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James Darling Photography

I am a freelance photographer based in north Cornwall specialising in reportage photography.

This natural style – also called photojournalism or documentary – is how I approach all my work: weddings, commercial commissions, family portraiture and charity work.

I first started photographing as a Royal Marines officer commanding a combat camera team in Iraq. Rather than be part of the events that I was witnessing, I wanted to document them – the camera offered me this opportunity. In 2002 I retrained as a photographer at the University of Westminster, London and after graduating with an MA in Photojournalism, I worked at Reuters for three years.

I come from a photographic background steeped in the golden age of the photojournalist: the go-anywhere, shoot-anything adventurer determined to create photographs that inform and entertain in equal measure.

Photographers like PH Emerson, Eugene Richards, Larry Burrows and Martin Parr. Photographers that documented the real life in front of them rather than manufacturing something conceptual or studio-based.

Photographers that understood the tenets of the photo-story: fast enough to capture the action, sensitive enough to take the portrait, shrewd enough to see the detail shots, creative enough to get the relationship shot and strategic enough to understand the wider importance of the whole story.

This is what I do, how I work. I photograph what is happening in front of me, capturing that moment, that emotion, that memory. Which for me, is what photography is, what photographers should do: fitting 1/125th of a second of real life into the 35mm viewfinder, and distilling that moment.

Blending into the background whilst the bride and bridesmaids giggle, running up Welsh mountains, charging after busy toddlers, discovering remote beaches, testing boundaries in conflict zones, reassuring the best man and groom at the altar, documenting tiny babies on special care baby units, getting ‘that’ photo for every client. I tell stories with images whatever the environment, photographing events as they happen, unobtrusively capturing unique and natural moments.

This variety, I hope, keeps my mind alive and my style fresh, interesting and different.

The result is authentic photographs. Photographs that look and feel real – because they are real.

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