Gary Jorgensen recently caught up with Jeff Ascough (well over the phone and virtually over email!) to ask him 10 quick questions about photography and grab a few of his favourite images to share with everyone!
Jeff is one of the world’s leading professional photographers, winning hundreds of awards around the globe, and known for his unobtrusive documentry style of shooting. In 2009 he was named one of the top 5 wedding photographers in the world by Luxury Italian Bridal Magazine, ‘Just Married’! and in 2011 Newsweek labelled him as ‘one of the planet’s most evocative wedding photographers’.
To check out some of Jeff’s favourite images scroll to the bottom of the page or visit www.jeffascough.com for more amazing images.
“Each year I’m determined to make better photographs than the previous year – I’m constantly trying to be the best..” Jeff Ascough
1. How did you get your start in photography?
My parents invited me to join their fledgling portrait business back in the late 1980’s. At the time I was thinking of going to university to study psychology, but I thought I’d give photography a go instead. I hadn’t any interest in it until then. I started off as a portrait photographer and moved on to weddings as a natural progression.
2. How long have you been shooting professionally?
Nearly 22 years. Most of my adult life has been spent taking pictures for people. 18 years ago I started my own business, and it has paid for everything since then. Professional wedding photographers seem to be a dying breed as the market is flooded by part-timers, but I personally think that professionals will always be able to command the higher fees and get the better clientele.
3. What type of camera do you shoot with?
Currently my favourite camera is the Canon EOS 1DMKIV. I can shoot in any kind of light or situation with it. It’s probably the best camera Canon have ever made.
4. What is your favourite photography accessory, other than your camera?
I wouldn’t be without my UPstrap camera straps. I think they are the best for the type of work that I do. I don’t have to worry about cameras slipping off my shoulders when I use them.
5. How do you keep yourself motivated?
I am an incredibly competitive and driven person, and I set myself really high standards when it comes to photography. Each year I’m determined to make better photographs than the previous year – I’m constantly trying to be the best. Also my livelihood depends on my photography, so everything from the mortgage payments through to the food on our table relies on me being able to take pictures that people like. That is often motivation enough. I also think that in today’s marketplace you need to stay ahead of the pack in order to prosper, and I find motivation comes easily in an economic downturn.
6. Which photographer inspires you?
7. Any blogs/websites you visit often or can recommend?
In terms of wedding photographers, I enjoy looking at my good friend Marcus Bell’s blog, www.studioimpressions.com.au/blog/.
8. The best piece of advice you were ever given?
Consistency is the key to becoming a good photographer. Anyone can win an award, but there are very few that shoot week in, week out and produce consistently good images.
9. Where do you think wedding photography will be in 5 years time?
I think for those professionals at the top of the profession, with great work and superb customer service, wedding photography will still be a good profession to be involved in. For those that are in the mass market – I can see many photographers not being here in five years time. There are too many people entering the marketplace and competing with each other for the market to be sustainable over the short term.
10. Last but not least, matted or digital albums?