Photographer Profile: Jordan Banks

How did you choose the location for a shoot?

When looking at shoot locations two major things come into play. Where would I like to shoot and how commercially viable a location is. Fortunately the two often work side by side, at least in my case anyway. I felt like there wasn’t that much out there on Americas Deep South and it was a will be in the future a popular place to visit. There have been a few occasions where I haven’t got it quite right though. I was curious about Voodoo so spent some time in Benin in Togo. Whilst the trip was a real eye opener images from these countries are not in high demand.

How did you plan the shoot and how long did it take and how far in advance did you plan?

I generally look at shoot locations around 12 to 18 months in advance. This gives me time to coincide my shoots with any festivals or events that may be taking place and to make sure I am in location at the correct time of year. You don’t want to turn up in Asia during rainy season. Planning doesn’t take that long nowadays. With the internet a quick google generally gives me all the info I need on my chosen location. It’s then a matter of reading through the material. I usually get an itinerary done well in advance and then recap and make any adjustments where necessary a few weeks before I leave. I often find that once I arrive on location there may be a few adjustments that need to be made but nothing to major.

Spain, Andalusia, Granada, Alhambra Palace
Spain, Andalusia, Granada, Alhambra Palace

What goes in your luggage and how much did it weigh?

Just clothes. Besides from my equipment I travel very light. It’s not glamorous but it does make life on the road a lot easier.

What’s you experience at the airport?

Lots of waiting, people watching and time to catch up on some sleep.

How did the weather affect your shoot and what did you do when the weather gods misbehaved?

If it rains it can be a real downer so I always research some weather proof options to shoot. These are generally bars, restaurants and museums.

How much did you shoot and how did you store and back up the images?

I don’t excessively. I get the locations and shots I want in the correct light. I back up to two portable hard drives whilst on the road. As soon as I get back to the studio a third copy is added to the NAS drive.

What’s a typical day like?

Does it start with a leisurely breakfast and finish at 5.30?

Depending on the time of year and the accessibility of a location it can vary. On average my day starts around and hour before sunrise and ends around 90 minutes after sunset. If I have some night locations in mind it can easily go a lot later. I usually take a couple of hours to catch up on some sleep around midday when the light is harsh.

Did you travel alone and did you use a model or talent?

On this occasion my mother and father accompanied me on the shoot. They are both very accommodating when it comes to being models. Sometimes I wanted a little different look so I would approach someone close by. 90% of the time people are happy to help, especially when you explain what you are doing.

USA, Georgia, Savannah, Man walking under the town hall
USA, Georgia, Savannah, Man walking under the town hall

How much work was involved in post-production and editing?

I started my career shooting film so I was always taught to get things right in camera. I still work on the same principles but shooting RAW does inevitably mean that post processing is required. This is generally levels, curves, vibrancy and contrast. If I’ve been on the road for a while there is always the odd dust spot that needs removing.

Croatia, Dalmatia, Dubrovnik, Old town, Sunset over the city walls and harbour
Croatia, Dalmatia, Dubrovnik, Old town, Sunset over the city walls and harbour

To see more of Jordan’s images click here

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