INTERVIEWING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
Interviewing James Morris has been one I have wanted to do for a while. Together we have been involved in a few projects (like Negative Journey) so luckily we have had plenty of communication and managed to put this together for you.
James is a fun and caring person foremost, which you will see flows in his work too. We actually started chatting one night on Facebook and next you thing you know he invited to shoot a wedding with him!
This tells you something about this character and why I agreed to work with him. We got on really well and you can see James just wants to share and provide opportunities for others.
Tell us a little about yourself, where you grew up, what was life like.
“Hey, my name is James Morris. I call myself a wedding photographer or a family lifestyle photographer. But, I prefer the term ‘ the in-between moments’ photographer ‘. I photograph all the little moments that lead up to that one big moment then of course photograph that too 🙂
I grew up in a little place called Dronfield that is between Chesterfield and Sheffield. It is like 0000000.1 miles in Chesterfield but nobody will ever admit that! Sorry, Chesterfield people haha! When I reached the age of nine I moved to the Newark On Trent area in Nottinghamshire and I have been here ever since.
I would say all my life up until this point has been how I wanted it to be as it’s my life in my hands. If something needs changing I have always been the kind of person to change it.
I like the simple things in life, Marmite on toast with a glass of milk and to watch Titanic (true story). I love, love, love my friends, family, and photography.”
Tell us about the people who have influenced you in life.
“For me this question is difficult, I am never influenced by many people. I like to be unique and different and stay true to who I am. I always say nobody ever made a difference to the world been the same. These theories held up until last year when I was 27! My son turned two and I realised I started to do all the things my parents ever did !”
What is your earliest memory of photography?
“I am a relative newcomer to the photography scene – started three years ago. As far as physically having a connection with photography. My parents always got their prints out of the family box. We would all sit down and look through all the photographs that had been taken over the years. Some even date back to circa 1920 from grandparents and great-grandparents.
As early as 5 or 6, I started to realise what photography was. But it wasn’t up until I was around sixteen / seventeen that I took an interest, after working at a printing lab. But, I never actually knew how to get into the photography side of things.”
We can see from your work you are a wedding photographer. How do you sell yourself to potential clients? What are your unique selling points?
“Errrmmm I’m great ?:) Jokes aside, I try to stay humble and work things out so we both benefit from my services. It is important to build up a good connection between the both of you so it becomes more personal. I don’t talk them into choosing me, ultimately I let them decide at their own free will. I don’t see any point in someone booking on a sales pitch and not actually liking the images they get. This does not do me and the client any favours.
I often photograph moments that can never be replaced. So for me, it’s important that they are right for the client in terms of style and composition. It goes far beyond money and bookings for me, yes I have to earn money to run a business. But seeing people happy and have memories forever means more to me. Just like when I used to look through all my family images from 1920.”
What else is on the calendar for 2018?
“I have a busy 2018 in terms of wedding photography and completing my project on raising awareness for mental health. At the end of 2018 hopefully, my photography business will be bigger, better and be ‘on the map‘. In terms of my Facebook page that is going to have some exciting surprises in 2018. As I’m looking for it to grow quite significantly. Workshop wise I have a couple in the pipeline but only in the summertime when it’s warmer.”
Where do you see the future of photography? Is it mirrorless, is it medium?
“I think there will always be trends and new cameras coming out that ‘ move ‘ things forward. But, ultimately photography much like an image stays the same, a lot of us still use film cameras. So to kind of answer the question I would say whatever the artist behind the camera prefers.”
Will artificial intelligence take over from human editing?
“I think in a sense it will which could well ruin photography. People are now lazy and are looking for a quickest and cheapest way to do things. This may not be beneficial to things in the long run. Attention to detail and uniqueness will be lost.”
What was one of the most rewarding locations you shot?
“I see the best in every situation even in my personal life. In everyday life, I see shapes, areas, locations that would be great for a photograph. Sometimes, I feel like just getting some random person and just go stand there for me and strike a pose haha. But as far as locations singing to my heart it has to be while I am with nature. My absolute favourite has to be Black Clough waterfall at sunrise in the summer around 4 am. At that moment in my life, my heart and mind smiled behind tired eyes.”
Do you have a favourite lens, camera or equipment?
“I have two favourites, my Nikon D750 and my original box brownie camera from 1920. My dad passed the brownie down to me last year that has been in the family since it was brand new!”
During 2017 you shot as a second photographer yourself and another occasion the phlogger to shot with you. How does this compare to shooting alone?
“It was a terrible experience ….. Haha jokes aside I approach each wedding the same and I put my heart and soul into each one. So from my personal perspective nothing much changes. Having said that having another photographer of such experience and creativity is quite refreshing to work alongside. You see the day from two different angles and you can learn new things from each other all day. So I guess you both can benefit from working together.”
What did you learn from the wedding shoots (as a first/second photographer)?
“Every wedding I shoot and each time I work with somebody new I learn new things. I always hold the same theory regardless if you’re a wedding, portrait or street photographer. The rules are pretty much the same just in different environments. Always be creative as that way you progress as an artist even if you fail you learn.
Always be humble and interact, help others around you. Never try doing the same shot more than twice and just think outside the box.
No matter the experience of the photographer in any niche. It all comes down to knowing your camera inside out and knowing what capabilities it holds.”
THE RANDOM QUESTIONS
When you were a child, what career/job/field did you want to go into?
“When I was really small I wanted to be a football player, then a policeman. But I realised I was no good at either and just kept dreaming of them. there was no real career goal until I found photography.”
Name one of your strengths and one of your weaknesses
“I’m too kind and I’m too kind.”
How many shoes do you own?
“About 20 ………… don’t judge me my feet haven’t grown since I was about 7 haha.”
Can you explain Donald Trump?
“He is a trump ? can I put that?”
Nintendo or Sega?
You have to share “a punch”, “a pint” or “a present” with the following:
Benjamin Franklin, Michael Jordan and Bugsy Malone (the gangster). Which option for each person and why?
“Benjamin Franklin – punch”
“Michael Jordan 0- resent”
“Bugsy – pint”
Is it better to live the life of a king for one day or a peasant for a long time?
“Peasant for a long time as all you need is good people around you to be happy!”
You have 8 arms but the same human brain. Could you still use individual fingers and hands or would they work in unison? For instance, how would you use your camera?.
“In an ideal world, all work in unison and then have about 2492345345945 cameras and get all the angles covered!”
Is Facebook the devil?
“That ruins social events”.
Please click on the relevant links to see more of James’ work.
Facebook link – facebook.com/jamesmorrisphotography8989
Facebook group link – facebook.com/raw photography
Instagram link –@jamesmorrisphotography8989
Website link – jamesmorris-photography.co.uk
From the words James uses, you can see the passion and kindness. It is also clear to see James is still in his prime and has a great future ahead. He is not just shooting weddings, but running his Facebook group. James also takes part in networking events with other groups too.
Our wedding shoot was one of the highlights of my career, his relaxed style was very reassuring. This will only be the start for James, as I’m sure you will see him collaborating much more in the future.
He is forward thinking and currently releasing his own Lightroom presets too.
Because James has some history around film photography, he jumped onboard with the “Negative Journey” film project too. This is another side to his work, where you have to master very different technology.
Thanks for patience James, I know it has taken us a while to publish this work.