Around the world with James Morgan

Many people imagine the life of a documentary photographer as one who travels the globe on dream assignments, seeing and shooting beautiful destinations and experiencing diverse cultures. James Morgan might just be one of those. This young photographer based in Bali first contacted me about a story he was doing on nightlife in Southern China. A quick glance at his portfolio reveals that he really knows how to engage his subjects for a good photograph. James seems to have found a way to make a living doing what others only dream about.

James Morgan © James Morgan

Name: James Morgan

Hometown: UK/Indonesia

Tell us about yourself: I work for editorial and NGO clients and travel extensively on long term projects for fine art galleries.

How did you get started? I started shooting whilst studying at college in Iceland, it’s the perfect place to learn. The light there is challenging but absolutely beautiful when you get it right.

Wayag © James Morgan

What do you shoot with? I use a couple of full frame DSLRs and far too many prime lenses. I don’t want to buy anything else if i can possibly help it.

What’s your shooting style and photographic philosophy? Photography for me is all about atmosphere, it’s all about the way colours and tones relate to content and telling stories through emotion. The portfolios I enjoy the most usually involve the photographer going beyond a linear narrative and inviting you to understand his/her subjects in an all together different way. I’m much more concerned with tracing an aesthetic through a series of images or watching a tonality gradually emerge than i am with ensuring the images presented are a balanced and accurate examination of their subject. It’s boring init.

What would you like to shoot more? I want to work more cross- platform, particularly with musicians and to explore more interactive and immersive forms of storytelling.

School Children © James Morgan

Any advice for other photographers? Not sure i’m in a position to give any advice but i’d say learn to create images which are technically perfect and build a style form there.

What does the future hold for you? I’m crossing my fingers, hoping that the photography market will have begun to catch up with photographers’ imaginations. I hope i’m still shooting stills, i’d like to go back to shooting medium format film but i’m also confident that there’s going to be radically enhanced platforms for visual storytelling.

Visit James’ website here:

A few more photos:

Taiga Station © James Morgan

Kazakh Eagle Hunters © James Morgan

Misool © James Morgan

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