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JCP Travel Map

Explore the work of Jonathan Chapman through featured locations.

An early influence and memorable subject…


"It's one of nature's ways that we often feel closer to distant generations than to the generation immediately preceding us." ~Igor Stravinsky


Upon a rare dig into the archives of some of my earliest images I discovered a sheet of negatives from a shoot I remember and look back on with fond memory.

While I don't have any "got my first camera when I was eight," stories, I do remember a mid-90's visit to my Grandmother's house in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul, MN. On any given spring, summer, or fall day you'd find Grandma in her backyard, sitting on her back porch swing, glass of lemonade with book or magazine within arms reach. Never in a hurry, always having plenty of time to genuinely listen to whatever topic surfaced; a quality she possessed that seems evermore valuable in today's time and space.

On this particular visit I arrived with a bit more zeal than was typical, my latest camera purchase at the hip- a new 85mm portrait lens ready to try out with a subject I knew would be more than willing and happy to oblige.

I am often asked about what steps or influences shaped my decision to tread upon this path and profession. My Grandmother on my mother's side, Garnet Rice, was the person most likely to have camera on hand, at the ready. She traveled near and far including multiple trips overseas. If I remember correctly she proudly stated she'd been to all fifty states, which for a woman of her means and her era, was quite a feat. There were always piles of 4x6 picture packs laying on her dining room table- she always ordered "double prints" so family members could take home their favorites.

Here's to being inspired by those before us; no doubt my work has a thread of my past woven into it. The road has gotten easier in many ways, yet more difficult and sometimes unnecessarily more complicated in others it often seems.

Grandma Garnet passed close to 10 years back - a vibrant and active woman of 93 years of age. A favorite person who still inspires, encourages, and smiles upon me. For this I am thankful and humbled...