WLM’s Top 20 Portrait Photographers: Jess Morgan

Jess Morgan specialises in the natural-light photography of babies, children and families. Her images are natural and contemporary. “My style is very relaxed, a bit like me, so you won’t find me shouting orders to ‘smile’ or ‘stand like this’ – I just snap away at what I see using no flashes or bright lights. The result are beautiful, natural images that capture your child just the way they are, even if they’re being a bit naughty!”. Jess offers home shoots so you can have professionally photographs taken in the comfort of your own home, or location shoots for older babies and children; “I photograph at the family’s pace and always factor in time for soothing and the odd game of hide and seek!’

How long have you been a photographer?
I remember my parent’s buying me my first camera when I was a little girl, before then I had to pretend with an old camera that my Dad once used. It was so exciting to have one of my own and everything that came with it: the case, the film. I don’t think I’ve stopped photographing since, but it wasn’t until I had my own little girl that I started to do it professionally.

What got you into photography?
I love nothing more than sitting with a cup of tea (and a nice peice of chocolate cake) and looking through old family photo albums. I think it’s incredible that one click of a camera can capture a single moment that can then last forever. One image can help bring back so many memories, that’s why my style is so natural; I want to create memories that can be cherished for a lifetime, photographs that reflect the child’s true nature and personality.

Which photographer do you look up to and why?
Gosh, there are so many amazing photographers out there that I really aspire to. I’ve recently been on a workshop with Sheye Rosenmeyer, a children’s photographer based in Australia. Her work is beautiful and I love her soft dreamy tones. I’m inspired by many American photographers too like Davee Blu and Jose Villa.

What do you prefer – film or digital?
I love the freedom that digital allows; I really enjoy crafting my images both during the shoot and afterwards when editing. Part of this is creating storyboards; a collection of images that tell a ‘day in the life’ story. I haven’t shot with film for many years now but I do miss the excitement and anticipation of waiting for the photographs to come back from the lab.

What should your customers expect during a session?
I start by getting to know the family and whether they have any specific ideas for the shoot that I can incorporate. My style is very relaxed, more reportage than formal, so nothing is forced. With older babies and children it may start with a game or them showing me their bedroom, it’s so important that they are comfortable so the end photos are a true reflection of who they are. For very young babies the pace tends to be a little slower, I’ll snap away while the baby sleeps or plays and I’ll capture the detail of their tiny little hands and feet too.

Do you have any tips for capturing the perfect picture?
I think the best peice of technical advice is to try and not use a flash but rather, the best source of natural light that you have available. It’s also important to position the subject so that the light is nice and even over their face. Other than that it’s about capturing a great moment that will make you want to look at the photograph over and over again – so always make sure your camera is near to hand.

For more information on Jess Morgan, please visit:

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