I don’t really remember a time when there wasn’t a camera in my hand. I still have today, albums full of images from photo shoots I did of my dolls when I was only in primary school! Even back then my main loves were photography and babies.
After high school I knew that the only thing I wanted to pursue was photography. I found my way into a Bachelor of Visual Arts at Uni of SA and picked up every photography class that I could. It just wasn’t technical enough for me though. I wanted to learn more about how the equipment worked, how light worked, composition. So I looked to move on.
When I was 19 I started working at a large Adelaide photography studio. Starting out in the basement packing orders I worked my way up and was trained as a photographer. While the style of the studio wasn’t in line with my own ideas, the training was invaluable. We learned on film! Large format Hasselblad cameras. Studio lights. No fall back on digital. The shot had to be right every time or face the wrath of the boss for wasting film! I really am grateful to have had the chance to learn this way before the huge digital trend exploded.
In my twenties I travelled. I spent a couple of years in London. My first job there was managing a quirky little studio/photo lab in East London. This was my first experience of actually running the machines and printing the photos myself. Moving on from there I went to a much busier photo lab in the centre of Soho. This is where my love of the printed image was really born. We printed all sorts of different films and we experimented with pushing and pulling the processing. This is the time that I learned how important the printing is when producing an image you have put so much work into. It must be done right!
When I moved back from London I knew I really wanted to run my own business. I felt I had more to learn though so I completed an Advanced Diploma in Commercial Photography at Tafe. This took me back to the roots of film and studio, but also brought me up to speed with digital image taking and editing.
Finally, my own little business was born. There have been a couple of name changes along the way. And a few stops and starts due to my own beautiful babies being born. But is has all been a part of the journey and ultimately the shaping of Jackie Wood Photography.