An Interview With: Jacob Caulfield

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I am a BA (Hons) photography graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University. Born and raised in Coventry, I have split my time between University and working as a studio assistant for Hungry Tiger studios in London. Its been a bit punishing as far as the travelling goes, but the balance of education and the workplace has meant I have been able to develop myself and explore different areas of photography. This has also enabled me to build up a good list of contacts.

What would be a short description of your work?

My most recent project centred on Biophillia (Our love of life and the living world. The affinity of human kind for other life forms). My work explores the ordinary or overlooked pieces of nature that have been installed or slotted into a developed space. It is a study of how nature remains within modern society, examining the way we transform our surroundings with these naturel forms.

What genre do you consider your work to be?

I think my work is quite minimalist, it is something which has developed as I have built my style of photography.

Where did the idea for this project come from?

Originally it came from a different project I was working on regarding development of cities and its impact on the surrounding environment. I spent a lot of my time walking around London and Manchester, looking at how these old buildings were being surrounded or demolished. I started to notice these small areas of greenery, which would pop up in the middle of these polished steel and glass buildings. It was from there that I started to look at the little pieces of nature that were sat on desks, window sills or given centre stage in a lobby or foyer.

Wherever I went I would see these natural forms set in their sterile surroundings, bathed in artificial light, some would be seldom watered and neglected but yet held the room together and made it less ordered. These little links to nature which we seem to need but give very little thought to actually looked beautiful and tranquil when photographed in their own right.

How did you light the subject? And why was it in this way?

I tried in most cases to use the light which the plants were actually in, although I did experiment using a small light box but felt it made it look too staged, it really detracted from the subject matter and made the natural look a bit like plastic. I wanted to have a sort of soft line between the office and what is acceptable face of nature within it.

What are you plans for the future?

After three years of student life, I think it is time to take on some serious work and earn some money. I have been talking to some of the contacts made in London and weighing up my options to travel or live down there. I’ve been fortunate to get the opportunity work with a premium menswear brand to produce some art for their stores across the globe, so I hope to continue to sell into them. My aim is to keep on developing and keep on producing my own work. Getting that displayed and building a reputation but I know it wont be easy.

What is the best piece of advice you could give a student of photography?

Talk about your work…. Constantly! Show your family, friends and colleagues...they can sometimes drop in a left of centre idea, which can open up new channels for you. I find this helps to make me stay passionate about photography. People are interested in the subject and the more you discuss it, the more you evolve and define your style.

Go to your guest lectures they are important and can be really inspirational. These people know what it takes to get there and could help you to achieve your goals so that one day it could be you doing the guest lecture.


All images copyright of Jacob Caulfield