My Name is Jermaine Straker and I’m from London, England.
How long have you been taking pictures?
I’ve been taking pictures seriously for 10 months.
When did you get into photography and why?
I’ve had a camera for years as I always enjoyed taking casual photos on holiday. I then started taking photos and creating video content for my Personal Training Instagram page, those were kind of my first experiences of photography but then everything changed when my friend asked me to take some photos of him for his Instagram account, it was at that point when I realised that I actually enjoyed portraiture.
What would you say your style is and has it changed throughout the years? If so why?
Well since I started photography in January, I didn’t really have a style. I had no idea of what direction I wanted to go to so the last 10 months my style has changed massively. my style right now is simple and clean. I don’t like distracting elements in my photos, for me it’s all about the models.
How do you approach a shoot? Do you pre-plan or is it a click and run?
A bit of both to be honest and I think it will always be that way. Planned shots are great but I always seem to get the most magical shots when it’s unplanned and run and gun.
Is there an end goal you’re trying to achieve with your images, be it an aesthetic or story?
I want people to feel something when they look at my images. I want the models in my images to evoke emotions and feelings that speak out to the viewers.
Do you have an influences you can share?
Lately I’ve been influenced by the 90’s era, the fashion, the models, the music.
What inspires you?
Life. I’m inspired by everything and anything.
Is there such a thing as a bad photograph?
I think there is, everybody thinks they are photographers these days but have no concept of composition, lighting or angles.
Are you looking for a career in photography or are you just having fun?
First and foremost, I do photography because I’m in love with it but I am working towards creating a career in photography.
Which social media platforms do you use and why?
I use Instagram. I feel that instagram is the best platform for creatives to share their art and a great way to meet other creatives and collab.
Which photographers do you mainly follow on social media?
Too many great photographers to name but my favourite photographer and the one who inspired me the most has to be Sammi Swar. I find his work absolutely captivating.
What are your thoughts on mobile photography versus DSLR / mirrorless?
Mobiles can be great but can’t replace professional cameras just yet. The gap is closing though especially with the release of phones like the new iPhone X S.
Ultimately I believe a good photographer can capture great images on any device.
What’s your main go to camera, lenses and how did you make that choice?
I use a Sony A6300 mirrorless crop sensor camera and my go to lenses are my Sigma 30mm f1.4 and Sony 85mm f1.8. When I bought this camera I didn’t have a big budget and just needed a decent camera that would help me learn the basics of Photography. I still consider myself a beginner with loads to still learn, perhaps next year I will consider upgrading to a full frame camera like a A7iii or maybe the newly released Canon EOS R. The 85mm, is my go to for Portraits and beauty shots.
What is your dream location to shoot at?
I don’t really have a dream location but I’ve always wanted to shoot in Iceland.
Describe your favourite picture and how you captured it?
My favourite photo is one of a model called Ugne Ram shedding a tear. It was a really windy day and so we waited for the wind to strike her eyes and cause her to cry, the result was magical and that’s why it’s my favourite image.
In three words how would you describe your photography?
Clean, Simple, Dynamic.
How do you feel about better quality cameras being put into smart phones?
It’s great, if the cameras in phones get better the professional cameras will get better also. Technology will always get better, so I’ve just learnt to embrace it.
What are your thoughts on expensive cameras? Do you think they create better images?.
I think expensive camera can create sharper images and make life easier at times but better images aren’t determined by sharpness in my opinion. I rate a picture based on the feeling it gives me when I see it.
Also I know photographers that have £3000 cameras and don’t produce images as sharp as I do from a £500 camera, so it’s also about understanding the camera and lenses and their setting to get the most out of the equipment you have.