Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Where When How Wednesday - James560492

Welcome to 'Where When How Wednesday'. In these weekly posts I'll be interviewing creatives about their journey into the creative world, their works, and what makes them tick. This week I'm interviewing Mansfield based photographer James, known online as James560492.

Hi James. Thank you for taking some time out to answer my questions. How did you come to be behind a camera?

'I have been interested in photography since I was a child. Not long after I separated I got a tax refund that let me buy a cheap second hand DSLR on eBay (and that is the one I still use!). I continued taking landscape shots and PR shots for the Army Cadet Force (these are Crown Copyright so I don't upload these). After a bit I was getting bored so I advertised on free Facebook pages for people who wanted a few shots taken of them for practice giving them a copy of the images. Most of these were kids (and the odd animal) but it built my confidence and after a few months I joined some TFP groups on Facebook which gave me my first model shoots. I then joined Purpleport and everything took off from there.'

And, for the gear nuts among us, what DSLR was it you got?

'My initial camera was an Olympus E-410, I now also use an Olympus E-520 (and the 410 is often borrowed by my partner - known as Kuris on PurplePort when she acts as a second tog on shoots). The odd photo on the portfolio is however shot on my Amazon Kindle Phone's camera as I work on the principle the best camera is the one you have on you!'

Model - LittleOwl

Within your portfolio you have a mix of photographic subjects. You have pet, vehicles, sports, people, and probably some I've forgot to list. Very much in the vein of a "pick your favourite child" type question, which do you enjoy shooting the most, and why?

'As you say I shoot a really wide range of styles, mainly as I want to push myself and not get stuck in a rut. I think my favourite is anything where I tell a story or perhaps better hint at it so the viewer can tell their own. This shows what I mean...

Model - LittleOwl

...Who is she? Is the smoke dragon's breath? Why is she there?'

In the past I've asked people what their favourite shot is, if you don't mind, I'd like to try something a little different. What is the first (or oldest if you've lost/disposed of the first) image you took after taking up photography?

'The oldest shot since I took up "proper" photography is this one...

Model - Nicole Watterson

...I might handle it a bit more subtly now but I still like it.

You are, by your own admission, a geek. What's your geek poison(s) of choice? Feel free to ramble, I'm a fellow geek and love talking all things geekery!

'My geekeness. It comes from a love of fantasy books as a child (I actually trained as a librarian), this lead me into fantasy films and then to role playing games. I actually write for the Twilight 2000 role playing game and some of my images are taken specifically with this in mind such as this shot...

Model - Josie Lesway

...This will be the cover on my article on nuclear, biological and chemical warfare. My current project is to find models with horses or with access to military vehicles that can be used in realistic shots.

My wife enjoys reading. I on the other hand, up to recently and with the exception of magazines and comics, was more of a moving images kinda guy. Please forgive my ignorance, there's training involved with becoming a librarian?

'Becoming a librarian takes a degree believe it or not. Mine took four years as it included a whole year of placement. What most people think of as a librarian is a library assistant. A librarian is part of the management behind the scenes or will run a specialist type of library such as a business information library, a medical research library or similar. I specialised as a children and young people's librarian. It is worth noting there are a number of fictional librarians who buck the stereotype of Ronnie Corbett in Sorry, namely Sean Connery in the Name of the Rose, Rachael Weiss in the Mummy series and Terry Practchett's The Librarian in the Discworld series. Cassanova was also once a librarian...'

If you had the opportunity to shoot your dream subject, be it a famous person, a place, an object, an animal etc...what would that subject be?

'Who I would like to shoot. That is a good one. With my love of history I would love to photograph a number of historical personalities (mainly for the chats while I took them), especially Henry V, Winston Churchill and King Arthur (yes I know it's a weird mix!). As I don't have a TARDIS, I would love to get chance to take more shots in historic places either as they are or using them as a backdrop.'

If you got access to a TARDIS, where, and when would you go?

