Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Where When How Wednesday - CSAce

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 Hampshire based photographer John Rae AKA CSAce.

Hi John. Thank you for taking a little time out of your day to answer some questions for me. How did you come to find yourself a photographer?

'Long, long story. I’ve always been a creative soul, painting, drawing, singing and song writing. Back in the eighties my old man was made redundant and joined a retraining scheme to train as a CCTV controller (new tech back then). For the course, he had to buy a DSLR and a selection of lenses, he bought me one too and it became a new conduit for my creative energy. I joined a camera club at Uni and got into Black and White darkroom stuff. From then on it was very much a hobby, but then in the 90s while working as a Road Safety Officer I started producing original artwork for publicity and advertising using my photographs, a scanner and Photoshop (version 3.0 I think, that’s pre-layers!)

For the last 10 to 15 years I have been teaching photography and Photoshop part time and making up a full salary by freelancing as a commercial fashion and product photographer.'

Is your teaching in a school/college type environment or workshops and 1-1 tuition?

'Mainly photography qualifications in an adult college with some 1-1 and workshop style sessions as well.'

With the exception of one still life image, all of your work that I have seen up to now is people-centric. Was this the focus you knew you wanted from the start or did you try your hand at various things first?

'I have always been interested in people and portraits, right from day one. I experimented with self-portraits, friends at school and Uni and anyone else I could coerce. Product shots are the bread and butter these days but when I get people involved I always enjoy it more. I never engaged with landscape or buildings photography, I respect those working in those fields, but it’s just not for me.'

Was there any particular reason you didn't take to landscape photography? Something such as the super early mornings? The unpredictability of the British weather? Maniacal sheep trying to push you off a hillside?

'No real deep or traumatic reason, just not as engaging or entertaining as working with people'

You've had various projects/exhibitions based on issues such as gender, mental health, sexuality, people's perceptions etc. How and why do you select the issues that you do?

'My arty projects centre around the concept of “identity” which is a natural component of portraiture of course. I started by thinking about identity in purely physical terms. Say a dead body was found and had to be identified, they would first look at gender signifiers then so called “identifying marks” e.g. scars, tattoos etc. That drove me initially to think about scars, tattoos, gender and other facets of identity and personality: the nature of the content of my photographic projects from 2011 onwards.'

You must have seen some badass tattoos during your projects, what's the one you found the most impressive?

'Impressive in terms of coverage has to be the guy i met up in Manchester who posed for the "most tattooed" circus poster, for content is has to be a young lad from Birmingham with "Fuck it" in 6 inch high letters on his belly! The most fascinating are always the custom designs with a story and significance rather than off the shelf pastiche.'

Model - Boykitten

I've asked people in the past who they'd love to shoot, I'm possibly making it a bit more difficult for you by amending it a little, but... If you could shoot anyone for one of your projects, who would it be?

'That’s a tough one. If we are allowed living or dead, Elvis. If not, then David Coverdale, (Whitesnake, Deep Purple vocalist) either way it has to be a celebrity, think of the publicity!'

You've shot for a while now, assuming your PurplePort information is correct. Of all the work you've produced do you have a favourite? Or one (or a few/set) that mean something extra special to you?

'It’s always the latest one, the current one. It tends to be all consuming when it’s in full flow. Also when projects are completed they are “gone”. It’s a cathartic process I think?

I do have a soft spot for the 2013 Circus project, lots of good memories from that one. I travelled the country from the South coast to Lancs, via South Wales and Cambridge, met some fab characters and made some good friends along the way.'

Without maybe giving too much away, unless you want to give me an exclusive, have you got any new projects in the works?

'I have recently got back into the singing, song-writing and performing so I am working along more musical themes at the moment. Guitars fascinate me, I have a collection of about 20. A female shape but an obvious phallic connection, very sexual, intimate objects. Watch out for guitar themed erotica next!'

Quite possibly the tossiest worded question I have ever asked... What's your sound? Rock? Country? Synth-pop? Thrash metal? God, it's not a Nickelback tribute act is it? (I assume people still ridicule them!)

'We are playing original music, an 80s vibe I guess, rocky, poppy. Not as heavy as I would like but still great fun!'

As well as your projects you also shoot commercial work. Have you had to shoot anything particularly peculiar for a client? Or something that you've thought to yourself "how on earth am I going to make a compelling image with that"?

