My Career: Jack Alexander Photography
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Whether you dream of being a designer, fancy yourself as a photographer, or are made for marketing, we’ve spoken to individuals currently working in various areas of the fashion industry to find out how they made themselves stand out from the crowd in this increasingly competitive industry, and what their job is really like! Jack Alexander, of Jack Alexander Photography, is a portrait photographer with a rapidly rising reputation. His stunning portraits of upcoming fashion models and celebrities such as Olly Murs, Charlotte Church, Lawson and Keith Lemon are gaining him international acclaim as one of the UK’s most talented young photographers. He spoke to The National Student about his career as a photographer, which follows his time at university studying an entirely different subject… When did your interest in photography begin? A friend of mine bought his first DSLR and, having stolen his at any given opportunity, I asked for my own for my 18th birthday. I did my first portrait shoot in July 2009. I just enjoyed taking photos of friends but most were reluctant to be photographed, which is when I began setting up organised shoots as such, and it went from there. What led you to choose to study English Language at university rather than photography? I started shooting over the summer before I was due to begin university. By that point, I’d already picked my course and sat my exams. I was leaning towards a career in journalism but wanted to choose a degree that gave me other options, in case I changed my mind three years down the line. But I wouldn’t change anything now. I enjoy photography because I shoot what I please, and do so at my own pace. Did you ever, during your degree, consider pursuing a career in something other than photography? My time at University only further confirmed how much I wanted to pursue photography long term. When I moved I had a whole new town to explore, including new places and new people. I had to remember my English degree was the real reason I was there – but things were going increasingly well with photography at the same time, so it was hard to find a balance at times. When did you realise that photography was what you really wanted to do? ‘By the time I finished university in April 2012 I was already sure it was what I wanted to pursue. I’d been left with no time to shoot due to assignments, but had lined up a lot of work for as soon as I finished. I spent May travelling the UK for various projects and felt right at home doing it. Shooting portraits of Charlotte Church for the press campaign supporting her return to music in September of that year was the point I really felt I could make a career of it. To have a household name trust me with such a responsibility was definitely a turning point. After that, I just wanted more.’ Was it difficult to balance studying for your degree with finding time to pursue your ambition for a career in photography? Of course, it was difficult to balance my studies with finding time for photography. The more I enjoyed photography, the less I was invested in English. I felt I was wasting my time on a degree I had no intention to use. My uni course often took a back seat, but I had to remind myself it wasn’t forever. In my final year I put photography aside for a few months, worked hard at my degree and managed to get the results I wanted. Are there any photographers that were an inspiration to you as you developed your own style?
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