'One trip would probably have to be to the Sermon on the Mount to reaffirm what I believe. In second place would be a trip to establish the truth in a disputed event, did Harold get hit in the eye by an arrow or was he cut down by an axeman for example?'

Is there any photographers who's work you particularly admire?

'I don't tend to particularly pick out any photographer for attention, I tend to prefer to just browse images from a range (I love the way that Purpleport helps with this). Sometimes I browse a random tog and find one image I love, others I love a range they do. Much of the time it is just a matter of taste.'

With regards to your photography, do you have any regrets? Such as missing a shot, missing a chance to get to work with someone, having issues caused by confidence etc.

'Regrets are something I try not to have but after every shoot I have done I have looked back and gone "if only..." at least it gives me a motive to keep trying to nail an image I want.'

Are you the sort to revisit and re-shoot older setups or are you more in the camp who have the mindset of "I've done that setup, time to move on"?

'I don't think I have EVER got a perfect result on a shoot (or even shot all I planned) as I am very spontaneous. As a result I often retry to get the result I want.'

Model - Klashnekoff

Going forward, what's the plans for your photography?

'Going forward I want to expand the storytelling aspects of my work, maybe create a short photo story (which is something that I am looking at with Jules73 and Ben19 featuring Red Riding Hood and werewolves, keep your eyes peeled...). I also want to recreate some looks from certain films, in particular Conan the Barbarian (1980s version). I often don't make major plans until I actually start the shoot and the landscape or model inspires me.'

Now people have got to know you a little, and they want to see more of your work, where should they look?

'To see more of my work: PurplePort'

Finally, the hard hitting, most important question of the interview... What's your favourite joke?

'I am terrible with jokes, I tell mainly "dad" jokes (my boss has now bought me two new joke books as students have fed back how bad they are).

My favourite joke is... The teddy bear that goes for a job on a building site, the foreman introduces him to his workmates and explains he want a hole dug. The teddy bear asks the workmates what he should do and they tell him if he uses the pick to break up the ground they will shovel it out. After a bit a whistle sounds and he asks what this is for and is told tea break. They all go off and when they come back the pick is gone but the shovels are there. The teddy bear is sent to fetch a new pick and they carry on to lunch. Lunch comes and they down tools and go eat their sandwiches. When they come back again the pick is missing. Again he fetches a pick and continues up to afternoon break. When they come back, yet again the pick has vanished, the teddy bear is upset now and storms off to see the foreman to complain. The foreman is surprised that anyone would keep stealing tools but suddenly a look of recognition dawns and he looks at the calendar, "I know why," he says, "today's the day the teddy bears get their picks nicked!".'

I'd like to thank James again for taking the time to answer a few questions for me, be sure to check out all the links above for more of his work, as well as the links attached to the images for the other creatives involved in creating them.


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Where When How Wednesday - Kyran Edmund Ambrose

Welcome to 'Where When How Wednesday'. In these weekly posts I'll be interviewing creatives about their journey into the creative world, their works, and what makes them tick. This week I'm interviewing Liverpool based photographic model, Kyran Edmund Ambrose.

Photographer - Amanda E

Hi Kyran. Thank you for taking a little time to answer some questions for me. How is it you found yourself in the modelling world?

'Well, one of my friends is a fashion designer and she actually was the one who introduced me to the site PurplePort. From then I met some people who really helped me develop a passion for it.'

Ah. So, do you model your friends designs for her?

'No, I do not model my friends designs as she is a female latex designer'

I suspect, if you were to ask Joe public what sprang to mind if you said "model", due to things like the media's portrayal of the modelling world, most would pretty quickly say female. How have you found people react when, as a male, you tell them you model?

'Honestly? People's reactions have been rather positive. I suppose because they see I like doing it. In addition, the modelling I do is more fashion/couple related which they have responded well to.'

Photographer - 2020,  Taken At - John Ayliffe's 

Keeping with the theme of people's reactions to your modelling. There are a lot of misconceptions that surround female models. As a male model have you come across any misconceptions?

