Jas Stephenson is a creative, upcoming photographer from Manchester, UK. We were delighted when Jas agreed to complete a featured photographer interview for Urbanity Chic so that we could share her creative flair and ideas with you. Read the full interview below to find out, amongst other things, what current fashion icons inspire her, her favourite photographer and what she does to relax when not working.
Q: How did you get into professional photography?
i started to appreciate photography in My first year of college in 2006, whilst attending my first photography class. This first class gave me a thirst to want to know more, to gain a deeper insight and create creative images.
Q: What do you enjoy most photographing?
I enjoy putting together a shoot, talking over my ideas with models, clothing designers and so on. Then creating the final outcome means and it coming out the way I planned it means a lot to me. I love my shoots to be a collaboration of talents and ideas, I feel this creates a better working atmosphere and great images.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
2010 was a great year for me, I created more contacts started a fresh chapter at a different university and began to shoot a lot more images that ment something to me and challenged me creatively.
Q: Who inspires you?
I have a lot of different inspirations, but some one of my biggest is David Lachapelle, I love his use of vivid colours and I will use colour in my images as much as I possibly can. Also the models and people I work with inspire me to constantly to strive for better images, to create great concepts within my photography and I believe that this inspiration has helped me come on leaps and bounds in the last few years.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
I do not want it to sound like a cliche but Lady Gaga inspires me she is wacky but in away that we can all respond to especially in the creative industry, she has no boundaries and I want to develop images that are equally as colourful and vivid as her with and hopefully have no boundaries. Kate Moss is also a great inspiration, she has featured in many images by some of the worlds leading photographers and she has somehow stayed relevant and modern throughout her career and that is inspiring.
Q: What makes a good photographer in your opinion?
Some one who is creative, sticks to their style but develops it along the way. A great photographer has to think outside the box and create images that someone else may have not even thought of yet. I want to develop my style in to more of an out of the box thinking, to create strange concepts that are pleasing to the eye.
Q: Do you prefer using film cameras or digital?
I prefer digital, I have used film quite a bit in the past and sometimes is agrees with me and sometimes it does not. Its a shame really as I would like to use if further but find it more relevant to use digital.
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
i adore both really, the studio i love when you want to be a perfectionist especially about the lighting you use. Also I find the studio space a lot more private and not many people can disturb you whilst you are trying to create great images. I love on location because you have a natural or man made backdrop its there, you can compose your image around it, I feel as long as I have my reflector and on camera flash it does not matter what weather I am faced with I will create the image I am looking for.
Q: Do you have an interesting stories about a particular photo shoot you’d like to share?
My on location shoots are quite interesting, people walking up to me asking me what I am doing, asking if they can take pictures of me taking pictures.
One person quite recently came along on a bike stopped and asked me If it was alright to take an image of the models, I informed him that they would have to ask the models themselves. He went on and asked them if he could take an image of them for a painting he was doing, they said yes and then he informed them he thought they were men to begin with and thats why he wanted to take a picture of them. I dont understand why he did not think this was rude and apologise but he did not and he left. Shortly after we were chased off the location we were shooting on by a Cafe owner, a fun day.
Q: Do you have a specific style of photography that makes you unique?
I believe that a have a use of colour in my images, that is developing with each shoot I do. I feel my Dyslexia helps with this, I usually see things over saturated, vivd in tone and i feel more often then not I bring this through to my imagery. i also love to direct the models in to odd poses that stretch their bodies in odd angles, or simply have them appear to be hanging from a tree by their arms. I feel sometimes my creative ideas are what make my imagery unique to me.
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
I love Man Rays image called Tears, I adore the composition the use of lighting it just makes for such an amazing image. The first time I saw that images was in 2006 and I remember just thinking wow. I also love most images by Anne Leibovitz and David LaChapelle.
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
I would say It has to be David Lachapelle due to his amazing use of colour, it just appeals to me. I love how eye catching his images are and he seems to me eccentric I quite like that about him and his imagery.
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with (either behind or in front of the camera)?
I would love to work with Lady Gaga, that would be rather amazing and a challenge as well to create something as artistic and bold as her image. Also I would love to work with bands, i feel that band photography, promotions is closely linked to fashion imagery. I would of course love to develop my fashion imagery further and work with creative designers such as the Alexandra McQueen’s creative team.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me means something creative, its away to express what you are and who you are. I also believe fashion has been a great outlet for me over the years from my own dress sense to working with stunning clothing designers. It is away for me to release my creative ideas and meet great people and muses for future work and I love it.
Q: Where are you based?
I am based in Manchester, I live in a small town called Radcliffe which is quite near to the city centre itself.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Where I live it just like any other small town I suppose. People who work, some that do not and I believe there are majority who want to achieve something bigger for themselves then to just stay in Radcliffe, that sounds harsh to the people of Radcliffe but I believe it to be true. I want to be a full time fashion photographer, to have images published in fashion magazines and to create a stunning career for myself.
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
I feel the highlight of my career has been receiving my first payment that was a great feeling to see that someone was pleased with what I had created and wanted to pay for it. Also one massive highlight was having some of my images published in 2009 that was a great feeling and one I wish to repeat in the future.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
I am hoping to achieve further work first, then build up my reputation within this creative industry. Hopefully I will published once or twice this year. Most of all I wish to have met lots of great and creative people that I can build a working career with.
Q: What do you do to relax?
I relax at home with my two cats Smudge and Smokey, they do provide hours os amusement. I go the cinema, see friends and family. I also paint, surf the internet and listen to music, I suppose just like everyone else does.
Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?
There is quite a mixture really, there is some Papa Roach, Lost prophets, Lady Gaga, Foo Fighters, My Chemical Romance and I have a sneaky feeling that there may be some Christina Aguilera on there and maybe Avril Lavigne. Both guilty pleasures.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for aspiring photographers what would it be?
I would say go with your gut instinct do what you feel is right. Create wacky images as you start out, just experiment with all types of imagery and then you will find your own style and do not let anyone put you down, but do take creative criticism it will help you in the long run.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
I motivated by the ideas that come from my head, from the ideas of others. I am motivated from photography in general, its such a creative and beautiful art form and I would not be with out it.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
I am available all the time, for shoots, stalls and promotion. I love to work and would love some more work to come my way.
Editor’s Note: Jas Stephenson’s work is both vivid and memorable. One thing that we love about Jas Stephenson’s work is that she is not afraid to experiment with ideas and concepts to create a unique piece of work.
If you’d like to contact Jas Stephenson, or see more examples of her work, just follow the links below:
facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001681838616
web page link: www.photographyjas.webs.com