Now, Joe Jachna

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One of his former students posted this on social media: “Joe Jachna passed away on March 14th. It’s difficult to express how important he was to so many of his students. One of the luckiest things that ever happened to me was casually registering for his Photography class. It changed my life. And I realize that he became a sort of North Star for me – his teaching and example guiding me through over 45 years as a photographer and teacher. He was a wonderful person, gentle, smart, calm, principled, funny, and kind. He completely separated his practice of photography from the pursuit of career success, concentrating on the search for intrinsic value in photographs and devoting himself to the joys and challenges of photographic exploration. He presented and exemplified a model for a sustained and principled life as a photographer. I’m still guided by things he told us. When my work is going poorly, I remember him saying encouraging things like “You have to take the bad photographs to get to the good photographs.” But his value as a teacher cannot be summarized by the many stories and comments that stick with me – it was more fundamental. Joe taught without ego or baggage. He arrived in each class displaying a true love of photography, and a conviction that photography was important. Perhaps even more crucial, he always looked for – and found – wonderful potential in his students and their work. Often, that gave us our first bursts of confidence as photographers. He took our work seriously, and that helped us take our work, and ourselves, seriously. I’m pretty certain that without his teaching and encouragement I would not be a photographer and teacher today. Joe was truly beloved. He made wonderful photographs. He was an extraordinary teacher. He had such a profound and positive effect on so many of us. I’ve so grateful to have known him. Rest in peace, Joe.”

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http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/chicagotribune/obituary.aspx?n=Joseph-David-Jachna&pid=179412454

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