The Beautiful Strangeness of Jack Davison’s Portraiture


Jack Davison’s work refuses to conform to one style; instead moving fluidly across photographic fields. From documentary to abstract, many of the London-based photographer’s shots are portraiture-focused, with brooding subjects draped in black and white shadows, to color-drenched moments quietly experienced in public spaces.

Davison’s signature style is achieved through using techniques some may consider detrimental to the chicness of an image: purposely blurring or obscuring the subject in question, scratching the negatives, or ripping the shot after printing. The Essex-born photographer’s career first catapulted to acclaim in 2014 after spending six months traveling through the United States, shooting documentary images on the road to make up his photo series, ‘26 States’, the result of which saw his name highlighted by the British Journal of Photography and the New York Times Magazine.

Being self-taught has influenced the trajectory of his shooting style in impressive fashion. “I was never told how to do things, and never given any set boundaries, so I’ve never had a problem with experimenting”, Davison told the British Journal of Photography. Davison values the unplanned moment; it’s why his work sets him apart from so many others: “They’ve become too precious about the image, about sticking to the rules”, he quips. “I’m always trying to keep things playful, to keeps things from going stale. I never fail to find that exciting, I live for that.”


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