Meet photographer Jason Starr, a senior Political Science major with a minor in Studio Art. He is excited to display his original series of photographs about environmentalism, gender identity, and the human experience. Welcome to “I Belong to This” in TDU.  

When he was younger, Jason took photos on his phone and edited them for fun. “I got my first camera and started taking pictures of anything and everything,” he says. His love for photography grew from there, and he became drawn to photographing portraits, most significantly, portraits of friends and people he has a connection with. “As with any form of art, it’s a form of expression. It allows you to show your own perspective on the world.” 

Jason’s photography has been published in several magazines including Vogue Italia: Photovogue, Photographer’s Forum Magazine, and MIM Magazine. His work was also featured in seventeen group exhibitions, won seven different awards/scholarships, and has been displayed in solo exhibitions at both Hotel Madison and Westmoreland Museum of American Art.  

The images displayed today were shot with a Canon 60 Camera using a wide lens so that the full subject was visible. Afterward, Jason used a standard process in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to edit the images in a way that is consistent with the editing techniques he uses in most of his photos.  

“At the core of those photos is individual stories,” Jason says of the narrative behind his images. “I explore different facets of the human experience through those different identities. There are a lot of themes of the connection to nature in humans and altered states of reality like dreaming. It brings out different experiences.” 

Jason finds that the inspiration for his photography comes from putting humans in the environment. “It speaks on the reliance humankind has on the environment,” he says. He is also fascinated by breaking gender norms, as is clearly illustrated in the photos of his series.  “The activism I’ve discovered in my Political Science major has influenced the photography in that way.” 

From his photos, Jason wants the audience to “understand identity in a broader sense” and see the environmental messages in his work. “I Belong to This refers to the collection of different identities in humankind and the variety of human experiences.” 

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