Seeing In Black & White: Photographer Spotlight Q&A With James Harris of GRIT Images Co (mildly NSFW)

Sep 1, 2018

JP Danko

JP Danko is a commercial photographer based in Toronto, Canada. JP can change a lens mid-rappel, swap a memory card while treading water, or use a camel as a light stand. To see more of his work please visit his studio website blurMEDIAphotography, or follow him on Twitter, 500px, Google Plus or YouTube. JP’s photography is available for licensing at Stocksy United.

Seeing In Black & White: Photographer Spotlight Q&A With James Harris of GRIT Images Co (mildly NSFW)

Sep 1, 2018

JP Danko

JP Danko is a commercial photographer based in Toronto, Canada. JP can change a lens mid-rappel, swap a memory card while treading water, or use a camel as a light stand. To see more of his work please visit his studio website blurMEDIAphotography, or follow him on Twitter, 500px, Google Plus or YouTube. JP’s photography is available for licensing at Stocksy United.

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James Harris Grit Images Co

Next in our ongoing Photographer Spotlight series it’s James Harris of GRIT Images Co.

James calls himself a “hobbyist photographer”, but his work has a clean, sexy simplicity that would fit perfectly with many high-end commercial publications. James loves the contrast and texture of working in black and white and his photography shows an obvious attention to detail and connection with his models.

James pays the bills working as an engineer for an international firm – until recently, he was based out of Fort Worth, Texas but is now living in the middle east.

James Harris Grit Images Co

Behind the Scenes and Q&A With James Harris of GRIT Images Co

1. What is your specialty? What do you love to photograph?

I work mostly in black and white.  However, anything with texture and contrast appeals to me.

James Harris Grit Images Co

2. How long has it been since you first started taking photography seriously – what has that progression been like?

I began shooting with a purpose about 8 years ago.  It has been quite a journey.  My start consisted of experimenting with my first DSLR, armed with a few books on how to shoot in manual mode.  I then spent countless hours fumbling around learning by trial and error.  I shot just about anything trying to find what appealed to me.  What I love about photography is that there is always something new to learn…

James Harris Grit Images Co

3. Are there any particular images you’ve captured that stand out as being especially meaningful or satisfying for you?

My favorites change all of the time.  That said, you can probably find those that most resonate with my personal taste on my website.

James Harris Grit Images Co

4. What challenges do you face capturing the shots you want to capture?

Getting out of my own way.  I spent most of my professional career problem solving and working with numbers.  When it comes to photography, I find that helps sometimes, but also limits my creativity and freedom others.

James Harris Grit Images Co

5. What motivates you to put in the effort to overcome those challenges?

No matter what task I have at hand, I am always inspired by bettering myself… accomplishing something I have not before.  So focusing on improving my photography just comes easy to me.

James Harris Grit Images Co

6. What gear do you use? Why?

I carry two completely different camera systems (Nikon DSLRs and Fuji Mirrorless) and shoot both speed lights and strobes.  I try to keep in mind gear is just that – a tool to get job done.  I like my Nikon system when I can afford the weight and want resolution, and I carry my Fuji when I’m traveling light and looking to be inconspicuous.

James Harris Grit Images Co

James Harris Grit Images Co

7. Is there a market for your work? How do you make money?

If someone has figured out how to make a good living working agency test and portfolio development please send me an email straight away.  I shoot because I love to be behind the camera, not because it pays the bills.

James Harris Grit Images Co

8. How do you promote yourself and your work?

These days, most of my business comes thru referrals or contacts who find me on social media.

James Harris Grit Images Co

9. What are your goals for your photography career in the next year, 5 years, long term?

Good question… I hope to have grown as much as or more than I have in the past 5 years.

James Harris Grit Images Co

10. Do you have any tips or advice for photographers who love your work and would like to photograph something similar?

Shoot, shoot and shoot some more.  Constantly grow and expand your portfolio.  Invest in yourself and your photography.  Develop your own style and stick to it.

James Harris Grit Images Co

Find out more

To find out more about James Harris and GRIT Images Co, you can visit his website here, or follow him on Instagram @gritimagesco

James Harris Grit Images Co

Let us know what you think

Have a comment on James’ work or his Q&A? Leave a comment below.

Have any thoughts on the Photographer Spotlight series, please let us know too!

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JP Danko

JP Danko

JP Danko is a commercial photographer based in Toronto, Canada. JP can change a lens mid-rappel, swap a memory card while treading water, or use a camel as a light stand. To see more of his work please visit his studio website blurMEDIAphotography, or follow him on Twitter, 500px, Google Plus or YouTube. JP’s photography is available for licensing at Stocksy United.

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