Photographer Jacob Webster Reveals What It's Like Shooting Stars Like Lori Harvey, Doja Cat, and SZA

World, say whats up to Jacob Webster — the celebrity photographer capturing each star from Lori Harvey and Doja Cat to SZA and Cardi B. The 23-year-old Maryland native is making fairly a reputation for himself as a contract photographer and inventive director, touchdown credit for his work in publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Essence, and extra. But his astronomical rise has solely simply begun.

Webster tells POPSUGAR he picked up his first digicam when he was within the eighth grade, however later turned images right into a facet hustle whereas he was a scholar at Towson University. What began out with native commencement picture shoots became Webster launching his personal enterprise — JPW Photo — in July 2019. It grew to become the launching pad for his profitable profession, which now consists of taking pictures a few of as we speak’s largest celebrities.

“Lori was the one particular person that basically put me on so far as taking an opportunity on me.”

It all began in 2019, when a good friend requested if Webster was fascinated by taking pictures Diddy’s fiftieth birthday celebration. “I used to be like, ‘Oh my gosh,'” he remembers. Despite touchdown such an enormous alternative, Webster says he nearly psyched himself out; on the time, he did not assume he was able to do occasion images: “I used to be calling my pals like, ‘They need me to shoot Diddy’s birthday celebration. I’m not about to go, I’m not certified for this.'” Of course, Webster ended up accepting the gig and gave himself a phrase of recommendation that may push him to the subsequent stage. “I keep in mind telling myself, ‘You can’t go on this room and never make a connection,'” he says. “‘You should make some kind of connection or there isn’t any level in you being there . . . There’s no cause that God would put that in your plate if you cannot deal with it.'”

Webster refers to Diddy’s birthday celebration as a “large and pivotal second” in his life. But linking up with Harvey is what actually bought the ball rolling for his profession. “Lori was the one particular person that basically put me on so far as taking an opportunity on me,” Webster shares. “She got here to Maryland for Howard’s homecoming in October 2019, they usually have been on the lookout for a photographer and so I reached out.” Webster says he informed a good friend he had a sense the chance could be a “actually huge breakthrough” for him, and it was. That first picture shoot with Harvey led to many future collaborations between the 2.

“Lori is simply the lady subsequent door. So fairly, so stunning, you are able to do something along with her and it comes out so properly.”

From capturing Harvey’s first couple photos with ex-Michael B. Jordan to her twenty fifth birthday celebration earlier this 12 months, Webster says the model-turned-entrepreneur has develop into considered one of his principal, and favourite, muses. “Lori is simply the lady subsequent door. So fairly, so stunning, you are able to do something along with her and it comes out so properly,” he shares of what it is wish to {photograph} her. Webster’s different favourite stars to work with? “[It’d] in all probability positively be Doja,” he says. “She’s so inventive and he or she’s so revolutionary that it is like I’m at all times doing one thing new along with her and it is at all times altering.” Other purchasers like Chlöe, Halle Bailey, and Normani, all of whom Webster watched rise to fame over time, have develop into a few of his good pals. “I keep in mind watching her in 2012 on ‘X Factor,'” he remembers of Normani. “We went to Cabo for her birthday [earlier this year], and everybody was going round doing cheers. I keep in mind telling her, ‘Wow, it is so loopy how the universe can align folks. I keep in mind watching you on ‘X Factor,’ and now right here we’re precisely 10 years later, and we’re actually in Cabo celebrating your birthday.'”

Webster wholeheartedly believes within the energy of manifestation and attributes that to his success, however at all times being ready and “skilled to go” along with his digicam has additionally performed a job in reserving huge gigs. Case in level: he as soon as bought a name to shoot Megan Thee Stallion’s “Body” music video with solely half-hour to spare. “I used to be with my good friend Kira. We have been leaving LA, after which considered one of my pals, Scott, who was styling Asian Doll, was like, ‘Asian Doll is on the lookout for a photographer . . . for Megan’s music video. Can you shoot her?'” Webster remembers. “I’m like, ‘I’m on my approach to the airport,’ however I circled actual fast.”

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“The solely folks I really feel like I’ve left to do is Rihanna, Zendaya, Bella Hadid, and Kylie Jenner.”

Over the previous few years, Webster has added folks like Ciara, Megan Fox, Machine Gun Kelly, Drake, Keke Palmer, Latto, Monica, Jordyn Woods, and others to his Rolodex of purchasers. But he has much more celebrities he hopes to work with someday. “The solely folks I really feel like I’ve left to do is Rihanna, Zendaya, Bella Hadid, and Kylie Jenner,” Webster says. “But I actually know all of them at this level.”

Making himself recognized amongst the celebrities is not the one factor on Webster’s aim record. In addition to rebranding his platform, he additionally desires to work on mentoring others in his discipline. “I really feel like I have never been in a position to present up for my neighborhood as a result of I’ve been in a means of constructing, constructing, constructing, and I’m nonetheless making an attempt to be taught myself,” Webster says. “Now I really feel like I’m form of in an area the place I can begin making an attempt to assist anyone else within the meantime. Like the larger the platform you could have, the extra folks you’ll be able to attain and the extra folks you’ll be able to affect.”

Right now, Webster is targeted on increasing his portfolio of movie star purchasers and perfecting his craft so he can collaborate with main manufacturers. “I actually need to see myself in in all probability 5 years simply inventive directing for vogue manufacturers,” he shares. “Doing inventive shoots for giant manufacturers. It might be for Diesel, or Givenchy, or Prada . . . If that is not the area I’m in proper now, that is wonderful, it’s going to come.”

Indeed, with a lot success so rapidly, there’s time. As Webster places it: “I really feel like I nonetheless have numerous studying to do and I’m simply nonetheless a scholar to the sport, so proper now I’m simply in an area of constructing, studying, and rising.”

Image Source: Jacob Webster

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