“My passion for trying to be better every time is probably my biggest driving force” – interview with Daniel Jackson

In his own words:

Daniel Jackson

Hello everyone, my name is Daniel Jackson and I am a full-time photographer and video producer. I am also the owner of Embassy: Interactive, which is photography and video production company based in the Greater Philadelphia area. I have been doing photography and video production full time for over 6 years now, and have been fortunate enough to have had my work published on 45 occasions, including in Harper’s Bazaar, Essence Magazine, Vice, the Golden Globe Awards, and multiple publications centered in Philadelphia.

What made you choose the creative path in your life?

I always say that this path chose me and that I am fortunate to have met someone who saw something in my visual talents that I didn’t fully recognize. Even though photography was an interest of mine since I was a young kid with a Polaroid camera to buying countless amounts of Kodak disposable cameras while in high school and college, my background was always based in music, and a career in music was always my professional goal. Some years passed and I only purchased my first entry-level camera (Canon Rebel T3i) to create photos and videos of the music artists in my area at the time, and to conduct interviews with it. That work led to me being hired to create content for companies and organizations and ballooned from there to where I am today.

What is your most memorable project or photo? Or the most successful project?

I can’t honestly pinpoint it to one specific project or photo. I would probably say right now the work I do as the photographer for the BlackStar Film Festival is probably my most memorable. Most notably in 2021, BlackStar had an exhibition at the Philadelphia Airport commemorating its 10th year in existence and featured photos for each those years on large, I think 8ft x 8 ft wall segments. I’ve been their photographer since 2017, so it was surreal to see a bunch of my photos taking up almost a whole wall in the airport.

What drives you? What’s your favorite type of photography?

My passion for trying to be better every time is probably my biggest driving force. Professionally I think event photography stands out as my favorite, but I think overall still life photography gives me my biggest personal satisfaction. I enjoy taking walks and just capturing random things I see with my iPhone from various angles and vantage points just because I enjoy it so much.

Whose work has influenced you most?

Chi Modu and Ernie Paniccioli are probably two of my biggest influences to the work I do, as well as pretty much any photographer who has captured a photo of any animal for National Geographic Magazine since the 1980’s.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

The best piece of advice given to me was more related to how I was handling the early struggles and stresses of going full time with my photography and video production business and things not going as planned. My friend Mallori simply asked me if I thought that everything would work out in the end. When I said “Yes”, she asked “Ok, so why are you worrying?” That stuck with me and flipped a switch to how I tackle difficulties with the business.

Is there any place in the world that you wish to be tomorrow with your camera?

Australia, and specifically I have been infatuated with the Great Barrier Reef since I was a child. I would love to take my dreams of doing work for National Geographic there.

What’s in store for you for next projects / years?

My first solo exhibition is something I have been planning for some time and hope to finally make happen in 2023. Doing a lot of work for a number of different industries, I don’t always get the chance to showcase myself artistically or test my limits. I have all of the subjects in mind, but Covid and its effects have altered the locations to some of the plans. I’ve also grown business wise, so finding the time to do everything since the profession has taken off has been a challenge, but it’s going to happen. So far the working title of it is “Flame Keepers”, but that can change. I plan on releasing a coffee table book in a few years as well, but I’ll keep the subject private for now.

Where can we find you and your work?

My website is embassy-interactive.com and on social media I can be found on at @Embassy730 on pretty much everything.