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Award-winning photographer Jonathan Banks

Jonathan Banks is an award-winning British photographer with over 20 years experience. He studied under the renowned photographer John Blakemore and graduated from the University of Derby with an honours degree in photographic studies. His career began in editorial photography, freelancing for The Daily Telegraph and independent agencies. Since then, Jonathan has diversified into photography for corporate clients and selected editorial publications. He works with NGOs in the UK and abroad, is the longest serving British Red Cross photographer and has exhibited works in support of International Alert. Today, Jonathan is highly regarded by the architectural and design industry as an expert photographer of the built environment.

Notable Awards


2019 Siena International Photography Awards Photographer of the Year 2018 One Eyeland Awards Best of the Best  2017 International Color Awards Winner (Architecture), One Eyeland Winner (People/Culture) Winner (Editorial/War)  2015 1X Photo Awards People’s Choice  2014 PX3 Awards Gold  2013 International Kontinent Awards Silver  2012 PDN World in Focus Winner 2011 International Color Awards Winner  2010 Foto8 People’s Choice  2009 Travel Photographer of the Year Silver International Aperture Awards Silver & Bronze

All photography starts with light and every consideration I make is a balance of light and shadow. Whatever the subject matter, I must have an appreciation of light to understand what I will capture in the final picture. I’m forever studying the contrast, colour and quality of light.

Jonathan Banks

Jonathan’s work in architectural and interiors photography has given him a keen appreciation of lighting design as well as the ways in which both natural and artificial light can behave. Before he even sees his subject matter, he talks with the architect or designer to understand their original vision. He needs to hear about the client’s requirements, the design concept and all those particular features that are central to that concept.

As an accomplished and diverse photographer, he shoots editorial, humanitarian, corporate and commercial subject matter in addition to his architectural and interiors work. Jonathan firmly believes that such diversity does not dilute his focus. On the contrary, he views it as a considerable strength that helps inform his work and reinforces his position in the world of professional photography. Having been drawn to architecture and design, he has always photographed the built environment and interior spaces on behalf of international architects, fit-out specialists and designers. Jonathan’s commissions embrace a wide variety of projects, from hospitality to leisure and from commercial offices to public spaces and retail environments.

For Jonathan, the approach to every assignment is different. Some clients will want to walk him through the space, highlighting those areas to be showcased. Some will already have indicated this on plan drawings while others will want to accompany him, observing every frame he shoots.

Some project references

Nando’s Sevenoaks | A central feature of this restaurant created by STAC Architecture is the spiral staircase which is visible from the street. This shot is designed to emphasise its sculptural qualities and the way it dominates the interior design palette that collectively build a unique dining experience.

Having photographed Nando’s restaurants for some years I never fail to be struck by the way light always plays a significant role in the whole experience, regardless of each unique design concept. It attracts and entices from the outside and enhances the dining experience inside.

Jonathan Banks

Nando’s Atrincham | Another highly individual design concept created by STAC Architecture. The bright yellow loose chain dividers around the seating booths and incoporated into the chandeliers weave a colourful path through the interior with its organic fluidity.

Tech Company Bolton | In this interior designed by CallisonRTKL, linear elements combine with industrial grey and black in the office spaces of this building creating strong, graphic images that reflect the nature off the business. The bold design is accentuated by both natural and artificial light.

Fora Arnold House | A modernist workspace building in Shoreditch
set out on six floors designed by Tetris Design. This dramatic shot looking upwards through the stairwell captures the geometry of the structure and the cascading vertical lighting installation. This building has been nominated in the Workplace Interiors category for the Mixology Awards.

Icon Outlet at the O2 | Designed by CallisonRTKL and shortlisted for the Retail Project of The Year at the Lighting Design Awards 2020, the key feature is the dramatic ceiling design, conceived to create a sense of light, space and tranquility. Clever use of LED lighting allows the tone and feel of the space to alter depending on the time of day. My shots of the space capture the subtle changes of light as it permeates the organic swirls of the ceiling structure.

The Minster Building | Originally built in 1992, this building refurbished by Buckley Gray Yeoman Architects features an eight storey atrium around which the office space is arranged. The design takes full advantage of natural light pouring in through the atrium so it was appropriate to highlight this unique and rather monumental structure, capturing the character of the building

Global Technology Company | Arranged over three floors, the design of the interior by CallisonRTKLhas been conceived to reflect the company’s cutting- edge position in the industry. A key feature is the LED lighting that lends a dynamic quality to the open reception area and linking walkways. Capturing the sharpness and brightness of the light while highlighting the materiality of the spaces was the overriding task in this project.

5 Broadgate | This is the multi award-winning headquarters of USB bank, nicknamed the ‘Financial Engine’ and designed by Make Architects. Stretching to an epic 1,000,000 square feet, the 16 level building is home to 4 trading floors and 6,000 members of staff. The only photographer permitted to photograph the interior on completion – and all within 2 days – I took this particular shot of the central well which captures something of the simplicity, elegance and grandeur of what is a breathtaking interior space.

Broadcasting House | The BBC’s award winning building in Portland Place London, designed by HOK, MacCormac Jamieson Pritchard and Sheppard Robson with main contractor Overbury, houses around 5,500 members of the broadcaster’s staff in open, airy and interconnected spaces. HOK’s interior design is one of the largest and most complex workplace schemes in London and creates a highly flexible environment that incorporates new digital technology. This shot captures the distinctive red and orange palette adopted by the BBC and the connectivity of departmental spaces.

Atrium Showroom | I regularly photograph new product launches held at Atrium’s showroom in Shoreditch. The strong, monolithic nature of the interior architecture acts as a dramatic backdrop to lighting installations from Flos (shown here), Louis Poulsen and Atrium’s other exclusive brands.

To view more of Jonathan’s portfolio visit photo-banks.com
Contact Jonathan at  jonathan@photo-banks.com

This article and more are on our Fresh Magazine Issue n.5 2020