Friday 17 June 2011

How I went from Spare time --> Full time photographer

One of the questions I get asked on a regular basis is how I got to where I am, how I went from amature photographer to it being my full time job and earning a living from I thought I would answer that in this blog post.

The whole reason I started taking photos was because I wanted to see how I was riding...So lots of photos of my mates down the local woods, and the local resident pro Ash Mullane who I still shoot now...that coupled with a great growing local scene gave me the reason and story to get my work out in front of a wider audience via websites, forums etc as FB wasn't really about when I first started.

Few photos from back in 2006 both taken in the first week of having my first ever camera...

From there on I started working with wideopen , I have been involved since day Nil and got the cover shot of issue 1...staff photographer to this day and 15 issues later still going...

It was through putting work ( only the best of my work ) online via websites like SDH and in Wideopen that helped me get noticed, make contacts with riders and keep upping the quality of my work.

Everything just seemed to snow ball from there, not through luck at that stage more through pure determination, fun and hard work. Back then I did it just for the fun, didn't make any money, worked a paper round to get to the races and snap photos and was just stoked to see them online... I slowly got more and more into it, my photos started getting on more and more sites, i started going to a few nationals, then a few of the Ft Bill WCs...

As I got more and more involved in photography, my grades in school dropped as I knew it was what I wanted to do, and when your faced with swatting for exams or going out doing what you love and getting paid for it on top, it wasn't to hard of a choice...

So in a very simplified bullet point list this is how I did it...

  • Invested in a DSLR
  • Shot ALL the time of my local scene/woods/mates and put the best of the best online
  • Started getting work on websites/in online magazine etc
  • Started going to races, regionals at first then slowly to nationals then WCs
  • Started getting more of a name as someone to watch
  • Work in a few paying places ( small companies, magazines etc )
  • Work for bigger magazines and companies
  • Left school after A levels and went full time as a self employed photographer/film maker...
So that's how I did it, by no means the proper way with uni, work experience etc but it seemed to work for any More questions leave them in the comments bellow...


  1. That top photo is the one we used on the Fearingout flyers back in 2006 I think it was? Jacob - you're professionalism even back then working with as a 'team photographer' was clearly visible. That combined with a natural talent has been core to your success. Glad to have been a part of what started you off, happy to have got you involved with the Wideopen project back in 2007, proud to have you involved with the mag to this day. Good luck in whatever happens in the future :)

  2. Nice work Jacob - best of luck for the future! Neil @ Aston Hill

  3. Question 1: Please can I have your job?

  4. haha Nope sorry, I kinda like it...

  5. You missed out pretty damned talented!! great to have you as part of the Madison Saracen team


  6. Your work and determination is a grate inspiration to me, keep it up.

    Best Wishes