Her Aim is True is a documentary about Jini Dellaccio, a rock-and-roll photographer whose pioneering spirit changed the face of album covers and blazed a trail for ambitious and committed artists to follow. I came across this film in the summer of 2013. Since then, I have been working to raise awareness about the film and about Jini. I am involved in a Kickstarter campaign whose aim is to raise enough money to bring this great film and its inspiring story to a wide audience, so that it can influence others as it has influenced me. Unfortunately, as I write this, time is running out.
The perspective I gained from Her Aim is True has inspired me to live and think like Jini did: opportunistically, in tune with the world of art that surrounded her. As anyone can learn from the comments that Jini makes throughout the film, Jini is a special breed of artist. She combines an incredible eye for composition with genuine enthusiasm for her work and her subjects. She is the woman behind the camera in recognizable photos of The Sonics, The Who, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, and many more. Jini is noteworthy because her vision of rock-and-roll music was the first to realize and reflect the unconventionality that made the music culturally significant. She is incredible because she made her contribution to youth culture in the 1960s as a middle-aged woman.
In the next week, I will graduate film school and enter into an industry that sells art. As I enter an uncertain future, I recognize that progress, in my career, depends on responding to changes. I want to live opportunistically like a great photographer. To live like Jini did, I need to understand the events around me and use my creative talent to reflect a changing world. To see change as it is happening, I need to move a step ahead of the curve. To do that, I need to #aimhigh. #Aimhigh describes any action or desire that challenges the status quo. Aiming high is about trajectory. It’s about a leap ahead. It allows an artist to land in the elusive and momentous moment where the present becomes the future.
Jini’s ability to aim high is remarkable because there was no precedent for her work. From her career as a saxophonist playing in all-girl jazz bands in the 1930s to her career as a photographer immortalizing proto-punk and rock-and-roll attitudes in the 1960s, Jini stayed ahead and continued to trail blaze. She opened the door for new tastes and artistic expression, and she also inspired new generations of female artists to trust themselves and to also aim high. I’m a realist, and I know that not every creative soul becomes a great artist, but reflecting on Jini’s story has reassured me that I have to try every day to look around me and pay attention to the rumblings of my generation. I need to be present and genuine. If I can do that, I may be able to recognize a new defining moment in our history and express its power for the world to appreciate.