Jan Kirkham

I fell in love with being able to portray a scene in exactly the way I wanted to

Photographer Jan Kirkham is studying BA (Hons) Sport & Social Sciences at the University of Bath and has been selected as an Arts Scholar for a second year. Jan shares how he has been able to combine his interest in sport and fashion with photography, and how his course has enabled him to create more meaningful imagery.

What is your background in your chosen art form?

I have always been creative, so when I started photography I fell in love with being able to portray a scene in exactly the way I wanted to. I started off taking photographs of my friends, getting a real interest in portraiture. This led me to combine my two favourite things with photography; sport and fashion. By going to Fashion Week and shows I became known for fashion portraiture, which was so exciting! So, when ‘highsnobiety magazine’ asked me to work for them as a freelancer I couldn’t believe it!

Since then I have gone on to mix all three of my interests with photography and turn it into the way in which I pay my rent. With sport, fashion and portraiture I have become the athlete portrait photographer I am today; shooting with today’s top Olympians.

What are you working on ahead of Platform?

As my photography depends on working with athletes, before Platform I have been focusing on making sure I am up keeping the shoots which I want to exhibit at Platform.

Do you find any links between your creativity and your course?

As I study Sport and Social Science, which has a firm focus on psychology, I am able to use this to create more meaningful and thought-provoking work, especially within the sports industry.

What/Who inspires, influences or drives you?

I would say I am mostly inspired by culture and branding not specifically other photographers. However, I am definitely inspired by the great Bill Cunningham who sadly died recently. He was well known for his street fashion photography and when I was really into his work I was doing a lot more fashion focused shoots.

We’d like to thank Santander for the generous support for this Arts Scholarship.


Arts Scholar Showcase


The Edge
Join us for a wonderful and unique evening showcasing the impressive artistic talents of University of Bath students.