BikeBiz: What kind of work do you do?
Chris Keller-Jackson: I’m best known for track photography as I currently have an exhibition at the National Cycling Centre and am published widely on that subject.
On the journalistic side, I have an engineering slant, having been on factory visits around the globe, though I test parts, write general industry and consumer articles, as well as offering mentoring and advocacy to the bike business – some of which I consider as payback for the help and support I have been given by the industry. What comes around goes around.
From a photographic perspective, as well as road, MTB trials, dirt jump and track cycling photography, I perform ‘event’ photography, ‘pack shots’, catalogue, fashion and studio work. I’m adaptable and I’m at a stage (14 years on) where nothing phases me, not even the odd wedding! Of course, having the dual ability of photography and journalism does make me ‘cheaper’ to clients that need both.
Any recent examples?
Three weeks before the Bike&Tri Show in Manchester, a local bike manufacturer requested my services to capture their new bike range, with frames just landing in the UK. I booked a studio to ensure we’d get the best quality images we could and worked with the client and the studio to ensure we had what was required in time for the shoot. Much of my role is in organising and ensuring every element of a shoot is prepared, well before I go near a camera. The shoot went smoothly and the results wowed the client on the day. After post production, the delivered images were exactly what was needed to showcase the product. At the show, the client proudly showed off the stand with a ten foot double width banner of one of the images I took, as well as flyers with more of the studio shoot. We are currently planning a shoot out on the roads in the Peak District to get the lifestyle angle for the brand.
What’s been your toughest assignment yet?
Every assignment has its own challenges, such as in a couple of Red Bull shoots. Manchester lived up to its billing by being inclement in the extreme for the ‘Street Lights Session’ trials display. Almost cancelled, the riders removed all the photographers from the area for safety reasons, but asked me to ‘stay on the pitch’ as they knew and trusted me to not get in the way – I got the iconic shots that Red Bull wanted, whilst ensuring the riders were safe.
Red Bull Minidrome, just like track cycling, had one edition sunken into an old municipal swimming pool. The shoot was fast paced, with Red Bull after lots of perspectives – realistically this was a two snapper job. The difficult element was the requirement for ‘instant’ images, needing to select and edit with the client watching every move, approving images against their house ‘style’ guides. That was pressure, but I delivered.
Tel. 07814 597588