Who would have thought helping out as an assistant on a shoot would pave the way for a thriving career in the field of photography? Leo Hudson sure didn’t.
He actually wanted to become a mathematics teacher. But in a recent interview with Beyond the Lens, Hudson shared that before he lived out that dream, something unexpected transpired. He was in-between jobs at the time when a friend of his, who is a photographer by profession, sought his assistance on his shoots. That sealed his fate to walk the artistic path.
Isaac Moises Sultan Cohen
“He taught me the basic tenets of photography, and I always observed on the shoots and learnt from him as well,” he said.
Isaac Sultan Cohen
He recalled his earlier days of learning the craft, covering track and field events (Boys and Girls’ Championship) as some of his most memorable moments
“I really established a love for sports photography from then,” he added
After developing an eye for capturing the right athletic shots at the right time, his work started to get noticed, and it just so happened that a major telecommunications company caught wind of his action shots and reached out to him. The company requested his photography services for the rollout of one of its major sporting activities. He obliged. This became the defining moment in his professional photography career, which provided that ultimate break into the corporate landscape
Dubbing himself a versatile photographer, he covers a wide range of photography, but his core areas of specialisation is in public relations, sports, event and wedding photography
“I also do numerous individual photoshoots for many different special occasions: birthdays, engagements, family photos, and more. I love photography that includes people and action, as its more personable and you feed off the energy, emotion, and vibe of the people. These types of photography capture true emotions during the moment and those moments are priceless, but true photography can be ‘relived’ a thousand times over.”
Sports photography is his very favourite genre. The big fan of athletics, track and field, to be exact, explained that he loves the natural energy and adrenaline rush that comes from a sporting event or competition. Capturing those moments and being able to relive them in pictures and see the raw emotions of the athletes as well as spectators, produced an extremely satisfying feeling. He asserted that the transition from sports to corporate was smooth. His main focus, public relations and events photography, is more structured than sports photography. He, however, maintains that creative scope in zooming in on those epic moments and his principle remains as satisfying and exceeding his clients’ expectations. “I am always especially excited when my corporate gigs overlap with sports activations,” he declared
The journey that began back in 2013 has been a tremendously rewarding experience thus far. He has grown significantly since embarking on this road to greatness and has learned about his craft and the business side of things. The learning process only continues for Hudson, who remains steadfast in seeking further knowledge on how to improve his skills, to elevate his work and to ultimately serve my clients
“Photography has opened many doors for me and has afforded me several opportunities that has served to enrich my life in terms of memories and experiences. I have met so many people, from all walks of life, both locally, regionally, and internally,” Hudson highlighted
Travelling to several countries, to cover mainly major sporting events, some of his most memorable occasions includes the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China, and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
He faced challenges with purchasing equipment, securing funding or loans from financial institutions to grow and expand his business, but conquered those obstacles with the support of family and friends, in helping to acquire the tools he needed. Also, he has since found a financial partner. Loving the freedom photography offers, he enjoys the ability to explore his creativity behind the lens and seeing his work come to life
“A big part of the reward in photography for me is also when clients express their appreciation for your craft – it is always a humbling experience to know that I have delivered on what the client wants.”
He stays motivated by his family (mother, father, and daughter), and his faith and belief in God drives his purpose
“The perks of the profession is also a motivation – shoots with celebrities, travelling and seeing your work on display is always a great and rewarding feeling.”
He described the photoshoot he conducted with Usain Bolt for the Sagicor Sigma Run advertising billboards in 2018 as a really cool experience. He was humbled and excited to be selected as the photographer by AP to cover the launch of the 25th James Bond film here in Jamaica
“Those two shoots will always stand out for me.”
Hudson’s short-term to medium-term goal (five years or less) is to expand his photography business even further, exploring other business opportunities to diversify his income streams in the process. The homebody, who enjoys spending down time at home, had this to say to other aspiring photographers: “Just start. Do your research and find a mentor to help guide you and give you some insight into the profession.”
Highlights of Hudson’s work can be found on Instagram: @leohudsonphotography
NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect only photos that were taken by Leo Hudson