5 Minutes With: Jack Johnstone | Riley Studio

5 Minutes With: Jack Johnstone

by Hello Riley |

Meet the talented photographer whose keen eye for detail and rare ability to capture the often overlooked made him the ideal candidate to shoot Collection 07. 

Early in the process of designing Collection 07 we knew that we had to photograph it outside. This realisation led us down a few online rabbits holes as we searched for the ideal location and photographer who could bring out the collection's key themes of repair, positivity and connection to the natural world. 

Our search quickly led us to the wonderful work of Jack Johnstone. Jack is a photographer from Warrington, now living and working in London, whose warm and organic photography focuses on natural subjects, beautiful landscapes and often-overlooked subjects.  

Soon after meeting Jack we knew that we'd found a likeminded collaborator. His compassionate viewpoint, genuine appreciation of detail and communal approach made him the perfect person to bring Collection 07 to life. When Jack's photographs came back from the darkroom, we immediately saw that our faith was well placed.

To find out more about Jack's approach to being behind the camera and his thoughts on photographing Collection 07, we asked if we could steal five minutes from his busy shooting schedule to answer a few of our questions. 



When approaching a new project like this where do you look for inspiration?

Very much from the natural world. I’m endlessly inspired by my surroundings both in the UK and abroad. The flora and fauna of places in particular and also very much the weather. I’m always ready for the next season.

I’m also hugely inspired by man-made structures and textures, particularly those that have been abandoned and in some cases forgotten about. Old heavy industry plays a large part in this.

Lastly, I’ll always be inspired by taking people's portraits. It’s a fairly obvious one but it’s never lost on me what a privilege that is.


For our shoot we went to the Chapel of St Peter-on-the-Wall on the Dengie Peninsula. How did you first find that location and what drew you to it?

I first went to the chapel on an impromptu trip out to Essex to get a camera repaired last year. I really fell in love with this section of Dengie Peninsula; it’s so wide and open, and at a glance appears quite barren, but actually is teeming with life.

I really love the east coast of England. It’s unlike anywhere else I’ve been in the country. It has a melancholy beauty to it, I feel.


Are there recurring themes that you like to show in your work?

I’d like to think my work is inclusive and not aimed at any single demographic. I feel it’s accessible and hopefully it shows curiosity too. I also hope it gives a nod to things that get overlooked.

We know you like to photograph organic objects. We set you the challenge fo working with onions. How did you find that? 

I loved working with the them. They were excellent subjects! I was actually really pleased with our key shot of the puffer jacket. It was a challenge to try and incorporate the onions in a nice way that wasn’t too bizarre, but I think we managed it.

Shooting on our ‘model’ really helped, but I loved the thought of the onions spilling out from the garments in an organic way. They definitely stole the show! 



Finally, we know 'sustainability' is a trick term to define. What does it mean to you? 

Sustainability, I feel, is rather a broad term and one that needs careful consideration. It’s amazing that, on the whole, we’re all becoming more aware of its importance, but there are quite a few ‘red herrings’, I believe, in products and services that claim to be sustainable. I’m trying harder these days to dig a little deeper to find out exactly what lies behind different peoples interpretations of sustainability.

Overall, I think, sustainability to me, ideally, is a fully circular system where what we use goes straight back into either the ground or, has some form of regeneration and/or other use.




Special thanks to Jack. 

You can view the full Collection 07 Lookbook online now - photographed by Jack with Max Glatzhofer assisting.