The super sweet and brilliantly humble Scottish fella Jamie Howden is next up on the Preset Shop blog in our Photographer Feature section, and we’re very glad to have him! Jamie is one of those people person photographers.. Communication is the key as we all know, however Jamie seems to take it to another level with his sensitive nature, the truth he feels and follows within himself on every shoot and his ‘eagle eye’ observation abilities. Jamie loves photography, you can feel it through his words and see it in his stunning images. Enjoy!
Good vibes and endless inspiration,
Preset Shop Team
Tell us a bit about Jamie Howden…
I am a new up and coming self taught photographer living in Scotland. My creative journey started when I studied Graphic Design but years later started experimenting with photography, seeing what I could create and became engrossed very quickly. I have worked towards defining my own style, honing my skills, creating beautiful images. I live/breath photography and strive to be the best I can.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Perthshire in Scotland, the weather might be miserable and cold at times but the countryside is beautiful here.
What do you love the most about your job?
That creative buzz you get when you have your camera in hand and always thinking…. What’s next!! I feel as a photographer you never stop evolving and will never stop learning.
Did you get a “big break” when trying to establish yourself and your career?
I feel I have never had a big break and feel as if I have to still establish myself. I am still learning the art of photography and I’m a small fish in a big pond but I am very happy with my journey so far and what I have created. I can only thank Preset Shop for wanting to do this feature as it means a lot to me.
How would you describe your style?
This is something I struggled with at the start to find and define a style but now I feel I have one but it’s not really a style. Its more like a capture of the relationship I have formed with the individual during the shoot. I don’t follow any rules, and I think what I shoot is more a reflection of me and my personality. Rapport is a critical part of the process for me, without it I feel I don’t get the best out of the shoot.
When you are shooting people, are you directing them in a certain way or letting events unfold naturally and capturing what happens?
Bit of both, I like to let events unfold but direct at the same time. A person will always do things naturally that is individual to them and they don’t know that they do it. The trick is to recognize what they are and direct them to do it without them knowing. A natural looking image will always look better than a posed image in opinion.
As you look through the viewfinder, what is the most critical moment in the capture of your image?
Pressing the button at exactly the right time to capture that image that you are wanting as if you don’t its gone for good. You press the shutter button at the wrong time and miss an expression it is the difference between a good image and an awesome image.
What is the best advice you have received so far about photography?
Shoot and do what you want to do, don’t follow rules trends etc. Figure out what it is you like and what you want to do and go do it.
What photographers from the past or present have influenced you the most?
To be honest only a few have photographers have influenced me as most of my influence has been from looking at pictures/magazines and opening yours eyes and looking at whats around me on a day to day basis. I must spend hours a day looking through the internet, magazines and pictures as I just love to see peoples, vision and different perspective on things. I also love people watching, as no two people are different and it fascinates me. Photographers that have inspired me and helped me in different ways are Rankin, Damien Lovegrove, John Denton, Richard P Walton and Mark Cleghorn. Also I would say that my family and friends have also influenced me and driven me to be what I am today as without there support I would not be where I am today.
What’s the most important thing you want potential clients to know about you?
I always give 100% on each shoot and that I will not finish shooting until they are happy with what we have. Also building rapport and relationships are important to me so our relationship becomes more like a friendship rather just a client.
What was the biggest challenge throughout your career so far?
Finding my style. When you start out you are always trying new things, experimenting but all your work looks totally different. I tried so many things and couldn’t figure out what I liked or what I wanted. This has been the most frustrating part of my journey and seemed to take an eternity to figure it out but I got there in the end.
What has been your favorite photo location or session?
Them all, no one session is the same and that’s one of the main things I love. You never know what is going to happen and I’m sure every photographer has funny stories to tell about shoots they have been on. I have made some good friends and met some amazing people so for me I don’t have any favorite sessions.
What are you currently working on?
I have just come back from watching the British Touring Car Championship at Knockhill all weekend and I have just uploaded all the images from the cards as I am writing this. I do motorsport photography for fun as I love cars and started taking my camera with me a while ago instead of just going to watch. I get to combine two of my favorite things cars/photography and for me they go so well together.
What type of cameras do you shoot with?
Canon 7D and Fuji X100. Just recently bought the X100 and I have fallen in love with it. The quality of the images are awesome and the images you get from the fixed lens at f2 are sublime.
What is your favorite photography accessory, other than your camera?
My creative imagination, without it I might as well not pick my camera up. I always have to be in the zone before I pick my camera up otherwise I feel its pointless shooting.
If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
50 mm 1.4 prime, the sharpness of the lens is amazing and I like to constantly move when I shoot. It makes you find images you wouldn’t get standing with a zoom lens and gives you a sense of achievement when you get stunning images.
What is your favorite computer/editing accessory, other than your computer?!
Spotify (digital music service for anyone who hasn’t heard of it), its gets my mind in a creative zone and keeps me going when I am on the computer editing which photographers will know can be hours!
How important is Photoshop in your final images?
I do most of my editing in Lightroom and do a small bit tidying up in Photoshop i.e cloning, levels etc.
Cos we just have to ask…!! What is your favorite +PS tool?? And how has it improved workflow time?
Oh very hard question!! I use the Preset Shop collections for Lightroom all the time and own every set of them. There are so many Lightroom presets I use over and over again I couldn’t pick one so I will pick my favorite bundles, which are Faded Film Collection, Fashion Editorial Collection and Noir Collection. One click and your images take on a whole different look.
Do you maintain a studio or do you rent one when needed?
Luckily I have access to a studio, my step dad is into photography and I work with him a lot of the time on client jobs. He has converted his double garage into a studio, its got everything you would need to make great images and lets me use it which is awesome of him.
Three photography pet hates and why?
(1) Over retouched images where the person in picture does not look like a person anymore. Photoshop is there to tweak and improve your image, not over do it and ruin it.
(2) Massive watermarks on images and uncreative/awful looking watermarks. I know as photographers we need to protect our images but we do not want to take attention away from the main thing, the picture.
(3) Unimaginative people who copy images that have been done over and over again.
What keeps you awake at night?
Knowing I have awesome images on my computer waiting to be edited, or looking forward to a shoot thats happening the next day.
Where would you wish to wake up tomorrow?
Monaco, its somewhere I have always wanted to visit but never have done. It would be even better if I woke up there on Grand Prix weekend though.
What five words would your clients use to describe you?
Professional, fun, outgoing, friendly, perfectionist.
Do you play music whilst shooting? If so, what are you digging right now?
Always play music when I am shooting as it adds to the experience. I always let the person I am shooting pick to make them feel at ease and get in the mood. If they don’t know what to pick I always put on my Old School Dance classics playlist, always get people smiling.
Big plans for the future? What’s next?
This is the exciting thing I have no idea! I want to continue to grow as a creative and improve my photography to get to a higher level and make money from doing something I love.
Website: Is under construction right now but in the meantime my Facebook page is Jamie Howden