'All the time. With the product photography, it really could be anything that turns up. I have had; body bags (seriously, the things they put dead bodies in), cat scratchers, bacon, chocolate, age-delay pet food, snail-slime face cream, “massagers”, toilet roll, a do-it-yourself will kit…. the list is endless and nothing if not eclectic.

Love the challenge!

Best part is, more often than not I get to keep the samples sent, so pretty much my whole wardrobe, furniture and fittings at home are freebies. Even the body bag got put to good use (don’t ask!)'

Model - Annie Moya

Even a "normal" person seeing the words "don't ask" would have to ask. So, as a person who is a few paces away from normal, and is nosey, what's it used for? Obviously disposal of someone will put a huge downer on the interview, so if you've murdered someone, lie to me...

'I did not murder someone, honest guv.'

Victim Model - Annie Moya

I believe you're a Northerner but you now live down south. Is there anything you miss from back up t'north?

'God no. A few old chums perhaps, but certainly not the weather…'

If people want to check out more of your work, or possibly end up in one of your exhibitions, where should they go?

'Arty website is I post up information about exhibitions there. My commercial work is featured at but to be honest I use Flickr mainly, as I can quickly make bespoke albums for pitches.'

No pressure but some of your references do say how funny you are, so...what's your favourite joke?

'Anything with a pun, I’m a sucker for puns, saucier the better. I often quote the late, great Kenneth Williams, I think he was on Parky when he said “If I see a bit of innuendo in a script, I whip it out straight away”'

Model - Thomas Peters

I'd like to thank John 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, 23 August 2017

Where When How Wednesday - Wullie Marr

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 Scottish Press Photographer Of The Year 2016 Wullie Marr.


Well hello there Mr Scottish Press Photographer Of The Year (I think I got that in quite subtly). Thanks for taking a few moments to answer some questions for me. How did you come to be a photographer?

'Haha, very subtle. Photography has always been part of my life. Since I used to always want my mum's Olympus Trip when we were out and about, my parents bought me my first camera aged 9. The following year I got a s/h Pentax S1A, then a s/h darkroom kit. Being an only one, had plenty time on dark nights to learn developing and printing, and it just continued from there. I think I still have all my early photography books somewhere. My father and Grandfather had both been reasonably keen amateurs, but never had the passion I found. When I left school, I went to be an assistant photographer with a high street photographer, doing Weddings, PR, and commercial work. It wasn't exactly what I wanted to do, as journalism had always been my goal, and gave it up after about a year. I then kept it up as a hobby, getting more serious as I was getting older, but having a full time job. Moving on, and after two spine operations (I now have nuts and bolts holding my back together) and being a bit busier, I took the plunge back into full time photography. With some voluntary redundancy money, I started freelancing in the news world, and eventually got the chance of a staff job with Deadline News, a small Edinburgh based news agency, where I have been for just over three years now.'

Nuts and bolts in your not get stuck behind you at airport security then?

'Haha, yes. It actually doesn't set them off. I tried like mad to get a copy of my x-ray once they were installed, but they wouldn't give me one, as they are made from titanium and don't set the detectors off strangely enough.'

So it's in for gear nuts like myself, and to get it out of the way for those not interested. As a press photographer, what's your gear?

'All Nikon, D4s, D4, D3, 14-24/2.8, 24-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8 VRII, 300/2.8, 50/1.4, 60 micro, 1.4x tele, SB900, 2xSB800, 2xSB700, various triggers, and accessories.'

As eagle eyed readers may have picked up on, if they read the very subtle hint, you're the current Scottish Press Photographer Of The Year. How did that happen? Do you have to apply? Are you entered automatically as a photographer for an agency? Also, do you know the judging process and what made them choose your work?

'Yes, the Scottish Press Photography Awards are open to all photographers, full or part time, who have had work published in news papers over the previous 12 months. My office encourages me to enter, and pics up any expenses incurred. In 2015, I won the reportage section with a series of pictures from a large controversial event where a 12 year old girl ended up being bottled in the face. Last year I was placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the politics section, and 1st and 2nd in the Arts and Entertainment section, which resulted in winning the over all competition as well, with the 2nd and 3rd placed photographers being staff at the Daily Record newspaper. As for the judging process, I know who the judges are, after the fact obviously, haha. Picture editor for the Scottish Sun, Assistant Picture Editor at the Scottish Daily Mail, and if memory serves, an Assistant Picture Editor at the Scotsman. 3 very different newspapers, carrying very different types of pictures. I'm not sure why they picked mine. There were other pictures in the competition I thought should have done better, but they will look at the pictures from their paper's point of view I suppose. I was just pleased that they favoured mine, and I beat the previous winner into second place. He is a very good friend of mine, so bragging rights have been well used!!!'