'As a male model, I suppose there is a misconception that we just shoot underwear. Similarly to females who are perceived to just shoot lingerie.'

Photographer - Christian Scott,  Other Model - Naila Ahmed

I believe that as well as modelling you are, amongst other things, musically inclined. Is this singing? Instruments? Both?

'Yes, I like to sing, play piano and drums. Performed in a number of concerts and competitions which I have loved.'

Do you have a song, or piece of music that is your "go to" piece if you're asked to perform?

'Ha-ha, yes generally there are a couple of pieces/songs that I would perform if they were required. Hero by Enrique Iglesias, and If I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars.'

Photographer - John Ayliffe

Within your portfolio you state you have a passion for clothing, style and fashion. Whilst I'm not too bad at putting outfit ideas together for future shoots, and I can appreciate nice clothes, I'm not really one for fashion and following the latest "trends" (shocking I know coming from the guy who wears jeans and superhero t-shirts most of the time!). What is it about fashion you like so much?

'I suppose it's not so much the fashion, rather I like to look and dress with a bit of style. The reason for this is because it makes me feel better which subsequently gives my day that extra little boost. But regarding trends, I do not really follow anyone or thing, I dress in my own way.'

Photographer - John Ayliffe

Speaking of fashion trends. Within fashion, as with things like photography and make up, there are those trends you look back on and wonder why on earth you took part. Is there any of those lurking in your past?

'Oh yes. There are many many occasions in which I look back at photographs and literally 'cringe' aha! At the time I thought it was very cool. One of which I had some sort of lace / net thing which wasn't great..'

I hope you understand, I have to ask this, for my readers... A lace/net there pictures?

'There are pictures of it, however, I have not published any of them on my portfolio.'

Photographer - Cardoso Photographer

Not really related to your modelling. But at the same time it's not trying to make you admit your past fashion faux pas, so... You're having a dinner party, it's a small affair, you invite three people (living or deceased), who do you invite and why?

'Oh this is very tough! However it would have to be, Johnny Depp as he is my all time favourite actor and seems like such a cool person. Jimi Hendrix as I am completely fascinated by his music and guitar skills! The last would be Margot Robbie. I think she is one of the most beautiful women who is also a fantastic actress!'

Margot killed it as Harley Quinn in my eyes, shame about most of the rest of the film... What's your favourite Margot performance?

'I thought that Margot in Suicide Squad was fantastic (despite what others say about the movie), but also in Focus and Wolf of Wall Street.'

Photographer - Jamie Dannunzio Photography

Modelling advice tends to be geared towards female models. Have you received any good advice for your modelling career? Do you have any advice you'd give to aspiring male models?

'I have not been given much advice as a model. However I have been doing lots of research myself. I know how the system works (with regards to agencies and money), but this area is very convoluted and there are not as many opportunities for male models. If I were to give advice to aspiring male models, I'd ask two questions. 1) How determined are you to model? and 2) What style are you wanting to go into?'

Photographer - Tabitha Boydell,  Other Model - Jasmine Sumner

If people want to see more of you and your work, where should they check out?

'Check out my PurplePort or Instagram'

Photographer - Fenita

Last, but by no means least... What's your favourite joke?

'Hmm.. a man walks into a bar... ouch...'

I'd like to thank Kyran again for taking the time to answer a few questions for me, be sure to check out all the links above for more of his work, as well as the links attached to the images for the other creatives involved in creating them.


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Where When How Wednesday - Natasha J Bella

Welcome to 'Where When How Wednesday'. In these weekly posts I'll be interviewing creatives about their journey into the creative world, their works, and what makes them tick. This week I'm interviewing West Yorkshire based photographic model, Natasha J Bella.

Hi Natasha. Thanks for taking time out to answer some questions for me. How did you come to find yourself in the crazy world that is modelling?

'Many, many, (and I mean many) years ago, I was approached to enter a beauty pageant Miss Jamaica UK, I was 19 at the time. This sparked an interest in the world of modelling but I got on with a different career, marriage and starting a family. Years later, when my forth child started primary school I took the opportunity to rekindle that spark and haven't looked back since.'

