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Jamie Ferguson

The renowned menswear photographer and author...

Jamie Ferguson aka JKF Man is a well established menswear photographer and author. Whilst finalising a new book project with Simon Crompton, Jamie is also experimenting with new disciplines as he continues to build an impressive career in the industry.

Tell us a bit about your background, and how you got into photography and menswear.

Well the long and short of it is I moved over from Canada when I was 15, studied law at University in Aberdeen, went to drama school, worked as an actor for several years, started working behind the scenes for a few British brands like DAKS and Drake's and then went freelance as a menswear and lifestyle photographer which is what I've been doing now for a little over 10 years.

Your book "This Guy: Portraits of Modern Men’s Style" is a celebration of modern menswear. You’ve captured interesting characters from around the globe including Simon Crompton and Michael Hill. Can you tell us about the book itself, the process, and what inspired you to create it.

When I pitched the idea for the book to my publisher I had been obsessed with The Sartorialist and The Selby. I wanted to do a combination of both where I would shoot street style images of guys in menswear whom I admired but in their environments, not just on the street. So in their houses, neighbourhoods, sports clubs, local cafes etc. 

I used the book as a way to meet a lot of the people in menswear I thought were really cool, not being sure if I would've been given the time of day by them otherwise! Luckily, I already knew a few of the subjects and everybody else who I approached said yes without much coaxing, which was a huge relief. Every one of the men featured in the book were so incredibly generous with their time, not just being photographed but the stories they told. It was a shame that we could only fit in about half a page of interview for each guy.

I am proud and pleased with how it turned out, which were the main things I wanted from the book at the end of the day. I'd love to do another one; a sequel or even something completely different but I'm still wrestling with the direction I would take with that. Do I do more imagery or do I focus more on the interview side of things and have it be a little more akin to something like David Coggins' 'Men and Manners'? We'll see.

"The reason I got into the menswear industry in the first place was I was just a super fan"

You’re keeping busy as you are currently co-authoring a new book with Simon Crompton due to come out later this year. Can you tell us bit more about that? 

We are indeed. I'm sure Simon won't mind me letting a tiny bit of the cat out of the bag here but basically it's a follow on from the first book we did together 'The Style Guide', this time with a focus on the more casual side of menswear and this time I will be contributing commentary to each image alongside Simon's.

It's been really fun to put together and I got a lot more joy out of the writing side of it than I thought I would. I think the balance between the two of us is really nice as Simon tends to be much more thought out and considered than me and I tend to try and bring a little humour to proceedings.

We've just wrapped on the proofing and hopefully the book should be out before the end of the year.

Whilst photography remains your primary medium, you’re starting to get more involved in other disciplines behind the scenes, such as writing, videography and creative direction. Does it feel like a natural progression at this point in your career?

To an extent yes. The reason I got into the industry in the first place was I was just a super fan. Slowly, as I've built my career up, I've had a little more time to be indulgent about things and shoot stuff that I loved about menswear in the first place. Like the lockdown self portraits I started doing. Born out of necessity at the time, it was fun to experiment with studio lighting, which was something I had been meaning to do, as well as trying to inject a little fun into the proceedings.

Weirdly, that brief interlude instilled in me a lot of core maxims that I still try and follow; one of the main ones being that as long as the fit looks amazing you can pretty much do whatever the f*ck you want. In my case, that ended up with me looking like a total d*ck playing with my kids' toys or pretending that I can do tail whips on a scooter!  

Slowly I've been integrating this into other areas like you mentioned; sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. As always you have to take it on a case to case basis and still tailor it to exactly what the client wants but it has been a lot of fun to take a few more risks with projects which is what I think menswear needs more of these days. There's such a demand for content at the minute that it can all start to homogenise into one. 

"For me as a photographer, all i want is cool dudes and dope clothes"

We’d be interested to know how you think menswear is going to evolve in the coming years? Both from a trend and consumer behaviour perspective?

It's funny and I know this is extremely contradictory but I think menswear is in a great place and an OK place right now. You've got so much selection right now and so many different styles that are so easily available to us as a consumer, which is amazing. It's a lot easier these days to start a new brand and try and bring a fresh voice to the marketplace. I remember when I was coming up in the early days, manufacturing wouldn't even take a meeting if you didn't have a brick and mortar store. Now, as long as you've got Instagram or Shopify, you're all good. The fact that we also now have specialised menswear second hand online stores, like Marrkt, and access to great vintage more easily, like Broadway and Sons, means as a consumer, I'm spoilt for choice.

That being said, it also feels like there's an oversaturation of the market. Personally, I find it tricky nowadays to find that brand that's doing something that little bit different and making something quality. That's not to say that they aren't out there, there's just a lot more to swim through to get there.

I guess to view it in a more positive light, all this selection means guys can take a lot more risks, style wise, than they might have previously done. For me as a photographer and also as someone who is just a menswear nerd this is what I want ALL the time; cool dudes, dope clothes.

What are you excited about at the moment? Which brands/items of clothing are you currently into?

How long have you got? In terms of style what has always excited me is people mixing high low really well. Taking an item and turning it on its head in an unexpected way. Much to my wife's embarrassment this summer, that has meant me trying to pair smart shoes with shorts and sports socks. Good times.

I'm really into what Davide over at Ghiaia Cashmere is doing. Big inspiration. I'm a little biased but the fellas over at Atempo Rubato as well. The illustrator, Rodrigo Saldana who's running Momos Tailors, I really like his relaxed approach to tailoring. Luke Walker at L.E.J., The Anthology, I love that Brycelands now has an outpost in London, my guy Tony Sylvester and his brand AWMS, and anything that Aaron Levine is involved with.

Shop Jamie's pre-owned pieces from the likes of Drake's, Luca Avitabile, Baracuta and more...