Cameras at the ready


We talk to Jess Siggers of @porthjess about all things Instagramable

Jess Siggers is a UK-based content creator, consultant, social media influencer and photographer. She’s created an Instagram empire across Bristol, so we caught up with her to find out more about her work, projects and favourite things to photograph…

Hi Jess, how long have you been in Bristol? Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hello! I’m a photographer, consultant, content creator and community manager who loves anything colourful, quirky and community-minded. I also need to be near water to feel grounded which is probably why I’ve lived in Bristol my whole life and never felt the need to move anywhere else!

Your Instagram account is full of beautiful pictures of houses around Bristol (and beyond!) — what’s so special about Bristol houses? 

I’m not aware of anywhere else in this country which has such a high concentration of brightly-painted houses… and believe me, I’ve done my research! I was delighted to team up with Stride Treglown last year to help launch Bristol Colour UK, a project to increase further the number of colourful houses in the city, establish Bristol as the colour capital of the UK and encourage installation of external insulated render, making our city more energy-efficient too.

What’s your favourite area to photograph? 

I find it impossible to pick one area as every Bristol postcode has its own charms! There’s a walk I love to take with the camera whenever I get a rare day off which begins in my own neighbourhood of Cliftonwood, cuts across Whiteladies Road into Cotham/Kingsdown then snakes across into Montpelier, ending in Stokes Croft/St. Pauls. The route contains everything I love about Bristol and changes season by season.

You’ve worked on quite a few projects throughout the last few years — what has been your favourite and why? 

Two which really stick out in my mind are a collaboration I worked on with Farrow & Ball a couple of years ago where I created a Bristol skyline using their paints, fabrics and wallpapers. And also a photoshoot myself and six photographer friends worked on for a magazine where we pretended to be tourists visiting Bristol for the first time. That was so fun!

Who has been your favourite client to work with, and why? 

I work with so many but whenever I work with Visit Bristol on a local project either with my Porthjess or IGers Bristol hat on, that’s where my heart is.

What do you like most about what you do? 

No day is ever the same! In a period of seven hours I could be grabbing my camera to head out on a shoot for a client before meeting with a brand manager to discuss a new or ongoing campaign followed by a couple of beers with my IGers Bristol moderators to plan our next Instameet.
My creative juices just don’t flow if I’m stuck in the same daily routine. 

Finally, you’re a major social media influencer in Bristol — what advice would you give to anyone looking to go down the same path? 

Be prepared to work hard, sometimes at anti-social hours, and often for free while you’re getting established. And use my three golden rules: 1) Over-deliver. 2) Be kind. 3) Always have back-up power!

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