Location: Palace Yard Mews, Bath Date: November 17th, 2015
Based in Bath, James works in freelance photography and video producing. He specializes in documentary, photojournalism, editorial and portrait photography. During his university days, he began majoring in surf science in Plymouth. He then dropped out and became a surfing instructor for 3 years. Once his interest in photography strengthened, he took prerequisite classes to get into the photography program at Falmouth University. He studied there from 2009-2012.
During University, he used friends and connections to create his photography projects. James stresses that these connections are what set you apart, they are your way in. After University, he did external editorial assignments for the Telegraph. James' curiosity pushed him to swap positions again, dropping out of photography and getting into the TV business. He said he hated it, a lot, he said "there is a lot less creative directing in your hands in that industry".
Projects by James:
- “The Peanut Factory”- a place he would shoot before it was destroyed for the London Olympics (during second year)
- “Royal Marines”- generated a hostile environment to practice as a press journalist (during second year)
- “Truro Skate Boarders”- Example of being brave, getting outside of your comfort zone, and shooting pictures of strangers. (During second year)
- “PTSD Project”- took a lot of time and research before actually getting in touch with camera work. This project deeply interested James. It was also intriguing that 80% of PTSD sufferers are in fact women.
- "Cost of Conflict" with Jason Howell: War photographer loosing his mind. James went to photograph Jason for his PTSD Project. Check out on Vimeo: “Cost of Covering Conflict”. This was the project that broke James. In Georgia (Tbilisi) photographed nationalism, community, youth, unemployment, religion, refugees, and little stories. Ended up getting caught in a contract.
- “Photography is what you want it to be”. Inspiration for James came from Rocky 4, Vangoh (only sold 1 painting), and the concept of a “trained actor reduced to the status of a bum”.
- “Emulate, not copy” when looking at other artists
- Develop a style
- Share work with friends and family
- Kit doesn’t matter
- Call vs. Email
- “Be humble, aggressive, share, community, brotherhood”
- Develop a network of “ass-licking”. Put yourself out there, strong ways, no half-ass work. Get business cards and never work for free. People need photography.
- Target areas in the industry that are relevant to final year work, this helps you move into a job that you are capable and seasoned to do.
- Keep shooting, be consistent
- All photographers should be getting education in filming. Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premier, etc.
- Bombard people with emails in order to get involved or get work opportunities. Also, reply to out of office emails too. Shows persistence and motivation.
- Assisting is good, but don’t assist for free, even if for the best. Once you assist for free, and especially for the best, your name is then passed around to other professional artists with the connotation that you will work for free. This then makes it extremely difficult to get paid in the long run. Bad news.
- James’s recommended strategy: Make work ( going to uni), do post grad/MA, enter workforce
- Don’t let people put you off. (aka criticism is good and it will always exist)
Personal Tutorial with James:
(Looking at my N8 project during it’s infancy)
- Aaron Harcourt: dynamics and struggle with identity + religion
- Nan Golding: cross dressing
- Jim Goldberg: “Raised by wolves” annotative images, download pdf, captions
- Jim Mortram: His identity with religion
- Rosaline Chaviz relationship with brother?
- More detail oriented shots
- Relationships with others
- Mix up shot styles, includes military aspects, remnants of home
- Crop: woman’s health mag hands shot
- Think about expansive ideas
- Get closer, more day shots needed. Wider frames. Use 25-38 mm lens
For more information, visit Jame's website here