Jeff Jacobsen has photographed practically every big event the sports world has to offer during a professional career that spans over 53 years. Jacobsen has seen things up close that only a diehard sports fan could in their dreams.
Starting at The Topeka Capital-Journal as an 18-year-old in 1969, Jacobsen learned from famed photographer Rich Clarkson. He shared photo duties with the remarkable, award-winning photographers that made the paper renowned for its photographic excellence.
Over the next several decades, Jacobsen found himself traveling all across the country to cover the most significant sporting events and won numerous national awards. He developed his style of visual storytelling that has been called “the point where peak action, intense emotion and impeccable journalism cross paths.”
Jacobsen worked for the Arizona Republic newspaper in Phoenix, Arizona, from 1979-1983, covering a wide variety of sports in the Valley of the Sun and throughout the country.
Jacobsen returned to the Capital-Journal in 1983. He rose to the Managing Editor of Photography position with a run of national acclaim for photography usage. During that time, he helped the paper become one of the first in the country to embrace digital photography. His work has appeared in national and regional magazines throughout his career.
In 1997, Jacobsen turned his attention to photographing 18 sports for Kansas Athletics, Inc., as KU’s first full-time photographer. He had a front-row seat photographing more high-profile sporting events in a single year than most people attend in their lifetimes. The 256-page coffee table book, “Tribute to Crimson & the Blue,” published in July 2019, highlights his accomplishments at KU.
After retiring from Kansas Athletics in June 2020, Jacobsen began work on a long-term project on the people and events that make sports an integral part of the state of Kansas. Work on “The Heart & Soul of Kansas Sports” is ongoing through Action Images Photography, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit company.
Jacobsen was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, in April 1951. After moving to Kansas in 1954, he graduated from Topeka High School in 1969 and Washburn University in December 1976. Jacobsen was named the 2013 Alumni Fellow for the College of Arts and Science at Washburn University. He was inducted into the Shawnee County Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019 for his work with the Kansas City Royals, including their 1985 World Championship.
Jacobsen’s wife Laura is an academic advisor in the Kansas Athletics Department for Swimming & Diving and Rowing. The couple has two married daughters and two grandchildren.
About Action Images Photography, Inc.
Action Images Photography, Inc. (AIP) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit photography business designed to allow work by noted photographer Jeff Jacobsen on a wide range of assignments and projects. The intent is to advance documentary photography to enrich the appreciation of the beautiful state of Kansas for its citizens and other citizens of the world.
While AIP welcomes projects outside of that domain, funds earned apply to the cost of business and the funding for projects that included the book “Tribute to Crimson & the Blue,” the ongoing project “The Heart & Soul of Kansas Sports,” along with any further plans. All donations are tax-deductible.
The Heart & Soul of Kansas Sports
While covering sporting events that many call “big time,” I never forgot how much fun it was to document the events where Kansans of all ages compete for the purest joy and satisfaction in competitions that reveal “The Heart and Soul of Kansas Sports.” I came to the realization two years ago that my heart and soul needed to delve into this with all the skills and talents my long career allowed me to develop. To be far-reaching and all-encompassing, I want to travel to all 105 counties in the state of Kansas to explore the possibilities.
All photographs and content on this website remain the property of Jeff Jacobsen, Action Images Photography, Inc. or past employers. Pictures from previous employers appear by permission. Images cannot be downloaded, copied, or used in any way without prior written consent. Views expressed on this website belong solely to the author and in no way reflect any past employer or individual.