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Malcolm Jackson: Photography, Street Life, Photojournalism

Malcolm Jackson is an award winning photographer based in Jacksonville. His handle, MalcJax is derived from the combination of his name and the city of Jacksonville. He has helped sprout the art scene to national and international levels. He has curated an exceptional style of street photography and documentary photojournalism that has drawn the attention of media giants such as ESPN and Pharrell Williams among numerous others. Inspired by the likes of photographers; Gordon Parks, Robert Frank and Roy DeCarava, Jackson is using his skills to motivate others.

“I get my energy from the streets and whatever they tell me to do, that’s what I go and document.”

A special perspective

Malcolm’s lifestyle photography is more of a result of perceptive documentation than mere coincidence. Although he may gain spontaneous inspiration for his visuals from the world around him, he also puts a lot of thought and reactional emotion into the final product. The Jacksonville native’s depictions often start with proceeding with everyday life and then scouting for the natural surroundings to incorporate into a shoot. Props that appear in Jackson’s photos serve as an enhancement to his images. Whether it be other people carrying on through their day, the atmosphere of a laundromat or even rubbish on the side of the road, these props are important, especially for someone who shoots heavily in the shades of gray. They help centralize the muses in his portraits and bring an ambience to the benevolent side of Jacksonville. Malcolm is no slouch with color either. His vintage-ish photos supply a feeling of tranquility as you swipe through his online gallery.

“You Cannot Hurt a Black Diamond”

“I told Tenny to stand around in the debris over there, and he lifted his hands up in the air. It was just a moment of triumph through despair. Even though you're tearing down our history, more history is going to continue to rise, cause you can't stop us.”​

Malcolm’s affinity with black and white sits at the forefront of photography especially while many of the issues in this country boil down to just that, black and white. The built up anger from a perpetual history of injustices in this country could cause someone to break down. Malcolm admits this was close to being the case for him, but he has thankfully been able to assemble this rage and channel it through the lens of a camera. As a fighter for the upliftment of Black people in this country, Jackson has put his prowess to use with other artists in the area to create powerful images together. Along with painter, Dustin Harewood, and graphic designer, Jordan Walter, Malcolm used his photography to depict the incredible, yet not so distant history of the American Beach, a beach that was created to provide safety for African-American families in the 20th century as segregation and Jim Crow laws were still very much a factor. Among his collaborations is one with Jacksonville artist, Tenny Rudolph, at American Beach which resulted in an iconic image detailing triumph through despair.

Find Your Niche

Jackson is aware that his accolades and position allow him to serve as an inspiration to others like him that come from walks of life that aren’t always the most accommodating for what they want to do. Relying upon the unpredictability of life continues to drive Jackson to create and document, therefore, he encourages others to use those random variables to their advantage too. In a world where we know so much, but also don’t know a lot either, it makes sense to keep exploring yourself and the world around you. That’s really the only way to find your niche and where you fit in within the grand scheme of things whether it’s photography or anything else.

“Just go shoot, period. Please just go shoot…Shoot with your heart. Shoot whatever you think is best for you…Everybody is not able to do everything. Just continue shooting all aspects until you find whatever that niche is for you…”

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