Jeffrey I. Jacobson, 74, died Sunday August 9, 2020 at his home in Mount Tremper, surrounded by his family. Jacobson was a renowned photographer who in the 1970s developed a shooting technique that has influenced succeeding generations of photojournalists.
Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Jacobson became an ACLU lawyer before turning to photography. He joined Magnum Photos in 1978, which he later left for Archive Pictures. His open flash technique that combined slow shutter speeds with a strobe became a particularly effective way of capturing the context swirling around political candidates, and nearly every major American magazine hired him to photograph presidential campaigns. Over the past two decades, however, Jacobson abandoned his signature strobe technique, producing an enigmatic body of work that seemed to defy the filters that keep our brains from being overwhelmed by sensory data. “A lot of picture editors didn't understand what he was doing,” says Alice George, his former photo editor at Fortune and Geo. “He just saw things that other people didn't see.”
Jacobson's photographs are in the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, among many others, and his archive is housed at The Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, in Tucson. His books include My Fellow Americans, University of New Mexico Press, 1991; Melting Point, Nazraeli Press, 2006; and The Last Roll, Daylight Books, 2013. A fourth book, Evocations, will be published posthumously.
Jeffrey was interred in a private green burial in Rosendale, NY. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Marnie Andrews; son Henry Jacobson, daughter-in-law Annamartine Salick, grandson Harold Jacobson, and faithful canine friend, Sundance. A memorial is being planned for a later date.
You may share a special memory or condolence on Jeffery's Tribute Wall at www.gormleyfuneralhome.com Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the E. B. Gormley Funeral Home 87 Main St. Phoenicia.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jeffrey I Jacobson, please visit our floral store.