New Perspectives

Freelance photographer and creative director Jacob Webster always knew he wanted to pursue a career in the visual arts.

Jacob Webster
Jacob Webster ’20 

Specializing in the conceptualization and fulfillment of beauty and fashion-centric photography, Webster began his photography journey in 2014 when he founded JPW Photo LLC.

Growing up in Silver Spring, Maryland, Webster frequently collaborated with friends who were makeup artists, hair stylists and models to produce photo projects, most notably his recreations of TV shows, cartoons and movies like “The Rugrats,” “The Proud Family” and “Don’t Look Under the Bed.” Many of these went viral on Instagram.

After graduating from TU, Webster moved to Los Angeles, where his work slowly began to become recognized by musicians, artists and actors. Celebrities like Lori Harvey, Doja Cat, SZA and Michael B. Jordan have been photographed by Webster, and his shots have been featured in publications including Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Essence, BET and NBC. His dynamic work has garnered significant recognition, most recently by Forbes as one of its 30 Under 30 in Art & Style.

Lori Harvey
Webster took this portrait of the American model Lori Harvey.

Webster, 25, credits his TU Marketing 101 class and photography work at TU for some of his success.

After creating a mock business proposal, he began to visualize where his craft could take him. He advertised his services for graduation photos and after receiving 60 requests in one month, he knew he could turn his passion into a career.

“At TU I would do shoots in Tubman House and all across campus,” he says. “Anywhere I was, I was being resourceful and consistent, and I wasn’t afraid to fail.” In L.A., Webster felt prepared to take on the real world largely because of his experience at TU, where he was in the Theta Omicron chapter of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.

“The community was so graceful and supportive, and I always received great feedback,” he says. “They want to prepare you for the real world.”

Webster’s goal is to continue to evolve and eventually expand his business to include a variety of creative mediums, including behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with photography subjects and more.

Looking toward the future, Webster is most excited about the opportunity for reinvention. “You can do anything and be anything in this lifetime,” he says. “I think it's exciting to know that I can reintroduce myself to the world at any moment.”