Plymouth based Jay Stone is a full-time videographer and drone operator working with businesses and people all across the UK. It all began at school, learning basic camera skills from his Grandfather but has grown into him being one the the city’s most sought after photographer, creating some of the best known images of the city and its thriving cultural scene. Made in Plymouth Reporter, Kosi Chukwudi, went along to meet him and find out more about where he finds his inspiration.
When asked about his source of inspiration, Jay said “We are forever in a world where people are always mimicking and are heavily inspired by those around us so its better now, more than ever to do your own thing rather than taking too much inspiration from others, use that as a stepping stone.”
Like many others creatives in the city, Jay initially moved to Plymouth for studies at the University of Plymouth and never left, with about fifty percent of his work and many friends in the city keeping him here. He started off as a nightclub photographer and videographer for the University of Plymouth Student’s Union where he really got to grips with his camera and the low light situations, mastering low light camera techniques. He also went on to become the Vice-President for Activities and Development at the student’s union where he was able to impact student lives further, asides the aesthetic pictures he takes of them that bring smiles to their faces days after their nights out.
I enquired to know how he thought he might have further impacted city as a whole post his uni days, and he replied: “As I take many images and films of the city, and its most popular events, I hope that it portrays the city in a positive light, that people from further afield see these videos and want to come to Plymouth and see what its all about.”
He sees Plymouth as a gem in the south west that just needs a little tidying up, some modernisation and, more lovers of the city. He advises upcoming creatives to reach out to others in their desired field and build their portfolio from scratch by offering services to friends, families, businesses and bands.
When it came to discussing his own social life he said ‘his night out days’ were behind him now but he still enjoys going to local open mic nights, whilst having a casual drink – not to forget, a decent Nando’s meal. He also mentioned the Theatre Royal Plymouth as a social yet cultural venue to go, saying it has a diverse range of shows throughout the year, with super friendly and knowledgeable staff team there.
Talking more on the career of photography, Jay believes people do not really need to formally study photography, unless they want to pursue a certain avenue into a full sized production company, which many universities may have business contacts with, else, you can all be self taught. He sees AI in photography as a tool to be utilised instead of a replacement development. Jay said he uses AI for the culling of his images and helps to photoshop out undesirable elements within a photo, for example; a stain on a shirt, or a bin in the background.
Jay is currently working on a BBC science programme filmed at the National Marine Aquarium. Even though Jay is already doing big things, he would still like to see his work grow into other sectors and to film bigger and more impressive events.
To find Jay and his works, you can check out his website www.jaystone.co.uk or, find him on all social media platforms under @JayStoneUK.