Jess Siggers is a Bristol Harbour based photographer and Instagrammer specialising in richly colourful scenes. She is the latest to take part in a series of collaborations with Farrow & Ball to create her Bristol inspired City Palette. We caught up with Jess to talk about her personal style, love for photography, and of course, her love for Bristol.
TC: What are three words to describe your personal style?
JM: Somebody once described my personal style as “quirky, grungy, goth”. I’d agree as I’m generally stuck in the 90’s. Although my personal style is nothing like my photographic style which would be “sunny, colourful, Bristolian!”
What room in a house do you fantasise about decorating most?
I live with my husband and daughter in an early-Victorian period townhouse which was a wreck when we bought it seven years ago. We’ve (very) slowly been renovating it room by room and we’re now able to decorate the lounge, my favourite room in the house. It’s large with beautiful light as it’s south-facing, a window seat and a balcony. I’ve always dreamt of a feature wall in duck egg or a soft green with the rest a delicate cream colour and understated nautical touches; something we now have since recently using Farrow & Ball’s ‘Green Blue’ and ‘James White’!
How long have you been a professional photographer?
I’ve taken photos for as long as I can remember back into my childhood. But it’s only become my profession in the last couple of years after people began asking if I’d consider selling my photos taken on my daily walks around the city. I’m currently working for several local clients privately while also working on getting my own postcard & greetings card range for sale. I also run the Bristol Instagrammers network, IGers Bristol.
What do you most enjoy photographing?
Vintage cars, hot air balloons and brightly coloured houses are my thing. Which is lucky as we seem to have more of those things in Bristol than anywhere else!
Do you have any top tips for budding photographers (or Instagram fanatics!)?
I’d feel like a fraud giving top tips to budding photographers when I still class myself as a newbie. However there are three rules I live by when it comes to both my professional photography and Instagramming:
– Photograph what makes your heart sing, not what others dictate – think of your work as a reflection of the best version of yourself rather than a pale imitation of someone else.
– Build your brand – become the name on people’s lips when it comes to a particular type of photography then don’t dilute it by going off-piste. For example I’m known for my fully-saturated colour street photography which is a style I’ve always been drawn to; therefore I wouldn’t consider black and white or portrait photography.
– Always, always have a camera on you! Then try and capture the best photo you can in the light that you’ve got for minimal editing later.
Where is your favourite spot in Bristol?
There’s a particular spot near the marina where you walk around the corner and find a busy part of the harbour at your feet with ferries. sailboats & ducks darting about, the rainbow-coloured houses of Cliftonwood above you and a beautiful tree-lined path to your left. No matter how many times I find myself at this spot, it never fails to ground me and fill me with fresh inspiration.
How would you describe Bristol’s atmosphere and style?
Creative, colourful, buzzy, chilled and nautical. Big enough to make an impact but small and friendly enough to regularly bump into people you know wherever you are in the city.
Can you tell us a bit about your Bristol ‘City Palette’ and what inspired it?
As we’re a maritime city and I also live on the harbourside, I was inspired to include the closest Bristol landmarks to where I’m based; our iconic coloured Cliftonwood houses, the rich earthy tones of Cabot Tower and The Matthew ship and the stony grey of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. We’re also lucky enough to be surrounded by many green spaces and parks so a springy green was another must.
And finally, who would be on your ultimate dinner party guest list?!
Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer, Debbie Harry, Chris Evans, Nicky Wire of the Manic Street Preachers, Joanna Lumley and Will Taylor of Bright Bazaar so we can obsess over our favourite colour combos!