INTERVIEW WITH DAWN MARIE JONES

Dawn Marie Jones is a photographer with more than just fashion and beauty shoots under her belt. She has travelled the world capturing charming images and recently spent 10 surreal days in the Peruvian jungle shooting something with a bigger cause at its core – sustainability. We sat down with the extraordinary photography to discuss how she manages her hectic freelance schedule, how she keeps great working relationships with her clients and what her vision is for her future.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY?

I used to be a property agent in Greece before moving to Bulgaria and I wanted to get into something that I was passionate about, which was photography. So I decided to study in the UK. I graduated from Edinburgh College and Abertay University with a distinction in photography.

Dawn Marie Richards © Dawn Marie Jones

WHAT MADE YOU DO IT?

The global property market crashed in 2008 and I wanted to be creative and express my passion.

DOES TRAVEL INSPIRE YOUR WORK?

Yes, living around the world and seeing the beauty of different countries and cultures is inspiring visually and creatively.

Dawn Marie Jones USA© Dawn Marie Jones 

HOW CAN PHOTOGRAPHERS BUILD A PORTFOLIO FROM SCRATCH?

The most important thing is to set aside some time to collaborate. It’s all about test shooting to get a variety of images in your portfolio.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST ACCOMPLISHMENT SO FAR?

It was actually something that I did recently. I travelled to Peru to shoot for a charity called Fashion for Conservation, they combine a passion for animal rights and conservation with the beauty and extravagance of fashion. They promote the idea of sustainable fashion and I got to shoot for their latest issue, which meant spending 10 days in the Peruvian jungle. It was amazing and I also shot their latest campaign. They have a Ted Talk that really inspired me to get involved with them. It made me think of how we all contribute to how wasteful the fashion industry is because we all wear clothes and dispose of them quickly. I’ve always loved the beauty of fashion but didn’t always feel right contributing to the wasteful element of it.

Dawn Marie Jones Portraits© Dawn Marie Jones 

HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT FINDING SUBJECTS FOR YOUR PORTRAITS?

I usually get contacted by model agencies who are looking for test shoots for their models portfolios, so I do this in my spare time. I also get contacted by musicians and artists who are looking to build up their public profile.

HOW DID YOU GET THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOOT AT LFW AND HOW DID YOU FIND THE EXPERIENCE?

I began shooting for ON|OFF who showcase a variety of fashion designers during the shows for a couple of seasons. It isn’t something that I do every season as it’s a very specific type of photography and I prefer planned photoshoots but it’s a great event for networking and meeting new people.

Dawn Marie Richards Photography © Dawn Marie Jones 

YOU MET A CLIENT AT A FREELANCER CLUB EVENT. DO YOU STILL SHOOT FOR THEM AND HOW HAVE YOU MANAGED TO NURTURE THAT RELATIONSHIP?

Yes, I met and collaborated with a brand through the website. They are quite a new brand and they’ve kept in touch since that event. I shot their latest collection and they want me to do a shoot later this year, we have a great relationship. As it’s a new brand I’m flexible with them and I always invest time into helping my clients in any way that I can. I have met other clients via The Freelancer Club as well, one is a hat brand called Joli To Be and another is a jewellery brand based in Nigeria who I shoot for when they come to the UK!

WHAT HELPS YOU DEAL WITH THE UNPREDICTABLE ELEMENT OF BEING A FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER?

It’s taken me a while to get to the point where I’m not panicking during quieter times in my career. Being a freelancer, it can sometimes be either a fast or a feast but I’ve learned to utilise the quiet times. I look through my portfolio and think of what needs to be added to it, but above all, I’ve learned to have a work/ life balance. You have to have time off and enjoy life, after all, it contributes to being creative.

Dawn Marie Jones Travel Photography
© Dawn Marie Jones 

IS THERE ONE SHOOT THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR YOU AND REALLY HELPED TO PROPEL YOUR CAREER?

There hasn’t been one particular shoot. It’s a continual process of working hard. I’ve been in London for 4 years now and it’s taken time for me to build up my photography career. I appreciate all of the opportunities that I’ve had.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

I want to work more with Fashion for Conservation and work with fashion brands who are working towards a sustainable future. It makes me feel good about my work!

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