Q&A

-How did you first become interested in photography?

I was into painting as a child and loved the surrealists. I then got into surrealist photographers such as Man Ray and I quickly discovered photography as a creative medium. In college, I experimented with film and ways of manipulating film images in the darkroom. I also then joined the Flickr community and started shooting more fine-art fairytale based multiple composite images.

I first paid an interest in fashion photography per say when I bought the November 09 issue of British Vogue ‘More Dash than Cash’, it had an editorial shot by Tim Walker entitled ‘Make do and mend’, the team created well-tailored outfits from everyday domestic items such as carrier bags, rubber gloves, mops etc/ I didn’t have any budget for shoots and it really made me realise that fashion photography doesn’t have to be as unobtainable and high-budget as I thought. I like to keep an element of this cost consciousness in my work today.

-How would you describe your style of photography?

I like to use natural light when possible to contribute to an ethereal look and emulate this light with soft boxes if it’s not available. I’ve recently been playing around more with neon and ambient lights and adding shadows to my work. My style when I started out was more dark, ghostly and fairytale inspired and I think there is always an aspect of that within how I portray my subjects today.

-How do you attract new clients?

Social networking, word of mouth or the classic fishing line with a carrot attached to the end of my lens.

-How much planning goes into one of your shots?

Within my fashion and portraits, lots of planning and prepping is involved and I can spend a couple of months sourcing and making things, location scouting etc, this is because my style is to create a story and then document that creation with my camera. However this luxury of time is not always possible and I do get amazed at what can be achieved on the day.

-What is your post-production workflow like?

I like to first process my images in Adobe Lightroom to get the colours for my desired look. I then open the images separately in Adobe Photoshop to retouch. I try to keep into the habit of printing my photos when I can as it’s always nice to have a tangible final product and I tend to notice areas to improve more in prints, too.

-What is your dream project?

I don’t have a specific dream shoot or bucket list as I get the best feeling when I’m doing something I’ve never done before and learning from it.

-You also work a lot with musicians, does your way of photographing change when not in a fashion environment?

I think it’s about the focus and purpose of the viewer’s attention. A lot of the musicians I’ve worked with have given me creative control over the shoot. Since music is not a visual medium like fashion, I have to ensure I’m encapsulating the mood of the music or the attitudes of the band members, the product is elsewhere and I have to suggest it. In fashion, the product is usually within the photograph, often the photograph itself.

-How do you approach posing or directing your subject?

I try not to plan poses too much and I like poses to come naturally and candidly from my subjects. If a subject is uncomfortable with posing for a shot I like to just chat with them and influence more of a cool and candid look.

-How would you advise someone just starting out in fashion photography?

Don’t feel like you have to follow Instagram or these fast-fashion trends to get ahead, as by default you won’t stand out that way. Photography is an art form and staying true to your creative integrity is what I’ve always found works best. Don’t take the fun out of it for yourself.

-What was the best career advice you were ever given?

Don’t compare yourself to others, instead compare your progress with your past work.