Featured Photographers

Digitalab Featured Photographer: Jo Rutherford

Jo Rutherford Portrait
14th July 2017 by Alex Ingram

Our latest Featured Photographer is the incredibly talented Jo Rutherford!

Jo is a Professional portrait photographer with a Studio in the lovely Village of Banks, West
Lancashire. She has been a full time Professional photographer for the past 5 years and before this had several years as a part time photographer before making the leap!

“I originally trained as a Physiotherapist and worked in a hospital for many years then went on to be a University Lecturer and it was while I was doing this I started taking photographs as a way to deal with the pressure of the job, I would head out an about taking landscape photographs ( badly!) to get away from work and the computer. I then realised that I was absolutely rubbish at landscapes and wanted people in the pictures – so did some training in children photography and was hooked.

I photographed anyone and everyone who was willing to go in front of the camera! I tried Boudoir, head-shots for businesses, photographed friends weddings, their children and families, tried my hand at some fashion photography and loved it all!
My first Studio space was on a Farm, a little building which I rented for the summer and ran workshops allowing getting photographers and models and make up artists together to play. There was no formal teaching, just an opportunity to try new things and work together. I then worked part time from the shed in the Garden which was great for the commute to work ! But not so good for my obsession with props which continue… and I outgrew the shed!”

fashion photography from Jo Rutherford

“I never planned photography to be a full time career but life has a way of guiding you to destinations you never imagined and it was Redundancy and the loss of my Mum which made me take the leap. I found a wonderful little Studio space and invested in training with the amazing Gary Hill, knowing that I needed to gain the skills in studio photography if I was to work through all weathers, I didn’t want to be reliant on the British Weather to be able to work.

With Gary’s amazing tutoring and his enthusiasm and passion for Studio work I have been primarily a Studio photographer ever since, in love with classic portraiture. I moved to the new Studio about 18 months ago and have 3 amazing spaces to work in – and plenty of room for props!”

a selection of portrait images

The main work I do is children and family portraiture and I am passionate about photographing families , making sure that Mums and Dads get on the photographs too ! This year I launched
Pawsome Portraits, just for the dogs, inspired by the amount of photographs I take of my lovely rescue dog Ted!

I also photograph Cosplayers and Historical Re enactors … this started as a Personal Project and has become a part of the Business , we have had Star Wars characters , Indiana Jones , Judge Dredd and Vikings and Romans all coming to the Studio and its what I love and allows my geeky side to come out!

I’m a little bit competitive …. well very competitive if you ask my Husband! I love to enter competitions and have been incredibly fortunate to have been awarded BIPP Northwest Photographer of the Year this year and this is the 3rd time in 5 years that I have held this title Personal work has always been a big part of what I do , I have had such a short career in Photography and the steepest learning curve and so I am always trying new things , new lighting set ups , new sets in the Studio , last week we headed to the woods with a fabulous model , tulle skirt and smoke grenades!

Jo Rutherford’s Quick-Fire round

Who inspired you to become a photographer?

I dont think there was a person , I came to photography very late and I think I have always been attracted by visual images , movies in particular , over the top theatrical stuff and think I just wanted to be able to create what I saw.

I now adore Andy Gotts celebrity images and Abbie Leibovitzs work but Rankin is an absolute hero , his connection with his subjects is incredible even when there is a room full of people he appears to be able to make such an intimate connection

What is your all-time favourite photography shoot?

The Alice in Wonderland series we did , a wonderful collaboration where everything suddenly seemed to come together and I realised that I could be a photographer

What is your camera of choice and why?

I shoot with a Canon 5d mark 2 ….. I stated with Canon as it was on sale at the time !

Other than your camera – what one piece of kit can you not live without?

Am I allowed to include all my chairs and props in this ???? I use my trusty light meter and grey card when shooting , I do a lot of low key work and getting the lighting spot on is essential – always want to get images
99% right in camera

What one piece of advice would you give to any aspiring photographer?
Shoot every single day , shoot anything and everything , get training …not just in photography but in business skills too

Is there something that you would love to photograph more than anything else?

I have a wish list of people ……
Sean Connery
Ian McShane
Gary Oldman
Johnny Depp as the Hatter
Simon Pegg
Harrison Ford – as Indiana
If anyone out there can help with any of these that would be great!

For more information on Jo’s work visit www.jorutherfordphotography.co.uk