Was there a big swanky awards ceremony à la Oscars or BAFTAs?

'No big swanky ceremony yet. The awards have been resurrected after being dormant for a few years, so as an event, it is still building. This year the awards will be followed by an exhibition in the Scottish Parliament, giving the awards a bigger audience.'

What was it that drew you to press photography?

'In two words......... Don McCullin. Since I was about 10 or 11, and became aware of his work in Vietnam, I wanted to be like him. There was also a couple of fleet street stalwarts used to be regular contributors to magazines like Amateur Photographer, and Practical Photography, like Ken Lennox of the Sun/News of the World, and Daily Mirror snapper, Mike Maloney. Seeing the close up, in your face pictures they would share, and I knew that's where I wanted to be.'

I've always had an appreciation for McCullin and his work. Eyed up the Irreconcilable Truths box set a few times. Sadly £695 is a bit out of my budget, nor is it justifiable to the wife! Bit of a daft questions considering I can't post it, I can post a link to it on his site I suppose...was there one specific McCullin image that initially grabbed your attention and shaped your future?

'I had originally heard about him from my father, who I had mentioned was a keen amateur, so I knew of him before seeing his work, or reading his stories, so not really a single picture. just how close he was in to the action, and the tales that went with it. Things like his Nikon F being hit by a bullet, and effectively saving his life, stuff like that. I suppose, being British, Don was always the one that was featured in the UK magazines more often. And remember, I'm talking about the late 1970's when it was still cool for us kids to run around playing with toy guns, war still had a great fascination for me. A lot of people would possibly instantly pic his shell shocked GI with the thousand yard stare, or the Vietcong execution pictures, but a lot of his Northern Ireland stuff is particularly effective, having grown up in that period where the 'troubles' were on TV on a daily basis, and I knew friends and family in the military who were there during that time too. Sorry if that's a shite answer lol.'

Talking of your press work, do you cover one specific subject matter or do you cover a bit of anything and everything?

'In Scotland, press photographers don't really stick to a single subject, as there isn't really enough of any one thing to keep you busy. I could start off the day with meerkats jumping over me as I lie in the sand at the zoo, maybe then onto politics, and next onto a murder scene. That's the way I like it to be honest. I never know what I'm doing after lunch today, let alone tomorrow. Also my job isn't a 9-5 thing. Some days I won't do anything until 2 or 3 o'clock, which is fine, as it gives me a chance to do some archiving.'

I know you said you enjoy the variety, but, is there one specific subject you enjoy more than the others?

'People might think it a strange one, after all, we get face to face with celebs, bands, etc. Get access to things or places the general public don't, plus it's all free lol, but the thing that I like most about my job is, hard news, breaking news, spot news, whatever you want to call it. Things that are ongoing, and you are working with and against the rest off the press to get the picture. I was at the Clutha helicopter tragedy in Glasgow, within an hour of it happening. Possibly one of the weirdest experiences of my time behind the lens, as I found out while shooting, and filing, that the band that were on stage when the helicopter came through the roof were mates of mine. Luckily, they were all ok, physically anyway, but 10 people lost their life that night. One of my favourite shots is from that night too. Taken about 4:30 in the morning, of a female firefighter, just standing in the middle of the road, helmet in hand just looking exhausted. But as I eluded to in an earlier question, it's not everyone's thing. I've photographed dead bodies in the street, being pulled from the mountain side, or out of water. You need to have the ability to disengage any emotion from things like this. You are there recording the news, for the public.'

When you're not busy shooting for work, what do you like to shoot for fun?

'The past couple of years, I have started to rediscover photography as a hobby. I was always on news watch, day and night, but I have started building up a body of my own, personal, work again. I don't have a genre I favour though, I shoot what I see. Some street photography, I seem to also have developed a thing for quirky or colourful doors and windows. I do some occasional work with models, but it's basic, and more just nice, natural lit pictures. The thing I am currently 'into' in my personal work is going out with only my 50mm. That's how I started, with only a nifty fifty. I have also started travelling more, with the sole purpose of photography. In the past 8 months I've gone to Iceland (it rained non stop for my four days there), the Scottish Islands, and Marrakesh, with returns to Marrakesh and Iceland planned again before Christmas.'

