About Doug Jackson - Photographer
Always fascinated by photography Doug Jackson from the age of thirteen worked in a local camera shop at weekends selling camera equipment and giggling at people’s holiday snaps. He later qualified with a BA (Hons) in Industrial Design and went on to work as an industrial designer at a small consultancy in Scotland. There he worked on designs for vehicle styling and graphics, show stands, ergonomic mock-ups of operator cabs, designing cabs for New Holland, Massey Ferguson and Terex and many more projects. After four years in the design industry Doug Jackson decided it maybe wasn’t 100% for him and was lucky enough to hear of a role for a trainee press photographer on a local newspaper in his home-town of Whitby.
His professional photography career began with Yorkshire Regional Newspapers in 1999. Prior to establishing himself as a freelance photographer, he had worked as a senior staff photographer at regional newspapers including the Whitby Gazette, Scarborough Evening News, The Northern Echo and Darlington and Stockton times.
“One of the most amazing aspects of press photography is the sheer variety of assignments you are sent on. There are the usual suspects such as a 100-year birthday, diamond wedding anniversary’s and the sport photography. But then you have the unexpected events, the hard news, which requires you to be fast thinking and determined to get ‘that shot’. I remember in my first few weeks as a trainee blagging my way on to a helicopter to get coverage of the huge moorland fire that had covered miles of the North Yorkshire Moors. For a moment, it felt more like working for the National Geographic than the Whitby Gazette. Press photography also helped me to gain confidence with people. To put people at ease in front of the camera you have to be at ease behind it. I learnt about photography in all environmental conditions and lighting situations as well as thinking on my feet. A press photographer typically has 5-8 jobs a day. Each one is a fresh opportunity to do something creative and try and be original. You would be amazed at the things you can do with giant cheque!”
“Starting my own business, in 2007, has been very rewarding but hard work. Being self-employed is great but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone unless you are prepared to put in the hours. It has however allowed me to do some very interesting work, I have photographed within a section of the new Tyne tunnel whilst it was being sunk onto the river bed. I have taken photos from helicopters, gliders, tower cranes, from moving cars and motorcycles, it’s never dull!”
PLEASE NOTE: I DO DRESS IN WORK APPROPRIATE CLOTHING WHEN ON A COMMISION
“The variety of commissions means one day you can be photographing vegetables being harvested in a rainy field and the next day photographing fashion in a country house. One of the big disadvantages of being a sole trader is that you actually work a lot on your own but this is somewhat offset by the interesting people you meet whilst on commissions. Every business, charity, organisation and individual have their own story and one of the real privileges of my job is that I get to peek behind the curtain. I get to visit a blast furnace, a homeless charity, handle ancient museum artifacts, talk with that women who just cycled around the world. It’s a lot of fun.”
“This photograph above was taken whilst on a month-long motorcycle tour of Scandinavia. I have travelled many parts of the world on a motorcycle covering almost all of Europe and as far afield as New Zealand. See below for a slideshow of some of our travels. When not working I relax by riding and building motorcycles (I have too many) and when I get the chance I love to sail. Although I work throughout the UK on assignments covering a wide range of commissions, my wife, myself and children enjoy living in Yorkshire because of its beauty, diversity of landscapes, friendly people and excellent pies.” – DOUG JACKSON, FREELANCE PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER, SHEFFIELD.
More About Doug Jackson Photographer..
I like the images to jump off the page a little bit. Some photographers use only available light, which works wonderfully in some circumstances, but I find your average office and workshop to have pretty flat light. I started using simple off camera flash set-ups at the beginning of my career and have developed over time a lighting set-up that is light, portable and importantly takes only a few seconds to set-up. For more demanding shoots I use a portable studio lighting set-up. Although not everything needs lighting, I feel that knowing how and when to use lighting is key. I have also said to my students in the past that if there was a truly good book about photography, then the lighting section would make up the last 2/3rd’s of that book.
I am often booked by marketing agencies for PR commissions, news agencies, directly by companies, organisations and charities. The assignments vary from a one hour shoot to do some quick portraits or head shots to multi-day shoots. Some clients will book me for a full day for video and stills if they are doing a re-brand on a new website. Get in touch with us to discuss your requirements and we can work together on the best and most cost-effective approach.
I am proud to be one of Yorkshire’s leading suppliers of Freelance commercial photography, PR photography and photography for business.
Primarily I shoot on Canon DSLR’s. I like these as I can use the same bodies for stills and video. On almost every job I will carry a lightweight lighting set-up of a couple of flashes on light stands. These are supplemented with portable umbrellas or soft boxes (depending on the job). I do use more further lighting set-up if I know these may be required and in difficult lighting conditions often up to six lights can be used.
Shooting video is slightly different, I have a series of LED lamps for video shoots as well as various camera supports/rigs and then there is the sound gear too. This comprises of clip mics, shotgun mics as well as stands and audio recorders. I utilise a steady-cam and shoulder rig as well as the usual tripods.
When there is a commission that requires still and film gear in addition to maybe a background and all the lighting gear, its a very full car.
People occasionally want to know a bit more about Doug Jackson – Photographer. I have given talks to camera clubs as well as further education at colleges and universities. Often with the media students is has been fun to mock-up an exercise and let them actually put some ideas into practice.
Yes I do. Previously I have trained absolute novices all the way up to seasoned professionals who require a little help with the finer points of lighting. Personal tuition tends to be one-on-one or two to three students. Please get in touch for some details.