Dan Kennedy: My secrets for creative business success

Dan Kennedy is a London-based celebrity and fashion photographer regularly commissioned in the UK to shoot for advertising clients, magazines and celebrity agents. His multi-faceted portfolio includes work with Angelia Jolie, Keira Knightley and Tinie Tempah. His clients also range from the BBC, ITV, SKY, to The Times, The Telegraph, Independent, Observer and Q Magazine.

Not only is Kennedy featuring as a judge for the JJ Foundation Photography Competition for Young People 2018, he will also give what will surely be an invaluable talk at JJ Media Group on Thursday 19th July.

Attendees will learn how Dan went from local newspaper snapper to running a successful photography business, and this all-encompassing talk will uniquely also include happiness hacks for designing a life you love.


JJ Media Group caught up with Dan to ask some of our burning questions:

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

I love the variety in my job – I can be shooting Henry Cavill in a £10k suite in The Shard one day and then be out on a freezing beach in Norfolk the next. This means I’m always meeting new people and often using my brain in different ways. And I never get bored.

Who are your biggest influences and why?

Albert Watson – his use of black and white blows my mind. US photographer Platon for the same reasons, striking, arresting, powerful portraits that are so captivating.

What makes a good picture?

A good picture either makes you stop and question it, or gives you an immediate sense of satisfaction


What will you be talking about on Thursday?

I’ll be talking about my journey from local newspaper darkroom to running my own photography business and some of the best things I have learned along the way. As an entrepreneur nobody tells you how to stay creative and run a profitable business – there’s no manual, unfortunately! – so I want to share some of what I have learned through trial and error, as well as some of the techniques I use today to stay busy and happy.

In your free time, what kind of pictures do you like to shoot and why?

I love travelling and capturing portraits of interesting people in exotic places (and sometimes a good lunch). I try and schedule in a couple of personal projects each year when I sneak off to somewhere new and just see what happens.

Who is the favourite celebrity you have shot and why? Have you ever been star-struck?

Drew Barrymore was my favourite celebrity to shoot. She was friendly and funny was happy to go onto a blustery hotel roof just to get the picture!

Did you always want to become a photographer?

I started photographing bands at my local live music venue in Norwich. I was doing a course in Architecture at the time but at that point I knew photography was my true calling. Seeing your work published gives you an almighty buzz

Lastly, what is your greatest achievement?

That’s actually nothing to do with photography – it’s running the Amsterdam marathon aged 40+! It’s absolutely the hardest thing I have ever done but I now know I can achieve anything with the right mindset and right support, which is kind of cool.

Dan Kennedy will be joining us on 20th October for an unmissable masterclass, tickets are available here