How did you fair in the pageant?

'On the podium in second place, £500 prize money and lots of invites to special events and parties, fun times'

A substantial portion of your portfolio is nude and lingerie/swim wear. Is this something you set out to do or did you initially intend to do say fashion?

'Interesting question. I actually had no intention of shooting fashion, I was immediately drawn to lingerie and art nude. My first ever shoot was lingerie, nude and latex. I have always been happy with the variety of work that I do. I love shooting portraits and glamour done well, but overall it's about all different styles (within my levels), the people, the locations, the spontaneity, mixing and matching outfits and adjusting to everyone's shooting style and creativity. It keeps it interesting.'

Photographer - John Gardner

What was it that drew you to lingerie and art nude modelling?

'I love lingerie, always have and still do. As for nude, it was more about the scenes I had available on my first shoot at home and that was the sauna and the boudoir and also daring to do something I'd never done before, it just felt right at the time.'

Photographer - Mike Croshaw,  Taken At - Scarlet Door

Let's move away from modelling for a couple of questions if we may...

If you were to win the lottery...other than obviously buying your extremely lovely interviewer some camera gear, what would be your first purchase?

'Haha, I'd buy Purpleport and award all my images with FPIs. LOL

I love travelling, so I would book fabulous holidays and experiences with my family and friends. I'm also very tempted by latest gadgets and technology so I'd buy all sorts of gizmos to play around with.

But first things first, a Bentley Continental GT V8 Convertible...or maybe a Jaguar F-Type SVR Convertible...or Audi R8 Spyder. I can't decide'

Photographer - Rob Golding

If you were to find yourself under the spotlight on a karaoke stage, either through choice or being strong armed by others, what song would you belt out?

'I'm ashamed to admit it but with a few drinks down me I voluntarily take part in karaoke to rap an Eminem track much to everyone's surprise and horror!! After that's gone horribly wrong I'll try sing something more manageable.

My advice... just don't let anyone film it.'

If this interview was in person instead of via email, I'd be demanding demonstrations right now... What's your go to Eminem song?

'I like all of his popular tracks, but for karaoke I've gone with Love The Way You Lie.  But not anymore, I've learnt my lesson.'

Photographer - KJT Images,  Taken At - Studio 2

Back to modelling-ish related questions...

I believe you also work the other side of the camera. Is it something you have always done/wanted to do, or did a kind of curiosity about it develop while modelling?

'I have always enjoyed taking photographs at family parties. I didn't really think anything of it until last year when I opened my own studio at home. I've certainly got the bug for photography now. I decided to develop a Boudoir business doing makeovers and photoshoots for women. And now I've had a few people at my studio for 1 to 1 tutorials covering portraits, boudoir, fashion and art nude, it's been a good portfolio builder for some photographers.'

Photographer - Gavin Prest

Is there any magazines, websites, or people who's work you look at on a regular basis for inspiration?

'I quite like posters adverts and album covers . I collect images on Pinterest as and when I see them but I don't specifically go looking for them anywhere in particular. There are many models that I've met or worked with and so many others who I admire, they consistently produce amazing and inspirational work.'

Photographer - Fotodet (Düsseldorf)

If you could model a campaign for any company, be it something 'conventional' like Dior or Cartier, or something not so much, who would you pick and why?

'Through my agency work it has been very satisfying to have modelled for global brands and appeared in tv commercials and magazine adverts, what I'd really love is to see myself on a giant poster campaign for say, Max Factor, or such-like.'

Photographer - Gavin Prest

Whilst preparing for this interview I was looking over your portfolio and saw your comment about your age. Firstly, I have to say, I'd never have guessed. Secondly, there is often discussions about the adverse effect age has on a models employability, have you found this to be an issue?

'Yes I have, but not how you might think.

