Home » The Creative Now: A Chat with Jeff Campagna, Photo Editor at Smithsonian Magazine

Capitol Communicator reports that Cade Martin is holding virtual conversations with people in the mid-Atlantic about how they are handling their work during COVID-19. In this interview he talks to Jeff Campagna.

The Creative Now: A Chat with Jeff Campagna, Photo Editor at Smithsonian Magazine

by | Jul 21, 2020

By Cade Martin

As a kid, I spent many a dinner at a table surrounded by friends of my parents, an eclectic cast of characters — sculptors, writers, painters, creatives. That thread of creative community has remained in our offices, our teams, and our collaborations. But that thread feels thinner in this moment.

So I asked, with the purpose of sharing, and of supporting and caring for this creative community in its current, uncertain reality. I asked what people are doing, how they are feeling, how they are sparking creativity. It feels important to share what we do, when we can’t do all our doing.

Reaching out first to some of the talented people I’ve had the good fortune to profile though the Capitol Communicator portrait series.  It’s my version of a virtual dinner table of sorts. Grab a chair and listen in to my conversation with Jeff Campagna, Photo Editor at Smithsonian Magazine.

Jeff Campagna

Jeff, what, if anything, are you doing differently?

Like most folks, I’m teleworking exclusively. It’s still strange being away from everyone, but I’m trying to improve my efficiency and keep a regular schedule the best I can. I miss seeing and talking to my co-workers in person, and I miss the energy of the office. 

 Are you staying creatively active?

Yes. I’m continuing work on features, and I’m on the lookout for pitches and new personal photography projects and new photographers. My wife is a pastry chef, so she’s been trying all sorts of new recipes during quarantine at home, so I’ve been making still life photographs of everything she makes. I’m also her primary taste tester!

 How are you sparking yourself creatively?

I was one of the judges for a photo contest for the DC chapter of American Photographic Artists–a contest for social distancers, of course–which was cool. I’ve been playing more piano and guitar now that I’m spending more time at home. And I’ve been trying to meditate to help stay relaxed and centered, with my wife’s encouragement. 


About the Author

Cade Martin

The only child of a university art professor and freethinker mother, Cade Martin grew up surrounded by shapes and images. His love of art grew out of summer vacations filled with trips to galleries, museums and art studios. At home he often found himself around the dinner table with an eclectic cast of characters – sculptors, writers and painters. They paraded through his childhood, shaping his art foundation and forming his appreciation for the candid beauty found in people from all walks of life. Cade’s been chasing characters ever since. He seeks out their stories-told through the architecture of their faces or the costumes they wear-whether he’s on a commercial production or setting up an Avedon-like photo booth at Comic Con. They are the heroes in his pictures. His thirst for capturing adventures took its hold while shooting stills on movie sets and then as a photographer for National Geographic covering the railways of India. And it is that sense of adventure that Cade brings to his productions elevating the ordinary to the extraordinary with a cinematic touch. It’s not just a picture. He’s committed to the experience, building beautiful environments and, sometimes for his portraits, simply building trust. A talented storyteller, Cade splits his time between the East and West Coasts creating images for editorial, advertising, fashion, and lifestyle clients


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