Sam Jones is an acclaimed photographer and director whose seminal portraits of President Obama, Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Bob Dylan, Kristin Stewart, Robert Downey Jr, Amy Adams, Jack Nicholson, and many others have appeared on the covers of Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Esquire, GQ, Time, Entertainment Weekly and Men’s Journal.
His photos have received numerous awards from American Photography, Communication Arts, and Life magazine’s respected Eisie award, and his image for the cover of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was published in “The Greatest Album Covers of All Time”. His collection of candid celebrity portraiture, The Here And Now: The Photographs of Sam Jones, was published by Harper Collins. Other published works include Non-Fiction, a collection of cinematic portraiture, and Some Where Else, a photographic book and musical collaboration with musician Blake Mills.
Jones is also an acclaimed director, creating numerous national commercials for Skype, Sonos, Canon, Target, Dove and many others. Jones is a sought after music video director who won MTV’s music video of the year for Foo Fighters “Walk.” He has directed videos for Mumford and Sons, Tom Petty John Mayer, and many others. He also directed the multi-award winning interactive video for Cold War Kids’ “I’ve Seen Enough”. He won the IAA Responsibility Award for his AD Council “Everyone Knows” PSA. He has also directed the ABC television show, Cougar Town, and will be directing episodes of Cameron Crowe’s upcoming series Roadies.
In 2013 he launched Off Camera with Sam Joneson Directv’s Audience Network. The show is still going strong 175 episodes later and is in full production for 2019. Off Camera is an hour-long show created out of his passion for long form conversational interviews. Via worldwide broadcast, online magazine, and podcast, Jones shares his conversations with the artists, actors, and musicians who fascinate and inspire him most. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Aubrey Plaza, Dave Grohl, Jessica Chastain, Tony Hawk, Will Farrell, Matt Damon, and Don Cheadle have all appeared on the show.
His candid, intimate style and innate ability to capture the essence of his subjects made the documentary a natural medium for Jones. In 2002, Jones started his feature-length documentary career withI Am Trying To Break Your Heart, which chronicles beloved indie-rock band Wilco’s tumultuous recording of their acclaimed fourth album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The film was hailed as “beautifully photographed”, and “engrossing” for its compelling look at the struggle between art and commerce; and Jones’ ability to create intimacy with his subjects was compared to that of Jean Luc Goddard’s work with The Rolling Stones in Sympathy for the Devil. Variety called Jones “one of the few intelligent filmmakers destined for serious artistic success,” and Rolling Stone named I Am Trying To Break Your Heartthe fifth best rock film of all time.
In 2014, Jones directed the feature length Showtime documentary Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued, a film that reexamines Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes and documents new recordings of lost Dylan lyrics by Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford and others in Capitol Records Studios. The film features Bob Dylan as narrator, and documents the exciting collaboration between some of the most successful current artists in music and a 26-year-old Bob Dylan.
Jones lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three daughters.