Despite going freelance relatively recently, videographer and photographer Jamie Webb has already built huge social media followings with his work. Where did it all begin…?
Berkshire boy Jamie Webb came to Bournemouth for university back in September 2019. But by this time, the seeds for his company JKW Media had already been sown. We found out how Jamie first discovered his love of media and what prompted the decision to go freelance as a photographer and videographer.
WHO OR WHAT FIRST INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEOGRAPHY? WHICH CAME FIRST?
I originally started off with photography. There’s a guy called Julius Shulman, who’s an architecture photographer. And he does a lot of black-and-white, monochrome stuff. That inspired me to start with photography. And then, as I grew up my profile, I started to get a lot of video work.
BEFORE UNI, WERE THERE ANY AMATEUR PROJECTS THAT YOU WORKED ON? CAN YOU REMEMBER ANY?
When I started out with photography, I set myself little challenges and projects to get me started. I tried to do Three Photos a Day. Doesn’t have to be professional or anything… just three photos of anything. To get myself out there and get more work. Eventually, that led to certain projects. Just doing things for people in other areas: photo shoots for websites… that sort of thing. I started off with photography for an opticians’ website, which was quite cool.
WHAT PROMPTED THE DECISION TO GO FREELANCE AND SET UP JKW MEDIA?
Ever since I was 14 or 15, I wanted to set up my own media company. And I went to college to specialise in media. I made the bold decision to make an Instagram account. Just wanted to get my work out there to as many people as I possibly could. The more work I did, the more it progressed and I built a bit of a following. And then I registered it as a business – JKW Media – which was followed by my getting more clients.
I realised, in this industry, you’re not going to have permanent work. It’s more freelance – you can move in between projects, which I love. I love working on so many different projects. From there, I built my website so I had a portfolio, and then more recently moved to LinkedIn. And I’ve built up quite a following with a lot of engagement – over 20,000 followers on Instagram, and around 18,000 on LinkedIn. It’s good to get as many connections and links to work as possible.
DO YOU SPECIALISE IN OR PREFER TO WORK ON DOCUMENTARIES, OR MORE ARTISTIC PROJECTS?
I started off unsure of what I wanted to do. But I feel like the more projects I’ve done, the more I’ve found my style, and it’s definitely documentaries. I love bringing people’s stories to life, because there are so many stories out there. Just showing them to a wider audience — I love that sort of stuff.
Recently, I’ve been loving documentaries that help people. And that’s what I’m going to be doing in future projects. Don’t get me wrong — I have made dramas and enjoyed them. I’ve made a couple of studio shows and live broadcasts, but documentaries are my passion. They’re definitely what I want to go into.
HOW MUCH HAS THE PANDEMIC AFFECTED BUSINESS FOR YOU?
It has affected me — don’t get me wrong — but not as much as some people. Obviously, everyone’s at home now. Everyone’s moved online. So there’s still work out there and projects to work on. For my most recent project, I was sent this product – multivitamin gummies. This brand contacted me and asked, “Can you make a little promotional video for me? I know you’re at home and it’s lockdown, but if I send you this, see what you can do”. And I made a promotional video from my house with all the equipment I have. He seemed to be really happy with it.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON AS JKW MEDIA THAT YOU CAN TELL US ABOUT?
One big project was last year – just before the first lockdown. Me and few others were picked to go and film this graduation event in Knightsbridge. I think it was at The Berkeley — beautiful hotel. It was quite a big occasion. We were put in to do photography and film the whole event as well. I love that sort of environment, where you’re put under pressure. I was the photographer for the evening, and had to get them all professionally. For that particular course, I think they had studied for four or five years. So, to be a part of that was pretty special. And I’ll hopefully work with them again in future.
WHAT ARE THE IMMEDIATE NEXT STEPS AS A FREELANCER AND A BUSINESSMAN?
For 2021, I want to solidify my brand. Increase my social media following even more and improve my website dramatically. And I can only really do that by working with more clients. Even little projects by myself. I’m currently in a house with a load of other TV Production students, and we’re all eager to make as much content as we possibly can.
Very soon, I’m planning to film a documentary about students and alcohol. How that’s such a big thing in society. And I’m making this documentary to say it’s not all about that. People that don’t want to drink, or they don’t like the idea of it — they can still come to uni and have a great time. I want to make something to help those sorts of people.
And of course I’m looking to work with more companies and more businesses. Just to work on their brands. Get more content out there. Not only does it help them, because they have more things to get out there, but it also helps me build my portfolio. Solidifies my name, and that of JKW Media.
WHAT IS THE DREAM OR THE END GOAL FOR YOU?
At the moment, I’m just trying to build my brand as much as I can. But next year, I’m hopefully going on a placement year within a TV Production company. And that will hopefully be working on a set. Working on actual, professional productions that go on to live broadcasts. So, either continuing to work with that company or leading onto somewhere else, moving my way up the career ladder.
Directing is something I’m passionate about; something that I aspire to be. So hopefully, building my way towards directing documentaries for Netflix – that’s one of my dreams. And building JKW Media as a brand and a platform. Making sure I’m always working with new brands.
You can learn more about Jamie Webb and JKW Media by visiting his website, Facebook and Instagram pages. For more local Film & TV stories, click here. And don’t forget to follow HQB News on our socials: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.