Banbury Oxfordshire UK
Camera: Sinar P2 (to use) Leica 3G (to own)
Photographer: Christopher Joyce
Hotel: Waldorf Astoria, New York
Book: Things I have learned in my life so far by Stefan Sagmeister
Whether in the studio or on location, I have been creating imaginatively conceived and wonderfully lit commercial and advertising photography for more than 25 years.
With an array of awards to my name, my approach ensures that my images stand out above the competitive crowd. Commissioned by many major brands and global corporations, my work can be seen in magazines, brochures, and on bill boards, across the world.
I have recently added to my list of achievements by becoming a distinguished Fellow of the British Institute of Professional Photography (FBIPP), as well as being awarded a member of the prestigious Federation of European Photographers (QEP). Numerous Gold awards have followed, both nationally and internationally, including a clutch of International Apertures, FEP Advertising Awards, Hasselblad Master’s 2012 finalist and People’s Choice Winner PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris.
Stringent production values are a given – and my broad range of major clients, expect nothing less. But it is my eye for form and colour, mastery of lighting and an instinct for the perfect styling, that truly sets my work apart.
These skills have enabled me to amass a portfolio of powerful photographs each of which has strengthened an existing brand identity by creating a fresh and iconic new image.
My work reinforces inherent brand values by approaching them differently – adding the magic that turns the ordinary into the extraordinary, and creating stunning images that you don’t have to be an Art Director to want to hang on your wall.
When did you first realise that a career in photography was for you? At the age of 15, I either wanted to be an accountant or a photographer. I don’t think the world of accountancy could have coped with me, or my loud shirts though. The irony is, I now shoot lots of advertising campaigns for financial services and global accountants.
What is your typical camera setup on a shoot? PhaseOne back and plenty of lighting.
Your work clearly shows an appreciation for design and form. Does design influence your photography or does your style of photography attract well-designed subjects? Style of photography attracts well-designed subjects.
What is your strategy for attracting potential clients? I feel that the industry as a whole is still about personal relationships. I have varied portfolios for different market sectors and I am always happy to go, chat and do some test shots, and talk about the work with potential clients. Photography for me has always been personality driven, it seems to work for me.
What is your post-production workflow like? I work with a couple of talented, trusted retouchers, who really understand my work. We usually collaborate and formulate a desired look and feel before we start shooting.
What is your dream project? Working with NASA
How do you keep your photography skills up to date and what is your biggest resource for learning? Just keeping my eyes and ears open. I am fortunate to work with a wide circle of influential creatives/designers who are always pushing the boundaries. I have recently done some guest Iecturering, and have found that makes you reevaluate they way you look at and make work. Also being involved in the professional bodies and associations, looking at what’s winning awards going to galleries etc.
Who has been the biggest influence on your photography? My Grandfather. He was a keen amateur photographer, always had cameras by him at all time. I was a very inquisitive small boy, so he showed me how to use one of his cameras. That first picture….. still burnt into my memory to this day, and that’s how powerful the photographic image can be.
I am grateful to my Grandfather for instilling such passion and setting me off in this lovely profession of ours, I only wish he could have lived long enough to see it manifest itself in me. I love what I do for a living. It’s such a rich and rewarding life. Every day is different and I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s in my DNA. So thank you Grandad.
In your opinion, what makes a truly great photograph? Someone who can truly communicate/engage with the viewer.
What was the best career advice you were ever given? I once met Terence Donovan on a train, going to a BIPP Infot conference. He was speaking there. I was a shy 18 year old, gingerly I show him some of my work…..”keep going lad, you”ll get there in the end”. So after all these years, I’m still going.