For the first interview on RAW I picked someone who I came across on twitter who is a fellow strobist, and new to the photography game.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m 22 years old, I live in south London, I love a good comedy! I often find myself reading about anything to do with photography in my spare time, I think its always great to get some learning done when I can!
What made you get into photography?
My mother is a photographer, and she taught me the basics of 35 mm cameras. In fact I come from quite a creative family, so the desire to create was always there I think. I always loved the idea of freezing a moment in time to look back on, and say to myself ‘I was there!’. I initially got into it as a hobby, taking photos of nature & landscapes, visiting national parks, or just shooting random things that I saw on a daily basis
How did you get started?
bought my slr a couple of years ago, being a student meant I had to make do with my beloved fuji s5700 until I could afford something more professional. The main thing that limited me was the lack of full manual control and of course the dreaded shutter lag! So after I bought by canon 40d, I invested In the 50mm 1.8, which I must say was great to use when starting out.
My first big break came when one of my good friends asked me to shoot his sisters wedding. They needed a photographer at the last minute, so I nervously accepted, and it was an incredible experience. Being an amateur photographer at the time, it was quite scary but I’m glad I went through with it. The bride’s friend hired me for her wedding, which I must say was less scary as I already knew everyone.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I would have to say portrait photography. Although I may shoot weddings often, my main focus will always be portrait & lifestyle photography, there’s something about creating a single image with beautiful natural lighting that you just can’t beat.
What gear are you using?
I currently use a canon 40d, often with my trusty battery grip , as well as 2 40×60 softboxes, softbox umbrellas, a canon 430 ex ii speedlite and a couple other flashes.. I also use a 50mm 1.8, 35mm 1.4, and a 17-55 2.8
Whats your favourite lens and why?
My favourite lens has to be the 35mm 1.4, the bokeh is absolutely beautiful, and you just can’t beat the colours. I also love the sharpness I can get at wide apertures. Often with indoor photography the ambient light just won’t cut it, and I don’t usually like to use flash unless its absolutely necessary, so shooting wide is something I really like to rely on.
How are you marketing yourself?
I have a Facebook page for my photography, where i can chat with clients, other photographers & friends. What I think is great about having a Facebook page is that I can tag clients in the images so all of their friends can see it, and also comment. This really helps the word of mouth aspect of promoting my work.
I also have a website and a flickr account as well
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
I absolutely love this image.. Up until recently, I hadn’t really experimented with my lighting, so I was thinking of ways to create images full of mood and character… It’s quite interesting how this image came about actually… I really wanted to shoot someone in the back of my car using some interesting lighting, so I did a little sketch of how I wanted to light it, and contacted a good friend of mine that very same day to see if he was interested in being part of my crazy idea… So we end up in a supermarket car park at 12.30 am, with a daylight bulb running off my car cigarette lighter socket, and a snooted 530 ex ii. My friend is a musician so I really wanted to capture him in his ‘creative moment’.
Luckily I had a notepad and pen in the car so I got him to write down some lyrics whilst having a cigarette, the smoke really added to the mood here.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Keep shooting. One mistake I’m always making is not having my camera on me. For me photography is an amazing journey of trial and error, exploration and wimpy being in the right place at the right time.
I think it’s important to grasp the basics before rushing out to buy loads of equipment. Read up on lighting theory (google is your friend here), and definitely check out the strobist blog, and the digital photography school blog, both invaluable sources of information for pros and amateurs alike…
And finally I would say just enjoy it! Over time you’ll find a particular style of shooting which works for you, as well as sells you as a photographer.