Meet Jamie Ferguson, a London-based fashion photographer who has just as much fun documenting fire fits as he does putting his own together. He does freelance photography for a number of publications and brands, and in 2019 he released his first book, “This Guy,” highlighting his personal photos of some of the best dressed men around. Having been admirers of his work from afar, an introduction via a mutual friend gave us the chance to chat with Jamie about his background, his work and what inspires him.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, please.
I was born and raised in Canada before moving to the UK for University. I’ve been working in menswear now for over 10 years, seven of those as a photographer. For 5 of those years I was working behind the scenes for a couple of British menswear brands, DAKS and most recently Drake's, where I did a variety of things; a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none if you will. When I first started off freelancing full time as a photographer I was lucky to immediately start working and producing content for Trunk Clothiers and Permanent Style.
How did you find your way into photography?
Kind of by accident, if I’m being honest. I'd never really set out to try and become a photographer per se but had always been interested in clothes. Early Tumblr exposed me to imagery and clothing that went beyond the usual ads in glossy magazines. Photographers like Scott Schuman, Tommy Ton and Justin Chung showed me the type of photography that I fell in love with and wanted to try and emulate to some degree.
Emulation is important in early stages, but how did you develop your own style? Are you self taught?
Self taught, no lessons, thank you very much Pop! Haha! Starting off, it was super super basic stuff like learning what 'bokeh' was and then just adding to that base. Luckily there were platforms like Tumblr and Instagram so you had a multitude of imagery at your fingertips for inspiration. I'd create moodboards and then try to pinpoint what it was exactly about those images that drew me to them, in terms of the more technical side of things like lighting, composition, and color grading. Then I moved on to playing around with Lightroom and Photoshop and different editing techniques to finally land on something that I was vaguely happy with. I say vaguely as that approach is always changing year in year out. But what I always get excited about and still do, will always be the clothes. What is this person wearing and how they're wearing it. That's almost always how I approach taking an image: how can I shoot this in a way that will show off whatever is going, on the best possible way.
Your photography style always feels happy and genuine. What inspires you?
Definitely my peers and colleagues around me. I've been very lucky to work with and photograph some seriously stylish dudes and I am just trying to achieve 1% of what they do!
Tell us about a few of them.
Nicholas Walter, who is a Creative Director and co-owner of London based footwear brand Horatio. The guy's got style for days. I love the way Nick puts outfits together as there's always a little twist that I wouldn't have thought of and I will mercilessly steal it and try to pull it off to a much lesser degree.
Moteen Iqbal at Drake's is a super humble and nice guy, very funny too. I love seeing his interpretation of the Drake's 'look'.
Aaron Levine. I'm slightly embarrassed to reveal just how many times Aaron is bookmarked in my Saved Posts but let's just say it's a LOT. Effortless.
What style books inspired you as you worked on “This Guy?”
My initial concept for the book was a kind of cross between Scott Schuman's first book 'The Sartorialist' and Todd Selby's 'The Selby is in Your Place,’ but seen through my lens and with a focus purely on menswear and its personalities in and around the industry who I admired. I wanted to show a kind of reportage, BTS look at these people's lives; their neighborhoods, their hobbies, their families, with a little interview to accompany each subject.
What was the experience of getting your book published like?
I was lucky enough to be approached by my publisher as they had come across my work online and they asked if I had any ideas for a book, which I did. The experience was an interesting one to say the least; probably one of the most stressful and rewarding things that I've done in my career to date. I never set out to try and make money with it, not that I didn't want it to succeed of course but at the end the most important thing for me was to be proud of what I produced, which I am. It also gave me the opportunity to meet and hang with some amazing people who all gave so much of their time for it. The book wouldn't have happened without them.
We've partnered with Jamie to give away a signed copy of his book. Please visit our Instagram post for entry details.