Jock McDonald

Jock McDonald ( has been a professional photographer for 28 years. His work, in both black-and-white and color, has achieved national and international critical acclaim for its distinguished use of wit, humor, pathos, and qualities of mystery. His portraits and depictions of rural life around the world have been widely published and exhibited in the U.S., Mexico, Russia, Ukraine and Cuba. His clients include Absolut Vodka, Eastman Kodak, Gap, Levi’s, French and German Vogue, and Xerox. Jock’s most recent exhibition, “One World Portrait,” was exhibited at the Lehigh University Art Gallery Virtual Gallery 2010.

Jock McDonald Portfolio

Julia Dean Interviews Jock McDonald

LACP Founder and Executive Director Julia Dean asks Jock McDonald ten questions about his background, career in and beliefs about photography …

Julia Dean:  What kind of photographer are you?

Jock McDonald:  I am a people photographer, a portraitist.

JD:  How long have you been shooting?

JM:  I started taking photographs when my family moved to Europe in 1970.  I was 9 … so, 44 years.

JD:  Where did you get your training?

JM:  I began my training in high school when I was 14, and continued it after high school with David Tise to whom I apprenticed for 6 years, from the time I was 18 until 24.  I then opened my own photography studio in San Francisco.

JD:  When did you know you wanted to devote your life to photography?

JM:  I knew I wanted to be a photographer after I broke my back falling from a tree.  I was laid up for a year, and I read about the lives of photographers, like Edwards Weston’s daybooks, and the life of a photographer appealed to me, the travel … the adventure of unknown places, cultures and peoples.

JD:  Did you ever come close to giving up?

JM:  Yes, after 22 years of photographing farmers around the globe, I realized people did not care about “strangers”.  They rarely place photos of their family members on their walls.  I also realized that did not matter.  What mattered is what I cared about.

JD:  Have you sacrificed anything by being a photographer?

JM:  I would say my family has suffered by my absence.

JD:  What have you gained by being a photographer?

JM:   have gazed into the eyes of humanity and seen our shared community.

JD:  What classes do you teach at LACP?

JM:  “Introduction to Location Lighting” and “Chasing the Light”.

JD:  What do you love most about teaching?

JM:  I love when the “lights go on” for a student! Haaaa Haaa in the Ah Ha moment!  The passing of the torch of knowledge.

JD:  What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making a career in photography?

JM:  In this digital age, make your photography unique!