Margot’s journey to becoming a travel and lifestyle photographer

BU alumna, Margot Jackobson, gives us an insight into her journey since graduating from BA (Hons) Media Production in 2017. Hear about her career and daily life as a successful freelance lifestyle and travel photographer.

Margot comments: “My degree was mostly in video content. After I graduated, I began working for a Bournemouth-based agency that ran multiple event venues. When the company took on an in-house photographer, I began to learn from him and develop my skills. This made the transition to freelance photography quite a natural one.”

Gaining experience happened naturally for Margot. She said: “I went on holiday to visit my brother and some of his friends happened to be models, so I got into photographing them and the images helped to establish my freelance career.”

This experience led to generating work of a similar kind. She said: “My style is something that I don’t tend to overthink. I work in a way that captures movement and candid moments. I’d take my camera to family events, a friend helped me with editing photos and my portfolio and skills grew organically.”

A typical day for a freelance photographer can vary - Margot explains that she’s not always on shoots or editing, there’s a large amount of admin and planning that goes on behind the scenes. “Shoots tend to be for a half-day, starting early mornings to benefit from natural light. Typically, I wrap my shoot by 2pm and get editing late into the evening. I work really long hours”, she said.

“A lot of the time I am multi-tasking; replying to emails, planning mood boards, organising models – being a one-man band is time-consuming, especially making sure it’s to my high standards. One of the biggest challenges I’ve overcome is striking that work-life balance. I love what I do and so it doesn’t feel like work, I have to remind myself that I am working.”

When starting out as a freelancer there is a certain investment to make in equipment. Margot says: “It can heavily depend on your level. If you are charging people, then you need kit that will deliver in all kinds of situations. I bought my camera and went from there, investing around £10,000 overall and adding specific items as and when I needed to, building my resources up over time.

“I couldn’t take all of the jobs offered to me in the beginning; it was about knowing what I could and couldn’t deliver, renting kit when more convenient to create opportunities to see what works for you.”

Margot’s advice for others is: “Go out and shoot as much as you can, use your free time to get creative and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Really take the time to try different things, make great industry connections and develop your natural style.”  

See more of Margot’s photography and videography work on her website.

Find out more about studying BA (Hons) Photography or book your place to an Open Day to speak with the academics and see the facilities.