Other than return trips to Marrakesh and Iceland, where else would you love to travel to?

'All over haha. Every part of the world has some story to tell. At the moment, I am in talks to try and get to Palestine. I have a news agency there who will sponsor my Israeli press card, needed to work in the area, but fixers are so expensive, so I am trying to 'get in' with some locals who will be able to work with me, and help me out with info while I am there. Bear with me while I go off on a tangent haha, our mainstream press is so celebrity orientated nowadays, that we don't see any reports of real, hard news from places like Israel and Palestine. But since taking an interest a couple of years ago, when a journalist friend of mine went out to work for a few months, the stories that I see and hear about are horrific. I want to go, and see and document the children of Palestine, as they get so badly treated, and often shot and killed by the occupying troops. As a parent it is horrific, in fact, as a human it's horrific.'

Is there anything you haven't tried shooting yet that you'd like to try your hand at?

'The one thing I really want to do is conflict photography. Harking back to what interested me about news work originally. Not everyone's first choice, putting yourself in danger.'

You might not want to answer this, it may help your competition after all, but... Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to be a press photographer?

'Advice for aspiring news photographers? Don't do it!! Lol. Seriously though, photojournalism is dying a slow death, and as such, it's becoming harder to make ends meet for someone new to the business. For those determined enough though, there's are a lot of advice that will stand them in good stead. Firstly, know your subject. Just turning up and taking pictures isn't always enough. One case in point is one of my politics award pictures. I photographed Scottish Labour leader, Kezia Dugdale last year during the Scottish Elections, and I knew that there was a bit of in fighting in the party. I found out from her press agent where she would be arriving from, to get a walking along the street picture, and noticed there was a street called New Row, where she would have to cross the road. I positioned myself where I thought she would cross, and as she crossed over, she looked both ways, giving me the chance to drop the shutter as she turned toward the street sign. That picture was a double page spread in the Herald the following day, with her head turned toward the sign, and the headline.... Kezia Faces New Row, and the report was about the party pulling apart. Also, you need to be able to be your subjects new best friend, putting them at ease, and they will drop their guard at some point, and you will get the picture. Law is also something we need to think about. We need to know enough of the law to allow us to, just, stay on the right side of it. Sometimes knowing our rights about what we can and cannot photograph, and where we can and can't go better than the police. Obviously the ability to stand up for yourself in various circumstances is important, as is a thick skin. Covering racist or fascist type demonstrations puts you in the firing line, and standing up against abuse, without pushing your subject, is a must. I've had police intervene when protesters have jumped fences to attack me on occasion. It is a crazy world being a press photographer, and you will see things you aren't used to. It can affect you badly, or you can switch off to it, without switching off to your job. It's not everyone's cup of tea to be within a few feet of a dead body being pulled from a river or flooded quarry. If these kind of things will affect you, it's not a job for you.'

Have you had times when you've particularly struggled, or even failed to capture images because you just couldn't ignore the douchebaggery of your subjects? Or times when you were hurt or your gear was damaged to a point where you, or it couldn't work?

'I can't think of an example of a subject being too much of a douchbag haha, although there have been a fair few who have just been miserable, and I've cut the job short thinking 'this is a waste of time'. PRs, managers and agents can be a complete pain in the arse sometimes, but by no means all of them. I once went to photograph some woman, who's name escapes me, who had a fashion show on BBC2. I was met by her PA who started questioning me about what I was going to do, what pictures I wanted to take etc. So I said to her, I need to see what the location is first, and quickly think through what I was going to set up. She started ranting on about time, you're supposed to be a professional, you must know what you are going to do etc, so I said to her, 'I know exactly what I'm going to do'. 'What's that?' she said. 'I replied, get back in my car and bugger off, as I don't need your shit at 9:00 in the morning!!' 

I haven't been injured beyond the ability to keep working, but the worse injury was the only time I have had equipment damaged too. I was in Coldstream, a small town on the border with England, and I was photographing a real feel good story about a baby that had been born really premature. If I remember correctly, the baby was young enough to have been within the legal abortion time 24 weeks or so. She was well under a pound at birth. Anyway, we had the family exclusively for baby getting home from the hospital. Spent all day with them, photographs in the hospital, arriving home, family set ups at home etc. The office phoned to say they wanted a picture of them outside the house, so out we went, and I got them set up. I dropped a couple of frames, and a really wide caravan mounted the pavement as it was on a bend and took me out. The driver keeping going on his merry way. I was a bit sore, but nothing broken, so got back up, to find my 17/35 lens was destroyed, but the body was ok. I filed one of the two frames, and after a coffee headed off home. I was a bit stiff for a few days, but that's been my worst injury. My gear has had some nightmare soakings, but one of the benefits of pro gear is it will put up with a bit more than consumer cameras, and it has never let me down.'

