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Magazine On-line [summer 2013]
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Profiles

Images of art and business

Jeff Rogers ’81, whose lens has captured Kentucky scenes from cityscapes to the rolling hills of horse farms, celebrated his 25th anniversary in business this year.

During that time he has maintained a dual role as a commercial and an art photographer, shooting for editorial, advertising, portrait, product, and coffee-table book projects. “I did the business side of things, but there was still the inner artist in me wanting to be expressed,” Rogers said.

His more visible work includes photo murals at the Blue Grass Airport, the Lexington Center, and at a new wing of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. Most recently, the University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital installed his photos and distributed his postcards to patients as they were discharged.

Back in 1988, his first job as a professional photographer was shooting the Indianapolis 500 for Valvoline, which became a major client. He ended up photographing a lot of the company’s advertising and expanded to work for a variety of large companies and publications in Lexington.

In 1995, he became an early convert to digital photography. That opened up opportunities such as product catalogs. He hired a staff to help with the workload.
Now Jeff Rogers Photography focuses on stock photos and selling artistic images to individuals and galleries. Rogers paints watercolors too. Also, two years ago he took a sabbatical from his full-time business to volunteer for Blessed Earth, an environmental stewardship project.

“As I look at my second season of life, I’m trying to find as many ways as possible to give back to the community,” he said.

Through his photography business Rogers discovered the value of a liberal arts education. Faculty at Transylvania—where he worked as a student photographer and studied painting—proved formative in his life both as an artist and as a person. “I see the value of a very broad liberal arts education instead of a specific trade or a specific course,” Rogers said. “I never had a class in photography; so it’s all self-taught.”

He is an adjunct professor in photography at Asbury University and maintains ties with Transylvania. He works on the Transylvania Treasures history periodical, and the campus bookstore sells his publications.

“Everywhere I go, I’m really proud to be an alumnus of Transy,” he said.

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