I have no issues with age as a freelance model, I don't know about the people that wouldn't work with me because of my age, I'm busy enough with those that do want to book me. But in the commercial/agency world it's a different matter. I get put forward for over 40's jobs and get turned away for looking to young, that's frustrating. I had a client ask me to send a no makeup selfie to see what I really look like and the response from the agency was, "in this picture you look 25 can you try and look older please."'

Photographer - Nigel Hillier

I've always had the opposite issue. I've always looked older, depressingly so at times. What's the largest difference between your age and your perceived age that you've received? Was it that agency?

'I think sometimes it depends on the circumstance someone meets me, people have guessed between 25 to 35. More often around 30.'

Photographer - Gavin Prest

What does the future hold for you? Any exciting projects planned? Any ideas you want to try make happen? Any blogs you want to appear on again at some point to talk about your newest work?

'Going forward, with regards to modelling, every year I wonder if this will be the last. I love modelling and fortunately the bookings keep rolling in so I'll keep it up indefinitely.

Since opening The Photo House Studio last year, it's received great reviews so I will schedule more photoshoots, I hope to do more tutorials and grow my photography business.

And finally, continue my sales role with Photofinca the No.1 company for photography holidays in Spain shooting the best models.'

Photographer - Natasha J Bella (it's a self portrait, she didn't work with someone with the same name!)

If people want to see more of your work, where can they find you?

'Although I'm on Instagram and Twitter, I mainly use Purpleport and Facebook, that's where you can see what I'm up to and my latest images.'

As seems to be becoming a thing for final question, what's your favourite joke?

'Haven't got one, sorry. I love banter, not jokes. I have so much fun at home, my family make me laugh everyday. It's all about those moments when you had to be there.'

I'd like to thank Natasha again for taking the time to answer a few questions for me, be sure to check out all the links above for more of her work, as well as the links attached to the images for the other creatives involved in creating them.


Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Where When How Wednesday - Shots By Shinobi

Welcome to 'Where When How Wednesday'. In these weekly posts I'll be interviewing creatives about their journey into the creative world, their works, and what makes them tick. This week I'm interviewing Harrogate based photographer, Chris AKA Shots By Shinobi.

Hi Chris. Thanks for sitting down and answering some questions for me. Before we start properly, if I may ask, how did you come up with your photography business name? Is it nickname? A commentary on your shooting style? ie are you a photographic ninja...Thanks to many hours gaming as a child, and to this day as a taller child, I know Shinobi to be another word for ninja. Thank you Sega for seemingly useless knowledge that makes good in the end.

'Well I was looking for something different; something interesting. When I was a freshman at Morehouse College my friends would always say I was ninja like in how I always appeared out of no where. One of them started to call me Shinobi and it has stuck to this day. I watched a lot of kung-fu movies so it was a fitting name and it had a nice ring to it.'

Model - Misha Silva

Speaking of the business of photography, how did you get started behind the camera?

'Well I started traveling throughout Europe, Africa and Asia a few years ago and when I looked back at my photos I didn't like them. It was then I knew I had to learn photography. Two years ago I bought my 1st DSLR camera and the rest is history. I have always had an interest in photography but never took the time to learn. I took as many pictures as I could starting with landscapes. These past two years photography has become a passion to me and I try to progress continuously.  I have had many influences that started me in street photography and studio photography since then.'

You've photographed a lot of cosplayers at events such as London MCM Comic-Con. This may be difficult, a bit like asking a parent pick their favourite child, but...which of the ones you've shot is your favourite?

'Wow, this is a tough question. I loved so many of the cosplays but I can name a couple of my favorites. The classic Joker that Jack Nicholson played. @chrisstonefilms not only had a great look but brought the attitude of the Joker as well. My other favorite was actually a moment. I am a huge fan of the Walking Dead and a cosplayer dressed as Glenn passed me. I told him to find me a Negan and we could re-create one of the top moments in the history of the show. I posed Negan with the bat to Glenns' head. It was perfect because Glenn actually had blood on his head. I re-wrote the script after that and posed Negan on the ground while Glenn put up a bat to his head. Call it Glenn's Revenge.

