Inspiration Board | Jackie Lee Young

As a kid traveling back and forth between Texas and Saudi Arabia, Jackie Lee Young made a habit of smuggling issues of Vogue back to the Middle East. “I would roll them up in my jeans and stuff them into my suitcase just so I could study them and tape them onto my walls,” she says. “I didn't know what I was doing then. I was just a kid.” Years later and no longer “just a kid,” Young has grown into a successful photographer who has shot for leading publications such as Nylon and T Magazine. Her haunting, moody aesthetic has garnered a lot of attention and adoration on the web, and she is heralded as one of the most talented emerging fashion and snapshot photographers. She credits her aesthetic to the formative years she spent living in the Middle East during Desert Storm. Astonished by the environment change moving from Oklahoma, she felt the need to document the experience. “I was completely removed from Western popular culture as well, so I wanted to create my own. That meant following my friends around and shooting them, as well as my family.” After attending St. Edward’s University to study photography, Young fell in love with Austin and has called the city home ever since. Here she nurtures her photography passion, splitting her time between her two favorite subjects. “I feel like a lot of my work is split in half. One part travel based, very in tune with the idea of capturing the snapshot and images as they happen. The other part of it is very creatively directed, where it is planned out and has a distinct story that is stylized with wardrobe, hair and makeup with a directed concept,” Young says. “I love each part equally, and don't see myself or my work being successful without each part being nurtured.”

  • White Sands Monument placemat—found in perfect condition at Room Service Vintage.
  • Vintage Deco Blue Velvet Purse—I love the design, color and feel of this bag. I rarely use it.
  • 1950s era Zuni Bolo Tie—I bought this at an estate sale in Chico, California for $6. It had an original pricetag hidden on it from the 1950s for $190.
  • Vintage Vogue—one of many in my collection.
  • SX-70 Polaroid from the last days of summer in 2007—one of the last shots I took with this now completely discontinued film.
  • Polaroid from hotel room in Hong Kong—I lived in that area for three months and loved it all.
  • Chrome Cactus Pin from the band, The Young.
  • Yashica Mat 124-G Medium Format Camera—this camera was one of my greatest teachers.
  • Gold Contax T2—my second greatest teacher. Also, it's gold!
  • Grand Canyon—my parents met in the Grand Canyon. One of them took this.
  • Super 8 Movie—made by my grandpa.
  • Santa Maria Novella Tobacco Spray—favorite scent of all time.
  • Nag Champa—I like to keep some burning all around the house. It smells fantastic.
  • Roxanne Ft. Lonesome Patch—a tribute to my old dog, Roxanne.
  • Hi-Desert Motel Key from Joshua Tree, California.
  • Toilet Paper Magazine Compilation—this is an incredibly strange and beautiful image by Maurizio Cattelan.
  • Yashica T4 with gold letters spelling my name on the bottom—the world's greatest point and shoot camera.
  • The Photographer's Playbook—a terrific resource for anyone who even slightly enjoys taking photos. It's about 300 pages of suggested assignments.
  • Letter from my grandpa—this is a letter from my grandpa to me in 1982 to welcome me into the world.


Photography by Bill Sallans


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