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Jimmy Katz, American photographer and author of several photo books, on Jan Persson:

What makes Jan´s work special is that he places huge amounts of time and passion in his stories. He may not have meant to initially, but because he worked with it for so long and because he photographed such important, historical figures withion music he actualley documented a significant part of the history of music. He shot legends, not just in the US but also in Europe. A lot of people had shot them in the US, but he did it in Europe, on foreign territory and in a strange land where they might have felt more free and comfortable about not being in the US, but a new place, where people appreciated them.

There’s no recipe for good photography, but I think that the personality affects the way you shoot. Jan is a warm, open and funny guy and people like to be in his company.
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That’s the funny thing apout photography. Every photographer has his own and unique approach. Every photographer has roots in his own culture and those things bring something to the photograph that’s connected to their childhood, their environment and the status photography has in their country of birth.

But why would an American photographer such as myself shoot like a French or Danish photographer? In general, American photography is very direct and right into people’s faces, whereas Jan’s is poetic and elegant.
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One of my favorite pictures is of Ornette Coleman. It’s beautiful framed and an amazing snapshot. He shot at a point where nothing was going on visually. But because his eye is so good, he got something poetically beautiful to happen inside the camera. It’s only for a fraction of a second, but he got it. He made something from nothing. It’s quite an achievement. It’s a lot easier to capture something that happens right in front of you, that everyone can se, but he made that moment happen inside the camera, and that is the testament to how amazing he is as a photographer.

(from Mia Fuglsang Holm, Musical Portraits. Photographs and reflections by Jan Persson, p. 87. (Forlaget Ajour, Aarhus 2011.)
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- Jimmy Katz