Through our Artist Features section, we’ve covered MCs, DJs, producers, models, designers…and now photographers.
Darren Johnson, a young photographer from London, caught our eye and he was good enough to answer some questions while on vacation in Jamaica.
Cee: Hey Darren, what’s good man? I know you’re out in Jamaica right now, so peace for chatting to us on your vacay.
Darren: No problem at all!
Cee: First up, break down your journey in photography for the people.
Darren: I was at a crossroads in my life around 2007, wondering what to do career-wise (which I’m sure most people have the same dilemma once in a while). It then hit me that since I was little I have studied photos either from family, friends or even complete strangers personal collections.
I then nervously enrolled into a course, which luckily was very close by, in film photography, which taught me the basics in the darkroom.
Once I finished the course, I decided to purchase a camera and ever since then a camera never leaves my sight. I’m always looking out for potential photographic opportunities, at the same time building a reputation, brand and business.
Cee: What’s the meaning behind the name iDJ Photography?
Darren: The meaning behind the name iDJ is: i: Eye (being the obvious tool I use in my line of work), D: Darren and J: Johnson.
Cee: Do you have a mentor? Did you take a course? Or are you self-taught? Or a combination?
Darren: I don’t really have a mentor other than the my teacher from the course I took in 2007. Ever since then I have been learning as I go along, reasearching etc.
Cee: You’re based outta London (England, not Ontario for those in Canada). How’s the market out there? Is there a lot of competition? What makes you different from the thousands of other photographers?
Darren: London is very saturated with photographers. Being a photographer in London is a challenge but at the same time London is quite possibly the best place to photograph. In terms of what makes me different from the rest? I’m not sure, I don’t really focus on other photographers with their marketing, etc. I just aim to produce my best work, good value for money and a quick turn around for my clients. This has worked for me so far which has reflected on the glowing references I recieve.
Cee: Out of all the various styles and subjects that you do, what’s your favourite to work with?
Darren: My favourite ‘shots’ are the ones where I could be watching TV or walking to the store and an idea pops in my head and I run with it. I call this my “misc” album, which you can see on my website or Facebook. I do genuinely enjoy all styles of photography, I still get that buzz no matter what/who I photograph.
Cee: What would be your main inspiration as a photographer?
Darren: My inspiration was my trip to Jamaica in 2008! I just bought my first SLR before flying out to Jamaica and fell in love with photography, which was aided with being in such a beautiful country.
Cee: What made you pick up a camera to express your creative side, as opposed to say a paintbrush or a guitar?
Darren: I honestly don’t know the answer that one. I believe life gives you opportunities, and I just simply took this one.
Cee: If you could have any other talent, what would it be?
Darren: It would 100% be a professional football (soccer) player. Football is a big passion for me, I try and watch as much as I can no matter where I am.
Cee: What’s next once you get back from JA?
Darren: Same as before I left, keep pushing the business a much as I can. Working hard on images, ideas, marketing, networking, delivery, etc.
Cee: Let the people know where they can find you!
Darren: Website: www.idjphotography.com
Cee: Thanks for your time cuz!
Darren: Thank you!