Feature, InterviewMerek Davis


Feature, InterviewMerek Davis

Jamie Betts (@jamiebettsphoto) creates mood with excellence. His tonal style is brilliantly dark with flashes of vivid color and bold light. In viewing his work you’ll discover an attentiveness to detail leading to sharp and gorgeous photographs. Jamie also uses Mextures in an exceptional manner to add a little something extra to his pictures. About a month ago we had the privilege of chatting with him about his creative process and style. You’ll find our conversation below!

My name is Jamie Betts and I’m a fine art, commercial, and editorial photographer based in Richmond, VA. I am a full time free-lance photographer and am very lucky to make a living doing what I love most.

My sense of adventure started at an early age. I was always exploring places that were off limits or climbing something I shouldn't have been. If there wasn’t some level of risk or excitement involved I wasn’t into it. My father introduced me to hiking and mountaineering when I was ten. We hiked several areas of the Grand Canyon together then. I was immediately fascinated by the incredible landscapes out west.

My passion for photography was born in my early teens in Wyoming. My family vacationed there every summer. I began by documenting my hikes and climbs in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming. It’s still my favorite place to go and it holds a very special place in my heart. I soon realized my photos weren't expressing the experiences and emotions I was having in these magnificent places. That’s when I began to study cameras functions, film and exposure. I became obsessed and still am to this day.

I love to travel as often as I can. I’m constantly searching for new and exciting places to explore and photograph.


What is it about photography that you love the most?

I think what I currently love the most about photography is how social it has become for me because of Instagram. I used to shoot by myself all the time and really didn't share my work. Instagram has changed all that for me and I love meeting new people who have the same interests and passions.

I plan trips now with the sole purpose of meeting new artists and experiencing new places. Photography is more exciting to me than ever right now!


What does your editing process generally look like?

My editing usually starts in Lightroom. I have created some presets that I use as a base to start from. When I have a nice and balanced image I export that to my iPhone 6 plus. I start with Mextures and apply one of the many formulas that I have created. I then adjust to my liking. I love the fade slider in Mextures and also the ability to affect different areas of the image with graduated filters. Mextures is by far my favorite editing tool and the results are truly unique.

I usually then import into Instagram and adjust highlights on the white background before posting.

I try to emulate Mextures in Lightroom when I'm working on the full resolution image for my portfolio and print.


Do you feel like Mextures offers anything unique to your editing process?

I find Mextures to be an incredibly dynamic editing tool. The layering is very unique and there are so many ways to produce an amazing end result.

Mextures also has an analog look that you can't get from other apps. I can always tell when an image has been processed with Mextures. It has a real film look. The textures, tones and fades provide endless editing opportunities.

My favorite part of Mextures by far are the formulas. I love creating and sharing the formulas. It's a great way to begin an edit and you never know where you're gonna end up in the end.

I can spend way too much time lost in Mextures.


Would you mind sharing a few of your formulas with the Mextures community?

"Iced Out" - XJZUJVN - dark contrasty fade "Stained" - RMHCJHV - vignetted moody fade "Pacific Northwest" - IKSDWDE - contrast and fade "Highway" - HERFCJQ - black and white mood "Bixby" - CPPHTFH - toned moody fade

What have you found inspires your photography more than anything else?

I think what inspires my work the most is travel. I get very inspired anytime I get to travel somewhere new to photograph. I'm always looking forward to the next adventure!


What has been your favorite photo to capture so far?

I think one of my more recent favorite images that I’ve captured is of an abandoned home completely surrounded by kudzu. I’m always trying to capture images of nature reclaiming man-made structures and this image really stands out to me. I edited it in Photoshop and Mextures also!


Who are the people that have most inspired your photography and creative process?

When I started out in I was only interested in black and white film photography. For the first 5 years that's all I shot. I was big in to landscapes and urban photography. I was inspired by Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, and Henri Cartier-Bresson

I've developed my own interests and style over the years but it is constantly evolving. I really want to photograph more people. Many of my images lack that human element and I'm looking forward to incorporating more people in my imagery.

Gregory Crewdson is probably my favorite photographer. I could look at his images for hours. His work is cinematic, elaborate and dramatic. They usually are shot in small town America and evoke a lot of emotion. His work is brilliant! Kyle Thompson is another favorite of mine. A very young guy from Chicago whose surreal conceptual photography is outstanding!

There are so many accounts that blow me away on Instagram that it's hard to list them. I wouldn't say I'm influenced by anyone in particular on Instagram. I try to shoot what interests me and continue to develop my own style. I'm definitely inspired by a lot of what I see on Instagram - especially locations that I want to travel to. It's hard for me to list favorites because I have so many but I'll list some of the accounts that I really like.

@potatounit, @leahminium, @spencercotton, @jude_allen, @valsdarkroom, @trashhand, @moodygrams, @agameoftones, @mextures and @way2ill.


Dive into more of Jamie’s work here!