TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR CREATIVE BACKGROUND
My name's Laura Jones and I'm a professional photographer based in Edinburgh. My photography brand, Darklight Photography, specialises in portraiture. My creative journey started at a young age. I was fortunate to have a wonderful artistic Granddad who was so passionate about art, his love certainly inspired me as a young child. I was always eager to look at old photographs that my Grandparents had - with my Dad then purchasing a film camera of his own, I began to see how capturing people's lives was so special and timeless. When I began studying at art college, my passion for photography grew and grew - and let's just say, the rest is history. I have studied and self-taught myself many photography skills, photographing architecture, landscapes and many more - but my heart for capturing people always brings me back to portraiture.
CAN YOU GIVE US AN INSIGHT INTO YOUR PRACTICE AND WHAT YOU DO?
I love meeting new people! Building a relationship with the person I am capturing is fundamental to my work. I really pride myself in building trust and confidence with people, to ensure that I am capturing their best side (there's no hiding that uncomfortable face in a photograph). When setting up the photo shoot, I will invite the person to meet with me prior to taking their photograph, this gives us both the opportunity to get to know one another. This relationship helps the person feel at ease when we next meet at the shoot. Most of my photographs are taken at a location of the individuals choice, whether indoors or outdoors. Another important aspect of my work is that I rarely edit images. I'm so passionate about capturing individuals in natural light or using a simple light source and showing the person and their surroundings as they are.
DO YOU HAVE ANY EXCITING PROJECTS OR EVENTS ON THE HORIZON?
For the past few months, I have been so lucky in capturing creative business owners and individuals who live and/or work in Edinburgh as part of my personal branding photography 'Your Business Your Story'. The authentic and natural style to my imagery, using only natural light or a simple light source, shows an honest and genuine representation of the individual and their business. The inspiration behind this comes from a project I did three years ago called 'My Favourite Room' - a photograph of an individual within their favourite room in their home or work. I wanted to expand on this idea by using the same format, but this time telling a story - their portrait shot leading to individual images of objects and/or their surroundings which gives the viewer a more in-depth glimpse into that persons life and business. It also breaks down the barrier between work and personal life, showing the viewer the person behind the work. I also have exciting work lined up with Bright Side Studios and the National Trust Scotland Georgian House, all based in this amazing city - watch this space!
WHAT MAKES EDINBURGH A GOOD BASE FOR CREATIVES?
Edinburgh has brought me so much creative joy! Since moving here in 2017, I have found inspiration from the many wonderful art galleries we have on our doorstep, to taking in the beautiful cityscape of the old town. Inspiration is everywhere and as a photographer, it never stops. I can totally see why artists are so drawn to this city and because of this, it is the perfect place to be based as a creative person - not least due to the many artistic networks, including those within Creative Edinburgh. There really isn't a better city to be in.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE THINKING OF PURSUING A CAREER IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES?
Networking with other creative individuals and keeping your social media pages up to date, would definitely be two of my top tips. However, I think my number one tip would be, never be afraid to ask. What I mean by this is 'if the worse answer you're going to get back is a 'no' then the question is worth asking'. I have messaged people out of the blue on social media before to ask if I can take their portrait shot - you never know what opportunities it will lead you to and building relationships with people can lead to so many wonderful ventures. Just ask.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT CREATIVE EDINBURGH?
Creative Edinburgh is all about facilitating an online networking space and encouraging support amongst other creative individuals. This was and still is a huge benefit to me as a newbie to the city. With Creative Edinburgh's super friendly and responsive support, I have advertised photography projects on their forum and social media pages and have found myself tucking into a yummy breakfast at their morning networking sessions. Being a member allows you to be part of a much larger network, knowing the support is there, with there being no such thing as a silly question!