Jamen Percy spends his days as an Art Director at one of the world’s most well respected advertising agencies, and his holidays crouched in bushes and climbing trees with his camera, waiting for that one incredible wildlife shot.
Has working in advertising helped with your photography (opportunities, contacts you’ve made, etc)?
Absolutely. I started out just taking photos at work events for fun. People liked my pictures and soon the word got around so I was involved in all sorts of shoots for events and jobs. It gave me excellent practice and fuelled my self taught training.
Is the plan to jump into photography fulltime eventually?
Potentially. It would be good for a change, but I think I would miss design too much. Ideally, a 50/50 mix of both would be a dream. And not just photos in the office, I mean more on the frontier of the wild world. Think spending a night in a small forrest hide, under a heavy lightening storm while giant brown bears feed around you – those kind of pictures.
What’s been the biggest step towards your dream job so far?
The attention I’m starting to get from my wild projects. It’s growing fast and I know something big will come soon enough. I have been finalist in Wildlife Photographer of the Year four times, but never won the award… I feel I’m close!
A dream job would be to craft photographic adventures to capture images of nature that people had never seen before to promote conservation. I think it would have a great mix of everything that makes a great job – fulfilment, variety, freedom, challenges, good people and the ability to make a huge difference to the world.
Of all the subjects you’ve shot, why is nature and wildlife your passion? And what’s on the wish list still to photograph?
Nature is incredible. It’s where we came from in the past, and it’s what we will rely on to survive in the future, yet we aren’t doing nearly enough to protect it. I hope my images can help demonstrate it is worth saving and create a new level of respect.
In terms of a wish list, it’s longer than I could ever say and always growing. I’m better off telling you the list of animals that have been done – its empty! There is always more to take. A subject matter is never ‘ticked off’.
The essence of what I do is to find an interesting view on wildlife that people have never seen or overlooked. Every animal is possible. Currently I’m focusing on wild mammal predators though (big cats, bears, etc), because I find them very interesting and a real challenge.
What advice would you give someone thinking of changing careers to do something completely different?
Do your homework, make the funds and do it. If it doesn’t work out you can fall back to your previous industry – and you will have a better view on your work, a broader set of skills and wider experience. Da Vinci wasn’t just a painter.
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