Based in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in England’s North-East, Jason Friend is an award-winning professional photographer that specialises in commercial, wedding and travel photography.
Jason’s photography career has spanned almost two decades with many incredible highlights including publishing a best-selling book, working for iconic brands such as Microsoft and National Geographic, exhibiting at the renowned Joe Cornish Gallery, and being personally invited to photograph a member of the royal family.
This is Jason’s story.
LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY: A FIRST LOVE
Landscape photography was Jason’s first true passion as a professional photographer. Captivated by the striking panoramas of Ansel Adams’ famous black and white images of the American West, Jason too became driven to capture our spiritual connections with the natural world.
“I approach my craft as a witness…”
With his camera in tow, Jason set out to traverse the stunning English countryside and form an approach to landscape photography that extended beyond ‘pretty post-card’ visual appeal to engage and stimulate all the senses. Whether allowing us to taste the crisp, salty sea air from a surrounding beach, or feel the warm glow of sunrise peek out behind a rolling country hill, Jason’s landscape photography offered an enchanting escape route from everyday life to idyllic natural environments teeming with beauty and wonder.
A BOOK SERIES IS BORN
A mere 18 months after becoming a professional landscape photographer, Jason was commissioned by GMC Publications to produce a book on wilderness photography. The book became a world-wide best-seller, and was followed up by The Cumbria Waywhich earned Jason the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild awards.
Following on from the success of his landscape photography books, Jason developed a passion for long-term photography projects and went on to publish a total of 10 books before turning to self-publishing. Black Light, a collection of Jason’s favourite monochrome images, became his first self-published e-book.
TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY: A CALLING
It was inevitable that Jason’s passion for landscapes would carry his photographic journey further afield. Despite his early fascination with the work of black and white master Ansel Adams, it was a trip to New Zealand in 1999 which inspired Jason to predominantly shoot in colour early on in his career.
From the rugged terrain of the Australian outback to the mountain summits of Switzerland, Jason travelled the globe on a quest to immortalise nature’s most breathtaking moments. National Geographic, British Airways, Microsoft Corporation, Australian Geographic, Hasselblad and Rough Guides represent some of the many high-profile clients Jason has inspired and worked with along his journey.
A MASTER OF LIGHT
For Jason, light is the master of his craft. Whilst venturing across some of the most breath-taking corners of the earth, Jason learnt firsthand how temperamental light and weather conditions can dramatically transform the emotion of a landscape.
Motivated by the desire to bring the viewer closer to nature in order to convey this deeper insight, Jason skilfully captures his subjects in that crucial moment when form and texture are powerfully revealed through perfect light. Jason’s masterful approach to shooting in colour, and his eventual foray into black and white photography, reveals nature’s most intimate moments and demonstrates his talent behind the lens as well as his passion for the subjects within them.
A COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHER EMERGES
Following on from his success in travel and landscape photography, Jason began to develop a diverse commercial portfolio, working with house-hold names such as British Airways, Lonely Planet and Rough Guides. With over 15 years experience in commercial photography, Jason continues to produce imagery for editorial, product, architecture, advertising, event and corporate projects.
Turning to wedding photography was a natural transition in Jason’s ever-evolving career as a professional photographer. With a stylistic approach to wedding photography that draws upon a sophisticated blend of traditional, contemporary and documentary photography, Jason utilises his talent for mastering light and natural settings to elegantly capture poignant, touching moments that define a wedding day.
Jason has photographed many weddings throughout the North-East of England and offers a range of wedding photography plans to ensure every style of wedding is catered for and captured beautifully when the big day arrives.
AN EXHIBITION AND A ROYAL INVITATION
In 2015, Jason held a successful exhibition of images from The Legacy Project at the renowned Joe Cornish Gallery. The Legacy Project is a fascinating photographic study of Britain’s Neolithic monuments.
Photographed entirely in black and white to capture the drama and mystery that surround these ancient sites, Jason’s quest led him to some of the most stunning locations across the British countryside including the Orkney Islands, Isle of Arran, Oxfordshire, Cumbria, and Northumberland.
The Legacy Project is a not-for-profit venture funded through Kickstarter that aims to raise public awareness of Britain’s precious ancient monuments and to assist in their preservation for future generations.
PHOTOGRAPHING PRINCE HARRY
In February 2015, Jason was invited to take part in a very special project by Red Squirrels Northern England (RSNE) to photograph Prince Harry on his trip to Northumberland.
Jason received the great honour of being the only photographer permitted to photograph Prince Harry during the first stage of his royal mission to catch a glimpse of the endangered Red Squirrel.
Meeting and photographing Prince Harry was a memorable achievement in Jason’s career that will not soon be forgotten!
BACK ON THE ROAD
Jason returned to New Zealand in 2018 to work on ‘South of the South’, a limited edition, fine-art photography book showcasing the beauty of the New Zealand South Island.
The unexpected death of a close friend due to cancer whilst on this trip made Jason start to re-evaluate the direction his photography had taken and the importance of spending time with his young family. This resulted in Jason and his family deciding to leave the UK for an extended period to travel overseas. In July 2019, they started their 7 months overseas trip and visited (and photographed) Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, U.S.A and Sri Lanka.
RETURN TO THE UK
Jason returned back to England in February 2020, shortly before the global Coronavirus pandemic. Making the most of the first lockdown, he started to explore the world of moving pictures (although he has shot video for a number of years and undertook training courses hosted by Corbis). This has been a journey in its own right and he now finds that he enjoys videography nearly as much as he enjoys photography!
Towards the end of 2020, Jason became a CAA approved drone operator, meaning that he can now captures not only from the land but also from the air.
Jason is available for commercial drone, photography and videography services throughout the North East and beyond – Please do not hesitate to get in touch!
“My role as a photographer is to convey emotion, not by capturing an image but by sharing a vision….every time spent behind the camera is special.”