When Jack attended the Venice Biennale with the BA (Hons) Architecture course in 2014, he purchased his first photography camera, a Canon 100D, to take street and architectural photography. What he didn’t know was the influence this would have on his passion for photography and future career.
“I quickly discovered that I loved capturing special little memories. That was where I did my first ever sunrise with a camera, and discovered long exposures along the grand canal. Safe to say, I got hooked from there!”
In December 2023, Jack captured a ‘sunstar’ – an incredibly rare natural phenomenon during a two-month winter period – between the arches of Durdle Door in the morning hours. His work has been recognised by the masses, making BBC headlines and receiving over 15,000 likes on his own Instagram account, and counting.
Capturing the sunstar was a monumental challenge, as Jack tells us: “You have to take into account the quality of the lens, the amount of aperture blades, diffraction, and marks on your sensor, all of which can very quickly degrade the quality of the image when printing big. I was constantly wiping the lens with a clean cloth, having waves crash up to my knees as the tide created the interest in the foreground, and all while making sure the sunstar was coming out as crisp as possible in camera.
“I knew as soon as I took it that it was a special image (as a photographer, you get goosebumps as soon as you press that shutter and see the back of the screen). I never expected it to take off just as much as it did!”
After graduating from AUB with a BA (Hons) Architecture degree, Jack was employed at a local architecture practice. It was his entrepreneurial drive, however, that gave him the ambition to try something new and pursue the career he wanted. His landscape photography was already gaining traction on Facebook and Instagram, being asked to work with the likes of BBC and big camera brands.
“Although I knew early on that going back to do a Master’s in architecture wasn’t for me. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, it’s just not for everyone. I knew quickly that I wanted to do something different, and you have to trust your gut instinct, always.
"I thought to myself – why couldn’t I do this as a side hustle, monetise it somehow alongside a full-time job, and just see where it goes?”
Over the last five years, Jack has built his landscape photography career into a professional business with stunning results. He finally took the leap in August 2022 to pursue it full-time, leaving behind his previous career in architecture – a decision that he says was the "best move, ever".
"I owe a lot to architecture for teaching me a lot about how to see in photography, and I mean properly see. You quickly get taught to justify your design choices early on in the course, and this helps you to see past just ‘something’ – like, a line isn’t just a line, it’s there for a purpose. Where is it leading too? Why is it that short or that long? There are so many cross transferable skills that really helped me along my journey.”
One of these skills was learning the Adobe Suite, having used Lightroom and Photoshop in his daily practice. Not only did this come in useful for developing his business with graphic design, logos, marketing, website building and books to name a few, but it also formed a key part of his business. He now hosts photography and post-production workshops alongside selling his prints and calendars, which often sell out an entire year in advance.
Jack tells us curating his dream job took “a lot of hours practising, endless patience and lots of persistence,” yet he still feels very little pressure.
“The fact that I never knew this would be my ‘day job’ or ‘profession’ helped massively I think, as even 18 months on, I still feel very little pressure and enjoy every single second. It’s not just being out with the camera every day, which – don’t get me wrong – I absolutely adore, even if I don’t come home with a photo. It’s a day spent in my office, the great outdoors. It’s everything behind the scenes that people don’t see.”
As for the future, Jack already has opportunities lined up. He’s already mapping out his plans for 2025 and beyond, alongside international companies and personal clients. After speaking at The Photography Show in 2022 and admiring the Canon stand, he’s now working closely with them on many exciting projects, one of them being a speaker at TPS in March 2024 – “so if you want to come along to one of my talks and meet in person, it would be great to see you there!”
Jack also wants to expand his passions into new parts of the UK and study them in different seasons.
“Now that I’m not as restricted to photographing locally due to work commitments, I can now put time aside to actually travel for as long as I like – so I really want to spend more time in the Scottish Highlands and Snowdonia, while a never-ending list of European countries need to be accomplished in 2024. Who knows where it will take me!”