Featured artist Jamie MacDonald, came to Pixsy for help with his photo copyright. We talked to him about his photography and how he came to be a camera brand ambassador as well as the host of his own photography podcast, Mirrorless Minutes.
Jamie has been taking photos since 2008. So began a ten-year career that started when he first picked up an Olympus E-500 DSLR. His subsequent sponsorship deals have opened countless doors for him and he describes his career as “a whirlwind”.
“It has been the second largest influencer of everything to me after my family. It has shaped family vacations, personal finances, life goals, and dreams. Aside from my family, photography is everything to me”.
We always ask our featured artists who their biggest influences are, and Jamie is totally honest with his response, “I have the worst answer ever for this question. No one. I have seriously never been formally educated in photography, and have spent so little time digging into what others have done or are doing, that I don’t honestly think I have any major influencers in my life”.
Jamie is quick to point out that his photographic work is not only un-influenced by others but comes from throwing the rule book out of the window “to me, a great image can be defined not by conforming to any certain criteria, but by simply being able to evoke an emotional response in the viewer. If I can do that, then I know I have made something that represents how I felt in that moment.” It’s this emotional connection to his camera that Jamie credits for his best work, “Being in the moment inspires me. Being able to transfer my emotions at that moment, into an image I can share with the world? That inspires me to create”.
When discussing his editing process, Jamie is again unabashed when talking about the emotions he puts into his process “I have one goal only, and that is to put how I FELT when making the image into the final edit. I often tell people that the photos straight from my camera are just a canvas onto which I can put my emotions. I accomplish this through several shooting and editing methods which bring out intense color and richness, or through deep moody tones in my black and white photos”
Jamie is an Olympus Brand Ambassador so shoots exclusively with Olympus cameras and lenses.
“Their OM-D E-M1 MkII body, and my three “go to” lenses are the mZuiko 7-14mm f/2.8, mZuiko 12-100mm f/4, and mZuiko 300mm f/4. All of this gear mentioned is weather sealed which is paramount to shooting out in nature for me”
Jamie deliberately shoots landscapes in some wild conditions and says “The more unpredictable the better! I handle this variability by knowing my gear inside and out, and how it handles specific conditions. Knowing it so intimately means I can adjust the changing conditions on the fly to create my images”.
Jamie has been working with Olympus as a part of their visionary program for five years. He was approached after his work was noticed on social media. As someone who had been loyal to the brand since the start of his career, he was more than happy to be involved and says being an Olympus Visionary has been like a waking dream. “Having the opportunity to not only get access to the latest in equipment, but the huge number of opportunities I had to travel and present, teach, and interact with other photographers has been a blessing in mine AND my family’s lives”
Jamie also uses Pixsy to actively protect his images after many occurrences of theft meant he had to look for a solution, “I most definitely consider photo copyright infringement a big problem and have had images stolen many times!”
Jamie also finds the time to run his podcast Mirrorless Minutes. He wanted to share his passion for photography through another medium, “being able to speak to and connect with people who share my passions through an additional medium is very satisfying!”.
Jamie’s enthusiasm for photography is infectious. He’s clearly delighted to have found a creative outlet that suits him so well and is brimming with tips for anyone wishing to follow in his footsteps. “Shoot as often as you can, and shoot what speaks to you. Don’t shoot what you think everyone else wants to see. Photography is an art, and artists do their best work when they are honest with themselves”.
He has two specific tips to share with anyone starting out, “ALWAYS bring your camera with you. You can never be sure of when something magical will happen, and being prepared is key. And shoot as often as you can! By following tip number one, tip number two becomes easier”.