The Rug Seller: Photography Insights

On August 19th – it’s world photography day. Here at The Rug Seller, we’re a very visual brand who believe in the power of good photography.

To celebrate this day, we had a chat to our in-house photography, Jo, about her experiences as a photographer, her working style and her advice to how to get into photography.

How did you get into photography?

When I was younger all my friends kept diaries but I was never very good at expressing myself through words. So when I was about 14, I asked for a camera so I could document my life with my friends and from then on I had the photography bug.

Black and white landscape photography of soft rocks surrounded by water

How would you describe your working style?

I would say my working style is very off the cuff, I don’t like to plan too much as I would rather let my subject, location and the lighting speak to me. I find having a feel for the moment works better for me than having a plan worked out.

What do you think makes your work distinct?

I would say my personality and passion makes my work distinct. You could give a number of photographers the same brief but each person would interpret it differently, and the results would be quite varied – that’s the real beauty of photography.

Close up photography of a sleeping baby laying on a soft white fluffy plush throw

Do you shoot digitally or with film? Or both?

I shoot digitally, due to the times we live in now – but oh how I miss shooting with film! Nothing compares to developing and printing your own images, I always got such a buzz from seeing my images come to life in the developer.

What type of equipment/gear do you use?

I am a Canon girl at heart – just due to my personal preference all my own equipment is Canon, but I do use Nikon for work.

What is your favourite photography style?

Landscape, Macro, Portraiture etc.

I love portraiture photography; it is like you are capturing someone’s soul in a split second that will last a lifetime. I also love fine art and abstract photography, things that push the boundaries and really make you think about the image as a whole.

A close up portraiture photography shot of a smiling woman glancing downwards wearing smokey make up and rose coloured lipstick

Which photographers influenced you?

There are so many influential photographers every photographer puts into their work, like Cindy Sherman. Her self-expression with her early self-portraits, to Dorothea Lane capturing the raw beauty of ordinary people and their everyday struggles in life. I also love David LaChppelle and his bold use of colour and pushing boundaries.

Portraiture photography shot of a glamourously dressed woman sitting elegantly in a white bathtub

How did you get from being an aspiring photographer to actually doing it full time, for a living?

I took an evening class when I was 16, as I knew very little of the technical side of photography. From there it spurred me on to higher education. I then got a Saturday job in a local studio and that was my foot in the door. I then went on to work for a variety of portrait studios throughout the North West.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you started taking pictures?

I wish I had known how difficult it was to break into as a career. Having a love of photography and making a living from it are quite different, but very rewarding when you master both!

What would you say to an aspiring newbie photographer?

Never give up. This is a difficult industry and you will always suffer setbacks and criticism but if you have the passion, love and drive for photography you will always go far. Trust yourself and that will shine through in your work.