Photographer in Cornwall

As a photographer my favourite subject is clearly never myself… so I’ll talk about my photography…and just in case you were wondering, in real life I am very friendly and do actually smile quite a lot! 

My career as a photographer began when I was a Royal Marines officer commanding a combat camera team in Iraq – a long way from sleepy Cornwall. 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 in London (where I was lucky enough to be taught by the great Colin Jacobson) and after graduating with an MA in Photojournalism, I worked as a picture editor at Reuters for three years before becoming fully freelance and taking my own commissions.

Photography in Cornwall

Now a freelance photographer based in north Cornwall I specialise in reportage photography. This natural style – also called photojournalism or documentary – is how I approach all my photography – wedding photography, commercial photography, and family photography.

I am happy in all environments with a camera by my side… A ‘normal’ week can find me; 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… Taking ‘that’ photo for every client.

“It is a pleasure to work with James, his understanding and love of the coast, the elements, people and life in general jump out in his work. I like photographs that stand out from the crowd, James finds that unusual picture you want, when it arrives it’s a YES moment. This is what separates him from other photographers, as well as working with a thoroughly nice company, it is a joy to work with him.” 

My work and shoots beyond Cornwall

Every day I count myself lucky to live near the beautiful north coast of Cornwall but my photography takes me all over the world. I have a variety of clients and variety of photography work. Many photographers focus on one area while I thrive on the variety that my work offers. Unlike many other photographers, I deliberately keep a wide variety of work rather than specialising in one particular area of photography. This keeps my photography style fresh and my work interesting. 

I have a wide portfolio of work including photographing weddings, property interior photo shoots, family occasions, corporate events, action, sport, and architecture. What links this diverse work is my photojournalist style – photographing moments as they actually happen rather than staging or setting up something artificial.

“Photographer, James Darling lives near to our brewery and regularly joins us for a surf. He is an amazing photographer and has worked with us to create the photographic images to support our brand. You’ll see more of his images throughout our website and supporting our brand in marketing material. Our website is a showcase for his work – we love working with him.”

My vision as a photographer

My photographs tell a story. 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. The result is authentic photographs. Photographs that look and feel real – because they are real regardless of the subject. This (in my humble opinion) is the definition of a great photographer, and of great photography

“Spend money on a great photographer. It’s worth it as when the day is over, you’ll always have the photographs and they’ll catch the moments you don’t always see.” 

Telling stories with photography

I love the diversity of my work and I’m equally happy catching those key moments at a formal wedding as I am swimming out through the waves with my water-housing to photograph surfers or teaching both adults and children how to create beautiful photographs.

I tell your stories for you, with my photographs, whatever the environment. Photographing events as they happen, unobtrusively capturing unique and natural moments. 

“We were delighted with the photos James took for our charity FareShare. He visited a number of the projects we work with and his friendly, personable manner was invaluable in making our beneficiaries feel at ease. James’ striking images really capture and help us tell our story and we use them across our marketing materials.”  

As a former soldier and retrained postgraduate, 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 in a studio. 

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. The result incredible photographs and lasting memories. 

I tell stories with images whatever the environment, photographing events as they happen, unobtrusively capturing unique and natural moments. This variety, keeps my mind alive and my photography fresh, interesting and different.

“So many people have commented on how good a photographer you were and how much fun – the ladies seem to have a soft spot and the guys appreciate the humour!” 

Let’s chat about your photography project

To find out more about me please do get in touch using any of the following links – I look forward to hearing from you.

“With his experience as a photojournalist in Iraq, James uses reportage photography to ‘tell a story of the day’ and then produces beautiful albums with colour and black and white images. As a dashing former Royal Marine he also makes a wonderful wedding accessory!”
ELLE magazine – Wedding Special