‘What We Look Like’: Intimate, Diverse Photos of Non-Binary People
Intimate, Diverse Photos of Non-Binary People
When photographer Jennifer Jackson started a portrait series of queer people in their local community, they ended up with a project that documented non-binary identities in all their diverse forms.
“For me, it’s really important that I’m photographing people who identify as non-binary from the perspective of a non-binary person. I wouldn’t feel comfortable if I didn’t identify as non-binary doing this project,” says British photographer Jennifer Jackson. The Brighton-based student, who uses they/them pronous, is over ten people deep into an ongoing photographic project documenting non-binary people in their local community. The series was first exhibited at the Brighton Photo Biennial in October, blown up to 1.2 meter by 1.2 meter large prints—a larger than life portrait of a queer community in Britain’s gay capital.
“I’m very defensive and very protective of the people I photograph because they’re sharing their stories and their time with me,” Jackson told Broadly. “I think it’s really important.” They were studying photography at the University of Brighton when they first came up with the idea for Non-Binary Portraits. “Being non-binary myself, I was feeling a bit isolated in my friendship groups,” they said, describing their college experience as an “ongoing process of educating people” about their own gender identity. “I was feeling a bit alone and wanted to reach out and find other people, really.”
When Photoworks, a non-profit arts organization, and Together The People Festival commissioned Jackson to create a photo series about non-binary locals in Brighton, they lept into action: putting out an open casting call on Instagram, reaching out to queer friends of friends, and hitting people up on Facebook. (The 23-year-old soft-spoken photographer says that having “an excuse” to go out and photograph people is definitely a plus point for someone as “socially awkward” as they are.)