John Ferguson has worked as a professional photographer for thirty years. His career has taken him to every continent across the globe, from the Canadian Arctic to Asia, South Sudan and rural Suffolk. He’s photographed some of the most recognisable celebrity faces alongside his commercial, corporate and fashion editorial projects.
John’s photography first and foremost tells a story. It attaches a narrative to the photo’s subject or subjects. As John explains, these visual narratives carry huge potential for businesses, no matter their industry. Companies aren’t looking for standard headshots against a white backdrop anymore. They’re looking for dynamic, intimate, truthful photos that instantaneously present the story of who they are as a company.
That’s why John’s photography is one of Digital360’s most invaluable and powerful tools for both us and our clients.
How did you discover that photography was your passion?
“I became interested in photography through an iconic picture of the boxer Muhammed Ali fighting Sonny Liston; it was taken by Neil Leifer in the 1960’s. My history teacher introduced me to the photo. The backstory of the fight was almost like a Hollywood movie itself, it was just amazing. That got me interested in more than just images, but stories, and how I could tell people’s stories through photography.”
John began his career as a trainee photographer with a local press agency in Clerkenwell that supplied newspapers and national magazines with news and feature images. He progressed to become an agency staff photographer, eventually going freelance and working for Britain’s national newspapers in his early 20’s.
“All of the major newspapers were on Fleet Street: The Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Mail, The Sun. I’d go on to become a staff photographer for The Mirror. It was a different time in the 80’s when I began; very exciting, but a very tough baptism of fire.”
What are some of your favourite places you’ve visited and favourite projects you’ve worked on?
“The Canadian arctic was the most interesting place I’ve visited; I was there for the annual cull of seal pups. The sea is frozen over for 2 to 3 months, and we landed a helicopter on it. It was the most interesting shoot I’ve done, but certainly wasn’t the most fun. Other than that, I’d also say Afghanistan and Iraq during the conflict in the early 2000s.”
John’s career has taken him around the world and brought him up close and personal with some of the globe’s most exceptional, breath-taking locations as well as some of the major events so far of the 21st century and the people that were affected by them. He has captured scenes of devastation, joy, transformation, and hope.
In 2011, he ventured to the American south, where he captured America’s forgotten black cowboys, immortalising a community that many of us didn’t even know existed. You can see an entire life and story living inside of his photos, just like that image of Muhammed Ali that inspired his love of photography. His portfolio of work is a testament to the breadth and depth of his talent, passion and ability.
How are you working with Digital360 to discover what is unique about our clients with your photography?
“The days of boring headshots against a white backdrop are coming to an end. People are much more visually savvy, they understand they need to possess and present a unique and genuine style that’s reflected on their website. Strong and dynamic visuals make people stop, and this will help viewers really engage with your website, the content and copy. So the pictures have to be engaging; they have to have a stopping power. That’s why when I get the brief, I always learn more about the company.”
John worked closely with us to photograph our client MH Mena’s Rise collection for their website and digital lookbook. MH Mena is a rising haute couture luxury fashion house in London. Working with Digital360 and MH Mena, he translated our brief into a dazzling collection of quality photos. Each MH Mena garment in the Rise collection is inspired by and named after a different star in our solar system. Once again, John ensured every photo was unique and reflect that brief, utilising a variety of light and dark tones and backdrops that complimented and foregrounded MH Mena’s bold, elegant designs.
Bold and creative photography isn’t limited to fashion and creative industries however, As John details, corporate companies are looking for modern, authentic photography that can build that personable connection between them and their clientele. “I try to focus on the business, because it’s the business that sells the product or service, whatever that may be, first and foremost. If your staff are very important to your business, how do you want them to be represented on your website? Are they genuine? Friendly? Confident? These are the questions clients will want to know, and photography can provide and cement these answers in a matter of seconds.”
You’ve worked across fashion, theatre, lifestyle, and corporate industries, can you tell us how photography differs from one industry to another?
“It’s all about giving the subject a narrative, whether it’s a fashion narrative or transportation or corporate. I specialise in people photography; I know how to tell a story. For example, with Mixed Freight, there were so many different members of staff with unique roles, and I wanted to capture what was idiosyncratic about each of them. I wanted to capture them in their environment in a way that made them look engaging, approachable, and confident; move away from just the services they provide and focus on the team that make them possible.
That goes for all companies, no matter their industry. It’s about telling a narrative; audiences want to feel as if they’re looking at real people they can truly connect with.”
What are you looking forward to working with Digital360?
“My work and Digital360’s complement each other, and I’m looking forward to working on some bigger projects with them in 2022. It’s a perfect collaboration between two digital companies. I know exactly how I can tell stories within a corporate and commercial setting. More than that, it’s always good for a lead photographer and web designer to understand one another and carry the same aesthetic outlook and vision, so I’m very excited to continue the collaborative work I do with Digital360’s UI & UX designer Veronica.”
At Digital360, we don’t work as atomized individuals. We depend upon a collaborative and holistic approach to everything we do to create the premium finished article for our clients. We even have a blog dedicated to just how we combine web design with photography. We can’t wait to continue our work with John and unlock more stories and narratives with our collaboration.
If you want to find out more about how Digital360 can create a premium website for your business with John’s stellar photography, don’t hesitate contact us today.