If people want to see more of your works, where should they look?

'Unfortunately, I don't currently have a website, although I am in the process of putting one together, mainly for my personal work, but will include some of my press work. I do have a 'business page' on facebook, and have a blog which is sporadically updated.'

And finally, what's your favourite joke?

'Favourite joke? I don't have a favourite, but possibly the first joke that I ever remember being told, was by my Grandad when I was about 5 or 6. What do you call a deer with no eyes? No eye deer (No idea!!) Not the funniest, just a memory lol.'

I'd like to thank Wullie 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.


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Where When How Wednesday - Jynx

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 Cambridgeshire based anonymous photographic model, Jynx.

Photographer - RUGGLEZ Photography

Hi Jynx. Thank you for taking some time out to answer some questions for me. How did you come to take up modelling?

'I got into modelling whilst at University. I was studying for my MSc and a guy on my course was a model, regularly doing life drawing. I got into contact with a couple of the University of Cambridge colleges looking for life models. One of the artists mentioned body painting, so I did a few body painting shoots, as well as the life drawing. I met a few photography students, worked with them, and I guess it just snowballed (super pleased it did)! I've always felt actually better starting modelling slightly older, I'm sure my expectations are different than if I was a newbie 18 year old!'

Photographer - Mike Mendez,  Designer - Nippleicious

The work you put out is anonymous, why did you go down this route? Was it a choice ? Was it a necessity?

'I love being anonymous- feel it makes me mysterious! Honestly, I don't know what I want to do once I hang up my fetish ballet boots, but possibly mental health nursing, so the anonymity protects me from future employers finding out about my modelling. I know quite a few places would look upon modelling as 'unfavourable' and although I love what I do and wish to do it as long as possible, at some point, I will retire.'

How do you ensure your anonymity? Do you have to approve all images? Do you make photographers sign NDAs? Do you threaten bodily harm?

'Haha, I think I once suggested to someone they needed to sign a form akin to the Official Secrets Act in their own blood. But honestly, I either pose/use props or rely on trust- a few photographers have asked if they can decapitate me in post! I have no problems with this, but yes, I does rely on trust and that's something I insist on. And I remind people that our shoot is anonymous if I am a little concerned. I haven't ever really had any problems, other than a couple of photographers wanting to do headshots/portraits! I have politely suggested I am the wrong model for this!'

Photographer - Terry King,  Stylist - Nippleicious

I'm hazarding a guess here, predominantly based on your work been anonymous, that Jynx is a modelling name? How did you decide on it as your modelling name?

'Haha- Jynx could totally be my real name (it might not be, but I wont share it, still keeping that anonymity and mystery)! It sounds really dull if I say I was watching James Bond and thought I would love to be a Bond Girl! I do get a few people chuckle if they ever send me a message 'Hi Jynx' as in 'high jinks' - but I think thats how photoshoots should be; energetic and fun (throw in some mischief too when urbexing)!'

As a fan of the Bond films I don't think it sounds dull. Who's your Bond of choice?

'Honestly, I don't think I have a favourite Bond! But, suggestions for future Bonds include Idris Elba, Luke Evans and Dan Stevens! I think we should shake up the look and character of Bond, redefine him!'

Photographer - Carl Grim

Have you found that your want to be anonymous has had an effect on your employability? Has anyone refused to work with you because you won't show your face? Has it happened to help your employability?

'One mans treasure is another mans trash- everyone is after something, there is no 'one size fits all' in this industry, so you will appeal to some, not to others. I use my anonymity as part of my USP- there are plenty of models out there and feeling like I was a little late arriving at the party, needed something to make me stand out and the anonymity works so well, particularly for the genres that I mainly work in (ie erotica). I find its all about storytelling, in a way, more of what you dont see, that teasing and wanting to find out more. Anonymous work, you can be anyone and that also appeals to the viewer- in the image, it could be your neighbour, your boss or even your best friend! Majority of photographers have loved the anonymity, it involves less skin editing, its quirky and amazing the amount who shoot 'anonymous' without even realising it! It hasn't stopped me modelling internationally or being published; in fact, I'm a fetcat model for Fet-Erotica magazine! I researched the definition of anonymous and its simply lacking identifiable features. So, no eyes (we are naturally drawn to identifying people by their faces, predominantly eyes) and no 'real' name- everyone calls me Jynx. Fortunately, I have no tattoos and piercings can be removed as required.'

