AIS: Luna Jay

Isaac Cooper, Design Editor

 Intrinsic to Luna Jay’s personality is an outlet of artistic expression, which she has made with a variety of media.

“I started with theater when I was in sixth grade, and I did that until 10th grade,” Jay said.  I then transitioned into photography…My focuses right now are photography and poetry.”

Jay’s inspiration for photography was happenstance.  When she left her theater class in the 10th grade, she began taking photography classes at Reynolds with Phil Benenati.  She enjoyed Benenati’s classes and achieved high marks. Those two factors made Jay want to continue with her photography.

“I completely fell in love with it and [I] could not put a camera down since [then,]” Jay said.  “I have been completely hooked.”

Benenati praised Luna’s scholarship in his photography classes, specifically noting her creativity and knack for passion for what she does.

“Luna is a very creative student,” Benenati said.  “[She is] very on fire with her talents in the arts.”

Jay describes her work as psychedelic and natural.  Through her fashion and photography, Jay aims to create images with pathetic fallacy, a technique that uses the subject of a work to reflect the subject’s surroundings, and symbolic color alterations to express her intent through the tone of her work rather than the specificities of formal technique.

In this fashion, Jay’s photography has developed into a style that she finds to be most similar to famed New York photographer Annie Leibovitz.

“I am really inspired by Annie Leibovitz,” Jay said.  “She [Leibovitz] sees thing more artistically. I think I do the same thing… I don’t really want to focus on technique rather than result.”

Benenati also sees similar qualities between Leibovitz and Jay.  They both like to work with people behind the camera to garner specific reactions and amass unusual perspectives.

“Luna likes photographing people” Benenati said.  “She has a good eye to look for different… tries to see things differently [with] unusual angles… she [also] has a good way of doing that and getting people interested to pose for her.”

How does the work make people feel?  How does the work make people relate to her intent?  In this manner, Jay completes her projects and strives to publish her highest quality of art.

In addition to producing her own art, Jay, as a co-president of the RJR Photo club, translates her personal, empathetic touch of photography to her constituents.

As a photo club co-president, Jay and her fellow photo club board members have implemented inclusive activities to assess and develop the photography skill of novice and experienced photographers.  Ultimately, through her work, Jay hopes to unite people with photography, regardless of skill level.

“I want [everyone] to feel that photography is possible… it is not untouchable,” Jay said.