Coming in third I would say a photo of Old Man Logan. He really captured the gritty and just worn down image of the Logan movie. We shot a photo of him sitting down and his girlfriend in the background walking away. She was a red head so the story goes that he was thinking about Jean Grey and that were her in the blurred background representing his memory of her.'

Is there a character you haven't had chance to shoot that you'd love to? Or, one who you have shot but would love to do a full on "proper" shoot based around?

'Yes there are plenty of those. I would like to do some shots with Wolverine and Deadpool. I think it could be really interesting playing off the two characters.'

Model - Rachelava

Generally the cosplay at Comic-Con like events focuses on characters from Marvel and DC, if we disregard anime, manga, gaming etc for the purpose of this question. I'm assuming, seeing as you visit such events, you have some interest in the subject matter, so...Marvel or DC?

'I have always loved Batman but I would have to say Marvel. Growing up I was a huge fan of the Spiderman and X-Men comics and cartoons. And to be honest Marvel is dominating DC with their movies. Although the Wonder Woman movie is definitely a step in the right direction.'

When looking through your work preparing for this interview, I spent quite some time marveling at your landscapes (it's something I really want to try my hand at, and yours are inspirational). In the past, as I suppose will be the case with any form of photography, some people say they took to it straight away, while others had to really work at it. How did you find it when you started?

'I really did take straight to it. I believe I first visited Feldberg in Germany for a snowboard trip. I went out one evening with my Nikon D3200 at the time and a cheap tripod. It was the first time I tried long exposure photography. The picture came out great and immediately felt like I had a talent for photography. Since then I practiced A LOT and have made mistakes and grown from them.'

Where was your favourite landscape shoot?

'My favorite place to shoot landscapes thus far is the Isle of Skye, Scotland. That place is a beautiful island of untouched nature. I could spend months there just hiking and shooting. I plan to go back there in the winter.'

Do you have a bucket list of landscape locations you want to shoot at? If so, where is at the top of the list?

'Most definitely. Iceland, New Zealand and Alaska are at the top of my list but my goal is to visit all 7 continents.'

Model - Penelopemodel

From what I've seen, especially of Iceland and Alaska, they look stunning. Are we talking one massive, awesome photo trip or the more "sensible", many trips over many years approach?

'It would probably be a week long trip and returning over many years.'

Studio - Harrogate Studio

Another style of photography you shoot is street photography. Online there seems to be a few debates about street photography, specifically, people comparing it to, if not outright referring to it as photojournalism. More often than not, especially within printed media, photojournalism falls into one of two things; often times graphic images of someone's suffering, or, blurry overly cropped paparazzi images of some b-list celeb's butt (or boobs, it depends on the week). From what I've seen it can be polorising, so, as a street photographer, how do you feel about people comparing the two?

'I don't really feel like I have ever compared to a paparazzi.  I try to capture images on the street as I see them.  I allow others to look at the photos and form their own story of what is happening in the image.  I try to capture people being themselves whether that is happiness or sadness.  Candid street images tell a story and I like to leave the story up to interpretation even if I have my own narration of the photo.'

If I'm honest, until prepping for this interview, I didn't know there was such debates (arguments!) online about it. Do you agree with the prevailing belief in many of the debates that, whilst street photography shares an image without pushing a narrative, photojournalism increasingly pushes a narrative predetermined by papers and news websites?

'Not really, photojournalism actually isn't meant to push a narrative. It is supposed to be impartial while also telling a story. Street photography are more candid shots of everyday people going about their lives. They both are a bit different and can be impartial.'

Model - Katie Royale

If people want to see more of your work, where should I send them?

'My work can be seen on my website at and on instagram @shotsbyshinobi'

Model - Brad Quinn

Last thing, before you leave, what is your favourite joke?

'What did the five fingers say to the face? SLAP!!!!'

Model - Emma Darling

Once again, I'd like to thank Chris for taking the time to answer a few questions for me. Be sure to check out the links for more of his work, and the links attached to the images for the other creatives involved.