In episode 5 of Media Will Eat Itself, professional photographer Joby Sessions describes his journey into photography, how he adapted to the advances of technology and the changing demands of the job, and how his advice might help you find your own way in the world of photography.
He has made the transition to videography by virtue of his understanding of his craft, but also of the changing landscape of freelance opportunities.
He recently leapt into the exciting world of freelancing, starting his own company with his partner Louise, called One Twenty Pictures. I visited Joby at his home in Bath on a particularly rainy day, and with the newest member of his family listening in: Reg the Jack Russell puppy.
01:04 Skip the intro. Get straight into who Joby is and what he does for a living. And what’s it like to set up your own company? Are creative people any good at it?
04:50 How did Joby become a photographer? It was a little by accident, as he initially wanted to get involved in theatre and journalism. In the end, it was being thrown into the deep end that kickstarted his career.
09:50 How has the photography industry changed? Joby describes how technology has affected the landscape, explaining that it always has. However, when digital photography came to the fore, it dramatically changed everything. The biggest change, however, is probably client expectations.
12:46 How has Joby had to adapt as a professional photographer. The learning curve involves photoshop and raw processing, and the skills you need to have to operate as a modern photographer.
16:20 The discussion turns from photography to videography. Is the technical leap a natural one, or a cliff edge? The step change was when DSLRs took over from camcorders. And then there’s the world of audio!
21:38 Social media has introduced people to becoming a daily photographer. Joby talks about his own approach to the likes of Instagram, and self-branding. He struggles with the concept of self-promotion, but knows more than he lets on about social media and the art of drumming up business.
17:38 What about the practical side of things? What does the format of modern media engagement look like? What will we be using over the next couple of years? Regardless of talking about the practical side of modern media, Tom inevitably brings our conversation back to the human element, a subject he’s incredibly passionate about.
25:38 The internet has created many avenues for enthusiasts to make money. What does Joby think of stock photography?
Finally, Joby offers advice to students looking to make a career in photography, and it’s solid gold.