As a boy, Jahiel was deeply influenced by his father — a film critic and amateur photographer of high standing. Together, they would watch image after image flicker by in the movie theatres, basements and editing rooms as the best movies ever made provided substance for his father’s pen, and an early visual literacy for Jahiel.
Years later — after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brooks Institute and a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri Journalism School — Jahiel headed west to California, where he apprenticed with Douglas Kirkland — “One of the best professional mentors and personal friends a photographer could have.”
Living in Los Angeles, his commercial work included shooting movie stills and portraits of the Hollywood establishment. As much as possible, however, he would steal away to photograph rodeo and ranch life in (Nevada, Montana and Wyoming). In the 1980s and early 1990s his trips to ranches grew longer. Eventually the lure became irresistible.
In 1992, Jahiel moved to Story, Wyoming, a tiny town at the base of the Bighorn Mountains. Two Springs ago, when his wife gave birth to their second child, Jahiel took great pride in registering the addition to the community by personally changing the population sign at the edge of town to read 651.
Jahiel travels to take commercial assignments while continuing his personal work photographing the cowboy lifestyle. A major exhibition of his work was shown at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming during the Summer of 1999. His work has also been featured in several major print publications, including Cowboy & Indian, American Cowboy, and, most recently, PhotoWorks.