Photographer - Jon Downs

Has your anonymity within your modelling dictated, or does it dictate things about your appearance such as tattoo's, piercings, hairstyles etc?

'I've never been interested in getting a tattoo, so fortunately that's not a issue. I do want to get more piercings, but from time-to-time, I add 'fake' piercings if I think it suits the theme. I also have an increasing number of wigs, so can easily spice up my look. When it comes to post, I leave it to the photographers how much skin retouching they wish to do (scar/mole/freckle remover sort of thing)'

Photographer - Gregory Brown,  Taken At - Loft House Studio

The anonymous aspect aside, how would you describe the work you're putting out there?

'Kinda touched on it above, but I would say I predominantly shoot erotica, but also boudoir, nude and even fashion! I gave worked with a few photographers who were worried they didn't work to my levels- heck, its less of the level I am worried about but more the anonymous side! I suppose I favour erotica as its hard to do well, and being able to convey emotion without showing your face, you truly become an actress. I love that part of modelling, each day, I can reinvent myself, get into a character, be some new, a Grecian nude one day, feisty lover the next, latex dominatrix the day after.. and so forth. But, I love to try new things- it keeps life fun! We spend too much of our lives at work for us not to enjoy our work. I can safely say that I can get up each day and love my job, hell, I've managed to make my dream (being my own boss) a reality! There are a few fetish things I wont do, but on the whole, I will try anything :) Probably not high key beauty shots though...'

Photographer - Dayo Awe

In the spirit of anonymity, and hidden things...there's sort of a segway there I you have any hidden talents you can tell me about?

'Oh man, hidden talents? erm, well, I have extensive training in pre-hospital emergency care (got to make sure shoots are safe) and bizarre party trick- I can fit my entire fist in my mouth! Does cooking/baking count as a hidden talent? Not bad at that either'

You bake...dammit, I should have done the interview in person! What's your signature bake?

'oooo... it varies! at the moment, it seems to be chocolate and pistachio fudge! Im trying out new recipes to cater for various dietary requirements/allergies, such as gluten free, lactose free and people who are diabetic. When I'm 60, I would love to open a tea shop, specialising in people with allergies and dietary requirements'

Photographer - Vic Kumar,  Make Up - Draycon Designs

Do you have an image in your body of work that holds a special place in your heart?

'I guess there a 2 particular images. The first is a portrait with pop-art style body paint that I direct those to who wish to see my face! It was fun, my take on beauty and portraiture. And very lucky that the photographer (Vic) and artist (Draycon Designs) are two highly talented creatives, but also great friends and loved my idea! The second image is by photographer Carl Grim and was exhibited at an exhibition run by the Guild of Erotic Artists and was the only photo to sell during this event! I met the couple buying it and got to sign the back of it! I love what I do and the work I create with an array of hugely talented individuals, but its a real warm feeling that others love your work too!'

Photographer - Strussler

Looking ahead now, with maybe a little wishful thinking thrown in... If you could do your dream shoot (dream location, dream theme, dream outfits and props etc), what would it be?

'Dream shoot would be so hard to choose! I would love to have my photo taken by Tim Walker- I went to meet him at an evening he ran before the opening of his Storyteller exhibition and my love for him just grew (Tim, if you are reading this, please do get in touch)! Location wise, would probably have to be an abandoned church/monastery/castle in Italy. I love working in natural light, faded decor, decay of what once was majesty. Style wise- it would be a crazy mix of McQueen fashion, gorgeous lingerie by various designers including Chantal Thomas, Bordelle and Coco De Mer, fetish ballet boots, heels by Kurt Geiger, irregular choice and Jimmy Choo (and a Dior clutch, as I have always wanted one)! Throw in a makeup artist and hairstylist and think that's the team, style and location sorted! It would need to be over couple of days, but cover a story, loosely based on the idea of a woman, broken and alone, coming to terms with a tragedy and transforming herself into something stronger, powerful, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes.'

Photographer - StephenA

If people want to see more of your work, or book a shoot with you, where should they go?

'Please do go see more of my work, across social media and modelling platforms!
Twitter- @JynxModel
Fetlife- JynxModel
Facebook page- Jynx Model
PurplePort- Jynx'

Photographer - Eddie Cheng

Last question for you now... What's your favourite joke?

