So Jake, you are a music photographer; could you tell us a little more about that and yourself?
Sure. I have been doing music photography for about a year and a half now. I started in February last year, and I’ve been shooting ever since. I’m still at uni in Bristol studying photography, documentary series and abstract artwork to add to the music scene.
Which photographers influenced you, and do you think they have in any way affected your career path?
Yes; Connor McDonald is one of my main inspirations, as well as a few photographers who are close friends of mine. I’ve made a lot of cool contacts. My girlfriend is a music photographer too.
Where did your passion for music photography first begin?
When I was twelve. Me, my dad, my brother and sister were on holiday, and my dad gave me his little bridge camera, and ever since then I’ve been interested. I’d steal my parents’ phones and take a few photos. It was more of a hobby until college, where I studied at level three and got a diploma in it.
Were you always into music photography, or did you diverge?
I’ve always been into music; music and photography. I found it quite interesting, approached it and it’s taken me a lot of places.
Would you say when you take your photographs there’s something you really want to show from your image?
With still life I like to capture the moment. I like making people who see the photo feel like they’re really there, and then be something new.
Would you say that capturing the moment is what motivates you, or is there more to it?
I like to capture the moment and then there are the laughs along the way. I’ve been on tour a few times now; everyone says “Oh it’s long,” and it is long, but then you’ve got the fun of it. It’s always a great experience. It’s every photographer’s dream.
Would you say you’ve got a favourite photographer?
For a music photographer I would say Jordan Hughes. His work is really cool; it’s personal and gets right in the face of his clients. Documentary-wise, I would say Jack Latham; he’s more like people and place. He has a book out called A Pink Flamingo: it is probably the most stunning book I have seen. In America, if you have a pink flamingo in the garden, it’s a statement saying, “I own this place.”
You were a photographer for the MOBO Awards 2017, could you tell us a bit about it?
I work with a band called Rylan’s Teeth, and one of their managers - Hayden - has a lot of contacts; he suggested me to one of the people at MOBO, and I was contacted. I put forward a bio, and by late November I was in Leeds at the First Direct Arena.
How would you describe the experience? What did you do?
I was on media duties, taking the winner photos. It definitely tested me, because I was in a different environment.
Who did you manage to capture?
I photographed Idris Elba, Stormzy, Davido, Stefflon Don and more. There were so many cool celebrities about; I met Michael Dapaah, you probably know him as Big Shaq. The Chicken Connoisseur was there too.
Over time you’ve photographed quite a lot of big bands. Do you want to name a few of them?
Do I have to? I don’t want to be big-headed. Last year was probably the biggest: Noel Gallagher, Jess Glynne, Circus Nebula, Blossoms, who are all crazy big.
Would you say being a photographer for the MOBO Awards is your biggest achievement so far?
Yes, I would definitely say that it’s a big point. But personally, something that means more to me is the three days I did over the summer with an Irish band called Otherkin; we are really good friends and they are really nice guys. They deserve everything in the world that they get. We did Leeds on the Friday, Victoria Festival at Portsmouth on the Saturday and Reading Festival on the Sunday.
And you took the photos for all three?
Yes, me and my girlfriend were with the band; she did the videos, and we stayed with them every night.
Are you still in contact with them?
Yes. I’ve done loads of things in the past with them, but this was really cool. I did some promos for their press release. The photos I took were in The Irish Daily Mirror and The Irish Daily Mail. I thought, “This is cool!” The Irish Daily Mirror has 250,000 prints.
Have you got a dream person or venue you would love to be a photographer for?
I’d love to photograph The Killers; they’re one of my favourite bands. I think I’d be able to die happy if I did that. I like every venue, all of them are different; I like shooting in arenas, but I also like small venues. If you work in smaller places with rubbish lighting you kind of get used to it and you can work your craft better. It makes you work harder.
It sounds like you’ve had quite a journey with this so far and I’m sure there’s more on the way; are there any big plans coming up?
The tour this March with Marsicans; it’s an eight day tour.
I really believe you’ve got a lot of big things coming; for nineteen you’ve conquered a lot. I bet a lot of photographers look up to you and know who you are. I feel around Nottingham you are known.
That’s nice to hear. I don’t take things for granted and see where they go and what rewards come with it.