The Labours of Love
In this week’s episode we meet Robert James Campbell. While documenting the New York City jazz scene in the 50’s and 60’s, he witnessed the birth of a new era from behind the lens. Despite his arresting photographs of people who would shape the American landscape, Robert Campbell passed away impoverished and alone.
Until Jessica Ferber, the Hawaii based photographer who shares this story, stepped in to restore the boxes of photographs and negatives that were left behind and recover the story of an exceptional talent, crippled by circumstance and nearly forgotten. Here is the story of her ongoing struggle to bring Robert Campbell’s life and work into the light of day.
About Jessica Ferber
Jessica Ferber was born and raised in New York. Currently she calls The Big Island of Hawaii home, where she owns a small photo company called Apropos Imagery. Cooking, yard saling, swimming in the ocean, and photographing sites that are reminiscent of old time Hawaii are her favorite past times. She loves mid century modern furniture, old postcards (written to strangers), The Talking Heads, Led Zeppelin, Puna, her grandma’s cooking, and her family and friends. Jessica graduated from The University of Vermont in 2002 with a B.F.A. in sociology and photography, where she began her love affair with the life and work of Robert James Campbell. She is committed to publishing a retrospective photographic book on Campbell in the very near future. Feeling both excited and reluctant (at the same time) about the prospect of trading coconut trees for rain boots when she moves to Portland Oregon this summer, Jessica often suffers from geographic commitment phobia.
Photographer Robert James Campbell
Photos by Robert James Campbell
Mississippi John Hurt
Gretsch Drum Night at Birdland
About the Host- Travis Schreer
Travis is a wanderer who has a life-long passion for helping creative people realize their ambitions. While studying at the Kendall College of Art and Design and Eastern Michigan University, simultaneously pursuing a BFA in fine art and a Masters in creative writing, Travis rediscovered his fascination with photography and began working as a product photographer. After a brief stint studying poetry in Paris and years of developing his own artistic identity from the comforts of various midwestern cities, Travis packed his wool socks and moved to the chilly climes of Alaska. While there, he broadened his knowledge of the photography industry through his work for Alaska’s largest advertising agency and his involvement with several stock photography companies. It was also in Alaska that Travis photographed his first wedding alongside his partner, photographer Jessica Hill, and the two began to lay the groundwork for the company that was to follow. Then, it was on to Portland, Oregon where Jessica and Travis would put all of their brainstorming into effect and establish Jessica Hill Photography as one of the premiere boutique wedding photography studios in the area. Next time you’re in Portland, stop by Laurelhurst Park, where Travis can be found most evenings. He’s the scruffy guy playing with Collignon Quincampoix, the coolest dog you will ever meet.