Inspire Me: Jamie Harrison
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What inspired you to become a photographer?
As a teenager I was drawn to art and the romantic idea of being a starving artist in a Montmartre hovel. The problem was I couldn't draw. My O Level art teacher could see I had an eye, but no technical ability so suggested I tried photography. Once I did, I was hooked.
Can you remember the first picture that you ever took, and why?
I had a small 110 Prinzmatic camera from Boots when I was 11 which I used for family snaps and holidays. It wasn't really until I was 15 and acquired my first 35mm camera – a 1960's Yashica J rangefinder as part of my art course that I started to take it seriously. At the time went on a school trip to the Peak district and I took loads of photos. The teachers all said they were the best they'd seen, which really encouraged me. I spent many lunchtimes from on in the school darkroom.
Who is the photographer that you most admire, and why?
There's so many and I continue to discover more all the time. Bailey was my first inspiration, probably because he was famous and you have to start somewhere. He's an amazing photographer who still pushes the boundaries and is a really funny guy. More importantly I've worked with people who give generously, whether that's advice, techniques, encouragement. People like Andy Le Sauvage who introduced me to the work I do now or a French photographer I assisted called Christian Fournier who was always doing mad shoots even on our days off.
Which photograph do you most wish you'd taken?
The first Twiggy shot by Barry Lategan. It's so simple and iconic. To be able to be there, capture a moment in time that is so of its time would be incredible. I worked with Barry a couple of years ago, and he's a real sweetheart, but still keeps it simple.
Which photo / series of photographs are you proudest of, and why?
The last ones, at least until the next ones! I'm still learning, and love when I get an idea or try something new and somehow manage to pull it off, or even do better than I anticipated.