously helped my confidence. If that person is knowledgeable and respected in your field and honest enough to give real and constructive feedback, they can become invaluable to your creative development. For the past ten years, I was based in Fort Worth Texas but have recently temporarily moved to the United Kingdom where I am completing a Masters degree in Art History and Art World Practice. I intend to split my time in Texas and the UK for the time being and continue my Studio Horse portraits in the UK, discovering the many breeds, equestrian disciplines and professional riders around the country which will hopefully be subject of another exhibition in the near future.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A lot of my friends who visit from out of town are Europeans, so I love to show them the best of Texas, and Fort Worth is ideal for that! Texas is known for Mexican food and Taco heads is one of my favorite spots for brunch tacos and fresh margaritas! For Burgers and some live music, I would take them to Fred’s Texas Café on West 7th. A visit to the historical Stockyards district is a must, to get in touch with the city’s western heritage. We would gear them up with some western attire at Leddy’s and Maverick’s before getting some drinks at Billy Bob’s Honky Tonk or a smaller but also favorite hangout: Cadillac’s. We would end the night at Scat Jazz Lounge.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My partner over the past year has played a major role in helping me expand my creative horizon. As a horsewoman and a creative herself, she understands the ups and downs of this chosen career path and is a source of inspiration and an amazing sounding board when it comes to developing new ideas, projects and concepts.
Facebook: Constance Jaeggi Photography