Jack Bridgland is arguably one of the hottest photographers of the moment. If you don’t recognise his name you’ll certainly recognise his work. Remember that GQ cover of a transformed Robert Pattinson? With the blonde hair, tooth grill, tattoos and mesh wife beater tank. Bridgland’s work frames iconic faces within a lens that embraces both rock n roll elements, a futuristic feel and glossy commerciality. Bridgland has also worked with the likes of Charli XCX, Rosalia, Ugly Worldwide, Wolfie Cindy and Jake Bugg.
Originally, he got a feel for the industry through work experience and climbed up through the ladder with help from Ed Cook, a photographer, mentor and friend who he met after messaging through Tumblr.
From thereon Jack started shooting his own imagery, heading to London every Saturday to hone his craft and “photograph someone” or “someone with friends”. From there, Jack developed his own style as being one that’s now instantly identifiable, involving candid shots of everyday life in London, LA and beyond. Many of his shoots have been of musicians, artists, models and fashion designers, for which Jack implements cartoonish colours and energetic references from Looney Tunes and old-school magazines into his creations – like a recent shoot with model Jordan Barrett.
He also cites XXL magazines from his 90s childhood as a source of inspiration. The shoot that truly launched his career was with popular model Jordan Barrett who reached out to him over Instagram. The concept of the shoot was very juxtaposed and an idea that many brands and publications had rejected Bridgland for previously. The concept was a model wearing sportswear while commiting unhealthy habits such as smoking and eating McDonalds. Barrett loved the idea and the shoot saw glossy skin, monochromatic tones and beautiful blue-based headshots. Once published, the shoot went viral and really got Bridgland’s work noticed on a high brow level.
It was this virality that led to Robert Pattinson finding Bridgland’s work online and expressing to his agent that he wanted to do a shoot. The agent put Bridgland forward for GQ global. Bridgland worried that since the shoot surrounded Pattinson’s promotion for the Batman movie that GQ would expect and want a chic, slick shoot but surprisingly they gave him a wide artistic licence.
Bridgland is open about the need for personal work being healthy for the portfolio without having to cater to the needs of a brand. For us creative freelancers, this is a priceless lesson to learn.
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