Don't just get your work out there for the sake of getting it out there. Make sure what you're putting out there is your best, and make sure that everyone knows what you're doing is quality.
Jamal: I got into photography because I like to preserve moments. It wasn't anything really specific. I just wanted to capture moments that I really liked and be able to look back on them. Yes, I am self-taught. I would say I'm 95 percent self-taught. I'm learning as I go.
At what moment did you realize that this was something you would pursue professionally?
Pursuing photography professionally was more for myself. It wasn't really something that was encouraged by others. The defining moment when I made that decision is a blur, but I would say it was at least five years ago.
Do you have any goals to push the Jamal Gumbs Photography brand further?
From a local perspective, I feel like I do have a brand. I don't want to say it's not good enough, but I believe I can do more. I want to push more in selling prints and make it more of a priority to get myself known.
Is there a niche in photography that you haven't explored yet that you would like to?
I think I've done a little bit of everything, but I never feel like I have any one area down pat. I'm always learning, and I always want to take my craft to the next level.
Do you feel any pressure when it comes time to shoot special occasions like someone's wedding for instance?
I usually take the day or two before to make sure I have all of my materials set. Mentally, there's not much going on. For weddings, for example, I know there are certain shots I need to get. Once you've done it once or twice, you abide by that routine.
North America. The environment is so diverse. You have your canyons in Arizona. You have your lakes and snow regions in the North. You have your oceans on the East and West coast so there's a lot to explore.
Do you feel like photographers in Anguilla get the respect they deserve?
I don't think so, especially from a financial perspective. I don't feel that people have a true respect for the art form, and then there are certain people who believe the work you can produce is only connected to the nice camera you use.
We live in an age where people don't necessarily need to invest in cameras to take decent pictures. Do you have an opinion on social media sites like Instagram?
For me personally, I think Instagram cheapens your work. I'm not saying it's not an effective tool to use, but I think you should always display your work at its best. Don't just get your work out there for the sake of getting it out there. Make sure what you're putting out there is your best, and make sure that everyone knows what you're doing is quality. I'm going to stay away from Instagram. I may be killing my business, or maybe I'm not, but I'm not striving for Internet fame. I don't care for that.
Who are some photographers that you admire?
Sue Hsu. She does wildlife photography. Her work is amazing. I also like Karl Taylor's work. He's probably the photographer I look up to the most. Chase Jarvis, Drew Harper, and Ryan Dyar are some others.
What advice do you have for aspiring photographers?
Just shoot. Shoot as much as you can, whenever you can and wherever you can. Don't ever be afraid to experiment. As you continue to take photos, you'll get better. Never get too concerned with what you shoot with. Upgrade when you can, but just be willing to take photos with whatever you have. Once you love what you do, you'll produce good work. I use a Canon because that's what I feel comfortable with. No one could ever tell me my work sucks because of the camera I choose to use.
Travel whenever you can as well. Explore the world and not just through a computer screen. I feel like that should be on everyone's bucket list.