It feels strange to be including this page on my portfolio. But to know me and my work, is to know the impact Jason had on my life and my art.
We met in the same film program in 2014. We instantly became friends. His forte was in screenwriting and directing, my lane being cinematography and lighting, so in many ways we were a perfect match for artistic endeavors. He wholly trusted me behind the camera and I respected his direction. He knew what he wanted and hardly sacrificed his artistic vision. When Jason approached me to work on a project, I knew it was going to happen.
The impact he had on my art is insurmountably clear; the projects we worked on together are littered throughout my portfolio. Florence. WNDR. Countless photoshoots. His narrative films. I let him borrow my film camera on so many occasions.
Jason was one of my best friends.
He was shot in the back while hiking in Los Angeles on September 10, 2021. He was working on a photoshoot with a friend. It was a senseless and random act of violence. Since then, my life and my art have not been the same.
For as long as I am an artist I will honor Jason and his legacy. Right now, this amalgamates into a website for which I help curate and maintain: www.celebratingjasoncortez.com.
Jason proposed to the love of his life on the terrace of the Kennedy Center in January 2020. On the anniversary of his proposal, two years later, she asked me to accompany her to the terrace. We took Jason's camera and his jacket. Using the film camera he borrowed from me on several occasions, I took a photo series to commemorate the occasion.
Jason and his wife bought their house in March 2021. He excitedly put together his office to showcase his guitars, books, and camera and record collection. To memorialize the space, I took photos of various parts of his collection- photographing these items in the way that he proudly had them displayed.