'Whats orange and sounds like a parrot? A carrot
(I know its a shocking joke, but its the first joke I can remember hearing and I laughed so much at the time)!'

Photographer - Fidelio

I'd like to thank Jynx 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, 9 August 2017

Where When How Wednesday - Rob Walker Photography

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 Manchester based photographer Rob Walker.

Hi Rob. Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for me. How was it you came to be in the photography world?

'It is quite a simple story really, I used to take a lot of photos on my phone as we all do these days, however when I started to upload them to various social media sites a few of my friends mainly a photographer from New York said that I certainly had an eye for a good photo and that I should look into buying a DSLR to give it a try. Once I had put together enough money I too that plunge and have not looked back since!'

I'm a bit of a gear junkie (just without the gear or funds for the gear) so I have to ask, your profile over on PurplePort states you've upgraded from a Nikon D90 to a Nikon D810, how did you find the change?

'I spent a lot of time researching which camera to buy for my first camera, the D90 stood out to me as I really wanted to get into Live Music photography and that model had great low light capabilities at a lower price, it was only when I moved into fashion and portraits that I decided I needed a full frame camera to really bring out the details in my work.

I can honestly say as much as the D90 really shaped my work to what it is today I am 100 times happier with the D810 and have since purchased a second body which is the Fujifilm X-T2, I wanted a powerful camera in a smaller body and boy does that deliver!'

Do you still get to shoot any gig photography?

'I do yes, however I only shoot the people I think would suit my style well or only shoot musicians that email me to come along.'

You've worked for various brands. Of them all, who so far was your favourite to work with?

'I think so far in terms of the shoot, the theme and the outcome it has to be Aireyys. Aireyys is a gentleman's lifestyle brand run by athlete Mike Edwards the images from our first shoot were feature in GQ magazine and we are still working on our second shoot for publication as these things take time. The second shoot for Aireyys was to advertise the launch of a Cigar line so we ventured to London in some amazing locations and just had fun doing it.'

When you retire, assuming I'm still working, I'm inviting you back to tell me which was a downright nightmare to work with. Until then, which brand has produced the most difficult shoot? Be it difficulties with logistics, stuff just not going right on the day...

'Being honest I have not yet had a really difficult brand to shoot for or company, the only thing I could say is that I have currently been organising a shoot with Channel 4 for a show due to air later this year and organising the production team, the presenter and a cameraman for the image to be in the same place at the same time has been a challenge. 

The shoot has been moved 6 times but should all be going ahead in the next few days.'

Speaking of working with brands. When people take up photography, sometimes the hope is working with brands and magazines. The trouble is, they often don't know how this happens. With your work, do you approach brands? Do they approach you? Is it a mixture of the two?

'At the beginning it was me pushing my services onto brands, models, magazines etc. but now the work mainly comes to me, I don’t currently do a lot of magazine features unless it is for a brand or the shoot has a high editorial concept.'

When you approached brands in the beginning, how did you find yourself received? Plus, if it was needed, how did you persuade them to use your services?

'Luckily I already had a portfolio of portraits so they approached me as they liked my work and wanted me to be a part of their look book.'

While prepping for this interview I spent a lot of time on your site, especially on your analogue section. I happened to grow up with analogue cameras so have always had a love of them. The few times I've been asked why I love them, I generally can't give a quick answer that doesn't cause people eyes to no pressure on you... Why do you enjoy using analogue cameras?

'I have been using cameras for around 7 years and only in the past 4 years have I ventured into analogue, originally it was more of a challenge that I set myself to see if the knowledge I had gained through digital could be passed onto film, after I had my first roll developed I just fell in love.

The fact that no editing is needed and everything you see is what was taken on the camera/film just made me want to do it more and more, since that first roll of film I now own 6 35mm cameras and one medium format film camera!'

Do you get to use your analogue cameras for your paid work or is it purely for your shots for pleasure?

'This is purely for me, although the images do end up getting used I just love the look and the process of analogue so that is why I do it.'

Speaking of your site, you have a few bath shots on there. One question that comes up a fair bit in photography forums concerns colouring the water for bath shots. What do you use to colour yours?

'The common use of colour for bath shoots is food colouring, however I wanted to take a different approach and have texture to so I used Lush Bath Bombs as they contain glitter, petals oils and much more.

