About Me

So James Crockford Photography, tell me a bit about yourself then

I am a West Midlands based photographer, living in Birmingham with my wife Kat, and our two lovely boys, Joshua and Joseph. I emigrated to Birmingham from West Sussex to study at University (hence my non-brummie accent).  I came away with a degree, and my future wife, and stayed here ever since.

 

 


I did wonder about the posh southern accent.  So what did you do at University.

My degree is in African Studies.  I loved it.  I tended to focus mostly on popular culture – art and music etc, but also looked at politics, economics and history etc.  I also DJ’d and helped run an African music club night with some mates.  Africa really is a fascinating place.

Ah yes. Africa: What an amazing country.

Continent.

Sorry, yes. Continent.

Loads of people do that – no idea why.  It’s massive, incredibly diverse, there is so much more to it than corruption, poverty and safari animals.  And don’t even get me started on TV programmes that show one country, but play music from a totally different country… I’ll get off my high horse now.  Apologies.  Once I get to know you I will play you some of my favourite African music.

So, getting back to the subject: Photography – tell me a bit about that then.

I started at school when I was about 13, when me and two mates, Simon and Andy, discovered the Darkroom.  We experimented and taught ourselves to develop and print black and white photos, and used to spend hours messing about taking and printing photos.  While I was at the University of Birmingham I also worked part time taking photos for the ID cards, and although it sounds trivial, I realise now how useful that was for learning how to manage large numbers of people and get good photos within seconds of meeting someone.  Even if it was just for an ID card. I guess once I got the photography bug it sort of never left me.

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Photograph © Joshua Crockford. (Before the beard…)

And so you decided to make it into a business?

Yes.  In 2005 I decided that if I didn’t give it a go I would always regret it.  I was really influenced and supported by the photographer from our own wedding, Bruce Thomas, who had moved to the South of France (if you are going to have a mentor, choose one on the Cote D’Azure…).  I worked part time for another two years, and basically the day my eldest was born, my part-time contract ended, and I was a full time photographer.

So you gave up a salary the day your first child was born.  Was that wise?

Well if you don’t take a risk you will never get anywhere….

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Good point.  And how has the business developed?

It has been brilliant – wouldn’t have missed it for anything.  As with all businesses, things have changed and developed over time: I developed my own style and skills, and now I focus on pets, portraits and weddings. I do also have a separate business for corporate and commercial work.

So, which bit do you prefer shooting…?

That’s like choosing my favourite child.  I enjoy each aspect for different reasons, and genuinely take inspiration from everything I do.  But clearly my favourite child is J…. Nah…  Not going there.

Image © Gill Taylor

Image © Gill Taylor

 

You mentioned Kat and the boys….

Yes.  I met Kat on my first day at University.  We started going out in the first term and have been together ever since.  She is instrumental in making sure everything is running smoothly, and although she has a full time job of her own, she also has a big input into the business.  She’s the best.

And the boys…?

My gorgeous boys. Yes.  Joshua and Joseph (we like names beginning with J in my family).  They are two different but equally beautiful boys.  Josh does everything at a million miles an hour, and is also really sensitive and caring, and Joe is a determined little mite (gets that from his mother) as sharp as a tack and very engaging.  I love the three of them unimaginably.

So, has that been of use?

Yes, thanks.  Any final words of wisdom?

Never run with scissors in your hands.

Whatever.  Thanks.

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Image © Gill Taylor

Image © Gill Taylor