The photographs are very simple. They just reflect who Jacob is: a person with a strong desire to take risks, to take part in life, and — more than anything else — to go beneath the surface of the people in front of him. It’s not more complicated than that. Everything else resides in the warmth of the communion frozen by the camera, which is not treated as a means to an end but as an end in itself. To ask more questions, or to write much more than that, misses the point.
With and Without You encompasses personal documentary work, virtuosic street photographs, and no-frills portraiture — that most spiritual side of photography. The photographs come from places as disparate as Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Yakutsk, Siberia; and the mountains of rural Guatemala. But they don’t dwell on any particular place as such — just on people as individuals with their own theaters of feelings. For Jacob exists in a long tradition of humanist photographers who have sought to explore the depths and universality of emotion without special regard for culture or creed. What he brings to the table is his fearlessness, deep sensuality, and keen eye for the underbelly of a society.