The Process

November 07, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I prefer to let my photos speak for themselves but I’m sometimes asked how I work.

I’m not a full time photographer. I’m still entirely professional and have my own studio but I don’t have time to do high volume work. I don’t often do family portraits or corporate headshots and I rarely shoot weddings. I’m interested in conveying theatricality, drama and emotion, or the unique qualities of the human body and what it can do.

I share a studio in Duxford but I'm quite happy to shoot on location or use a different studio with different facilities as a shoot dictates.

I treat each photoshoot as a unique collaboration. Sometimes shoots can be entirely straightforward while others can involve a lot of planning and discussion to nail all the details – styling, location, hair, makeup, props and so on – needed to produce something really special. 

Sometimes my lighting is very simple, using natural light where it’s appropriate. On other occasions the lighting can be deeply technical and precise. 

A photoshoot is a lot like a private performance. I’ll direct my subject, seeking to draw out the character we’ve discussed, or create the perfect shapes. A shoot is an energetic & fun experience. They can be vary from fluid and playful to highly exacting; with some lighting styles the smallest change in the position of a light or a hand can change the whole atmosphere of a shot.

I may take a lot of shots during a shoot – or only a few – but I don’t produce dozens of similar photos from each shoot. Typically I’ll retouch a couple to a high standard and narrow down the remainder to my favourites. I’ll then ask the subject to choose a few from the best of the rest for further retouching.

Just like the vintage Hollywood glamour portraitists of yesteryear I often perform extensive retouching, normally aiming for a meticulously processed but largely undetectable result. I don’t often rely on filters, toning and effects though I will use them when appropriate.

A photo isn’t really finished until it’s printed, framed and hung on a wall. I use the highest quality processes and papers I can find. I can make recommendations from frames, mattes and so on - I've even researched different glass types. After extensive testing I’ve found that proper photographic prints – also called C-Types or Lambda prints – usually suit my work better than more common inkjet or Giclée prints. They don’t last quite so long – more like 50 years rather than 100 before they can start to show some degradation – but the depth of colour and shadow detail is nearly always superior.

If you’ve got an interesting project in mind then I’d love to hear from you – do get in touch.

Hollywood GlamourHollywood Glamour


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