An Interview With: Jacob Colman

Who are you and what do you do?

London born, Bristol uni photographer. I study psychology but seem to not spend much time doing it. I spend most weekends, or when I can, in Cornwall or Devon surfing and will bring my camera anywhere I go. Until recently I’ve taken photos for personal pleasure but have started as photography editor for a uni arts magazine. I love taking photos of people so gig and events photography has been a lot of fun.

How did you get into what you do?

I’ve always been creative and artistic but seemed to lack much natural ability to draw and paint, despite the attempts of my Mum who was a picture restorer. I had a friend who picked it up when we were about 13 and realised I loved using his camera so eventually got myself one. Since I’ve done it more and more and end up with work I’m more happy with than terrible attempts to draw bowls of fruit.

How do you work?

I take my camera with me almost everywhere. If something catches my eye I take a photo of it. Every now again I’ll go out and try and do something like landscape photography or self portraits.

How would you describe your work?

Varied. As I and my kit has changed I’ve taken a lot of very different photos. However, I’ve always been most interested in people. I now have the confidence to take photos of them a lot.

What is your background?

Mum was a painter and always really artistic, now a Vicar. Dad works in insurance. I grew up in London. My creative side is very much from and nurtured from my Mum and being in such a weird and diverse city. 

Where does your inspiration come from?

As far as photographers, I don’t get much from them. The theory and history is never something that has interested me. Mostly I’m inspired and excited by seeing something that will make a nice photo. So interesting people and scapes with good light is my main drive.

Why photography?

I’m an introvert at heart. I like being around people but sometimes prefer being the other side of a camera. I can go off on my own and escape, similar to why people read novels. And its a perfect way to be creative, something that I think is really important.

What are your goals after University?

No clue. Something that allows me to carry on surfing and taking photos when I want. But I don’t wan’t them to be a profession. I like photography as a hobby, I think it will loose its charm as my sole job.

Is there any specific equipment you use?

35mm f1.8 lens is my baby. I rarely use anything else now. I used to take film photos with a fixed fish eye camera (basically a glorified disposable camera) but that broke.

Whats the best piece of advice you could give the readers of The Pupil Sphere?

Take your camera everywhere and have the confidence to take photos where ever you are. People usually like it even if they feel a little awkward having a lens pointing at them at first.

All images copyright of Jacob Colman


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