Photo of Jerry Kaufman, photographer and author

The Photographer

Jerry believes his work is about engaging our ability to be moved and to care and, thereby, make a difference in our world. He is a third-generation photographer with a built-in curiosity to explore, linked to a desire to share what he discovers, in a way that deeply connects with viewers’ emotions. His father was a photojournalist; his father’s dad was a portrait photographer. And as, the oldest of eight children growing up in the Midwest, Jerry developed a way of seeing that is at once individualistic and totally American. He spent his formative years exploring the woods, fields and inland waters of Michigan, Summers were with his mom’s parents in Missouri, playing sandlot baseball, fishing in lakes and streams, enjoying his grandma’s fresh fried fish and blackberry cobbler, listening to his grandpa tell stories, and getting to know the back roads and small towns of Missouri with his dad. He has always loved the natural world, especially in the transitional seasons of spring and fall.

His passion for digital photography was spurred on by studying with Rich Clarkson and the distinguished faculty of photographers at Photography at the Summit in Jackson, Wyoming starting in 2006 – including the diversity of images created by such renowned photographers as William Allard, Jay Maisel, Jodi Cobb and Tom Mangelsen. He loves making images in the spirit of the Impressionists. His photos emphasize color, light and sensations present in the natural rhythms and patterns at play in our world.  “I get a lot of joy discovering and telling the untold story.” Jerry says, He does that by, “making the unseen visible with photographic images. It must be in my DNA.”

The Author

He has published one book – Renewal at The Place of Black Tears – a best seller of evocative Pearl Harbor images that is dedicated to Renewal and Reconciliation. The release coincided with the 50th Anniversary of USS Arizona Memorial (1962-2012) as the Memorial transitions from a place that people remember only a battle to a site dedicated to peace. He tells young people that images can truly can change the world, especially when we can literally see former enemies embracing. “Photography,” he says, “can take you on a journey that moves form sight to insight, from the visual to the spiritual.”

The Man

Jerry is also a third-generation war-time soldier. His dad’s father was gassed in action in the Argonne Forest in World War I.  His father turned 20 on the beaches of Normandy in World War II; by his 21st birthday a field hospital surgeon with the apt name Wiseman had begun the successful fight to save his leg. Both grandfather and father survived physically but came home emotionally wounded. For rest of the story Jerry was also affected by war. As a young junior officer (US Army Reserves AMSC) he served as a physical therapist taking care of severely injured service men returning from Viet Nam at Brooke General Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Working with these wounded warriors – most with missing limbs, some with severe burns – was life changing. Jerry went on to serve in private sector healthcare in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, becoming an expert in personal and organizational turnarounds and renewal. His healthcare work of more than three decades informs his perspective and shapes his visual art today. His life long goal has been to help move people to a better place – first physically with his hands, then intellectually through management and education and now with his heart through the visual art of photography. In sum, Jerry believes his work is about engaging our inner ability to be moved and to care and, thereby, make a difference in our world.

Jerry is the father of four and the grandfather of five. He lives in Issaquah, Washington just east of Seattle with Nancy, his wife of more than 40 years.