This month we feature Jay Black’s Photography. Eclectic and quintessentially Bellingen.
What brought you to the Bellingen Shire?
We moved to Bellingen as a family in June 2011, my husband and I had dreamt of a life where we raised our children out of the city. A place where there is a strong, vibrant community, a place where the work/life balance could be flipped. Wonderfully Bellingen ticked a lot of the boxes.
Where did you live and work prior to coming to Bellingen?
We lived in Inner-west of Sydney. Prior to being a full-time Mum I worked at Sydney University, working with Media & Communications internship students.
What is your best advice for young Photograpers?
Play, take loads of photos and don’t be scared to move around, to experiment, to make mistakes, to break rules. Have fun and if you are passionate, that will shine through your photos.
How would you describe your style/ your approach to your subject matter?
I love capturing moments. Moments that many do not see. A look, a laugh, the placement of a hand, a glance. I am not a photographer who draws attention to themselves. I definitely prefer the ninja stealth style of photography. I want the subject to remain natural, uninhibited, unaware, un self-conscious.
Has anyone or anything really influenced your style?
Not any one thing in particular, I am inspired by many photographers including Jonas Peterson, Hailey Bartholomew,Vivian Maier and our very own Cass Sutton. I am also inspired by our stunning environment, the simplicity and the beauty of colours, the hint of a shadow, the placement of light. There is so much wonder and beauty in the world it’s hard not to get excited by it.
So it sounds like living in the Bellingen Shire has had an impact on your work?
I grew in confidence as a photographer when I moved to Bellingen, so yes. Bellingen has provided me with an amazing amount of love and support for my work. I started a blog when I moved here and from there people saw my work and then started offering me jobs. It has been and continues to be a wonderful journey.
Best tip for a great photo?
Shoot what you are interested in, take that knowledge and passion and go deep and let your photos express your love for that subject.
Favourite photographic jobs ?
I love shooting live music, I love the challenge of trying to capture the atmosphere/the mood of the music/musicians in a shot. I mostly enjoy shooting people, whilst also adding a bit of humour into my work. The regular group exhibitions through Big Fig Arts at The Bellingen Brewery is also a favourite, it is such a pleasure to stretch my creative muscles to fit in with the various themes. The latest exhibition has a Teapot theme, hence the chicken dressed in a tea cosy!
Have you found your favourite subject matter in the Bellingen Shire?
Yes, there is so much fodder in Bellingen, a culturally rich town full of gigs, events, parties and various community events. So many opportunities to capture humans in their natural environment, generally having a wonderful time. My favourite model however is my husband. He is always up for a challenge, whether it be perching naked on a fence at night or jumping naked on a trampoline all in aid of a Nature Photo Challenge.
Any exciting projects on the horizon?
Yes; more film clips for my husband’s band The Mid North, quite a few shoots lined up for The Bellingen Brewery, a wedding or two and who knows what else, it really varies from week to week.
How can Shire residents see examples of your work?
I often participate in the group shows organised by Big Fig Arts at The Bellingen Brewery under the name ‘and the tree’s so you can find my work there, I also currently have a few of my photos adorning the walls of the Purple Carrot in town or the latest gig in town is usually plastered on my Facebook page Jay Black.