Glamour Photography by Jay Kilgore

The end of an era

The end of an era is now. After 10 wonderful years in Colorado, it’s time for me to move on to glamour capital of the world, Los Angeles, CA. Some people ask why I never went there to start with and I’ve never really been able to answer intelligently until now: I wasn’t ready. Some people said I should have moved from MN, to Cali and made my bones out there. I say I did it right.

I didn’t want to start my career in Cali as a rookie making my bones. I wanted to move out there established and having a direction. Lots of models and photographers pick up and move to Cali or NY with out a clear and defined goal and end up moving back with their tail between their legs. I’ve never wanted to be that and have always prided myself on having a plan. Even if people didn’t understand or like it, it was a good plan and it worked for me. My plan was move West, but not West Coast, not yet. When I looked at how I was shooting, making the stop in Colorado first was smart:

Granted, not all those images are as terrible as I remember. There are three, the first three, that aren’t so bad and could actually be used today. But the rest, meh.

When I got to Colorado, I was determined to make a stance, to be different. I had publications in FHM, at the very back of the mag in the FHM 20 Hot dates or whatever it was back then. Pic the same size as a postage stamp, but it was a national publication either way! I could have taken a few decent images and moved to Cali, but truth is, I was afraid. I wasn’t ready for Cali. I wanted to make sure when I hit the big stage, that I was ready.  And Lord knows I was no where near ready with the work above. At that time I thought I was a professional, but looking back, I’d say I was a hobbyist with good intentions. I speak often about
my first real mentor, but before that guy, there was another guy. He lived in MN and his name was Justin? Either way, he had orange images, but he had an arrogant attitude and I thought that was professional. He moved to Florida and when I told him I disapproved of how he acted, he told me “You are nothing. You will always be nothing. I am the smart one. I moved to FL where REAL work is.” I figured that in order to make it, I would need to live in Cali, since that’s Glamour Heaven. I moved to Littleton, CO instead. This was about as far West as I was prepared to go since I was still shooting amateur work. I’ve never been happy with what I do, but back then I truly wasn’t happy. So I knew I needed to work harder and with more open minded models. CO is a conservative state, but not as conservative as MN. Still shooting like an advanced amateur, I looked over the photographers in CO on OMP and saw that I had more publications than them. At the time I had about four or five national publications and set my car in motion to the great West.

Some of my first shoots in CO:

You can see a marked difference it made working with a bit higher quality models and spending more time paying attention to my work flow. I now sit with 30+ images in 25 nationally published images. Senior Editor of Glamour Model Magazine. Of course you can move your mouse over “Portfolio” up at the top of this page and see my more recent work. I’m looking forward to Los Angeles to bring me more beautiful faces and a heightened level of work. I’m excited for this change and hope you guys are ready to make the transition with me!

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