Today we had a talk by photographer Jooney Woodward who talked to us about her work, her website and how she began taking pictures and selling them. It was very interesting to hear about how she got into the business, and was also inspired how she uses a medium format camera when she can for editorial work as well as her personal. She is a freelance and editorial photographer who did a course of graphic design which really shows in her images. The composition in all of her photographs has been thought about carefully, following the natural lines in the image and framing her subjects very central.
She began by working for Vogue in their archive, looking at thousands of images a day, getting inspiration from them, especially from the posing. After working for Vogue for 7 years she moved away from the Photoshopped fashion images and produced her won very rural portraits and landscapes.
She talked about her experiences with some of her main images, and how she conquered her fear of approaching people for portraits in which she said a sitter once said to her “If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no.” and this stuck with her. She explained how she still gets nervous, but once you get past the first few encounters it becomes a lot easier to approach people on the street. She gave us types on how we can make ourselves seem more approachable, by wearing bright colour rather than blacks and always greeting people with a smile and explaining why we want to take a photograph of them. If they say yes then engage with them, ask them questions to keep them interested and to also give yourself time to get ready to take the picture.
I have found this advice really useful and will definitely keep it in mind the next time I want to ask someone for a photograph.
Some website and portfolio advice she gave was to make sure that it is clear on what photography you want to do, as this is what people will ask you to do and not to worry about style too much as that will come with time.
For an editorial portfolio you do not need to have any text as they are only interested in looking at your images, but for gallery’s they need to have the text along side your images as this is how they will be presented, they need to know the idea behind the work. However both needs to flow easily, and pairing images is very important, making sure they work well next to each other.
Overall I found Jooney Woodward’s talk very useful and I found her work very inspiring how she works mostly with natural light and with a medium format camera. It is definitely the type of work I could see myself doing in the future.