I recently did another bath shoot which I have yet to upload on my site but for that one I also used Powdered Milk to give it that creamy milkshake look to the water and it worked really well.'

The Lush bath bombs is a good idea. When you first started with the bath photography did you have any issues trying to get the colours how you wanted, or any issue such as staining with the food colouring?

'No food colouring is used just Lush bath bombs and milk powder to achieve the creamy effect, the lush bath bombs luckily to date have not stained any item of clothing the model has worn.'

I nearly forgot my patented off topic question! As you may have noticed from my previous off topic questions, they're generally dictated by what I am doing at the time. As I am watching Lego Batman whilst I write this, what's your favourite film?

'As you can imagine it is a difficult question as so many films stand out to me, but as I write this I have to go with Dumb and Dumber as it just reminds me of my youth.'

Where should people look to peruse more of your work and contact you?

'I have a few ways to contact me but most of my up to date work is on my instagram which is then later added to my site. My digital account is @robwalkerphotography and my analogue account is @analogueshooter my site is also a point of contact which is alternatively my email is easiest'

Lastly, what's your favourite joke?

'I am a huge fan of either world play jokes or food related jokes! my current favourite has to be: What happened when Mr Cheese painted his wife? He Double Gloucester!'

I'd like to thank Rob 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, 2 August 2017

Where When How Wednesday - SP Photography

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 Milton Keynes based photographer Sam of SP-Photography.

Model - Shannonlou

Hi Sam. Thanks for taking some time to answer some questions for me. I understand a career in photography wasn't your initial plan?

'Hi Ian, many thanks for choosing to interview me. 

Funnily enough no, photography was never a really something I’d considered doing full time until 2014, which really isn't that long ago when I come to think of it! 

I’m actually a qualified personal trainer and have worked within the health & fitness industry for many years. Photography has only ever really been a hobby, but even then it was only as far as point and shot cameras, nothing too flash (pardon the pun) or fancy.

It all began back in 2014 and it’s all thanks to a very close friend of mine (I won’t name them but they know who they are)  He knew I had an interest in photography and asked me if I wanted to take some images of his car to be submitted into a well known car magazine.

I can remember driving out to find a location which would be suitable for these images, it’s actually one of my many locations I now use for my shoots. 

I'll be honest, I had absolutely no equipment, no fancy camera and more to the point no idea what I was doing haha! - Oh how times have changed....

After a few hours taking these pictures I headed back to my house and uploaded them to my computer; Now, considering I had no idea what I was really doing and had no editing software to my surprise, the images weren’t too bad! – In fact, the magazine my friend submitted the images to actually published them!

I suppose it was from this point on I caught the “photography bug” and decided that if I was to invest within myself and really focus on my photography I could potentially turn my hobby into a career and the rest is history as they say....'

I like to think my blog is a safe place to be able to brag, and name I'm nosy so, what magazine was it?

'The magazine was for FastFord Mag, I think the majority of their content is now online, like most things these days but I did a little searching and managed to find the magazine image! - Take a look...'

On your website bio you say your first photoshoot was with a "standard off the shelf camera". This is a photography blog after all, and there are a decent number of gear nuts like myself, so, what camera was it, can you remember?

'If I can remember rightly it was a Sony DSC HX50'

Model - Rosa Brighid

Judging by your bio you no longer shoot with that, so, what do you shoot with now?

'No, I actually gave the camera to a friend of mine a few years back. 

In all honestly I don’t actually have that much equipment, I have two main bodies, a D3200 which is used for 90% of my work you see on my social media & Purpleport and a D750 which is used for my wedding photography. 

My D3200 remains in my camera bag as a back up camera for my weddings!

In regards to my lenses for the D3200 I have two lenses, the 50mm F1.8 and also a 55 – 300mm f4.5 – 5.6 telephoto, to most people’s surprise the 55-300mm is used a lot more than my 50mm F1.8!  - There’s just something about the 50-300mm that clicks with me! (no pun intended)

For my D750, I have the 50mm F1.8 and also the fantastic 70 – 200mm F2.8.

I also use LED panel light(s) & a few cheap flashes off Ebay which seem to do the trick!'

Model - Artemis Fauna

As well as fashion and portraiture you shoot weddings. What made you take up what is arguably the most stressful photographic subject there is?

'The wedding photography kind of happened by accident for me! 

My cousin got married a few years back and asked me if I’d be happy doing his wedding photography for him. I remember saying I’d love to do it but it would be my very first wedding so perhaps if he got a wedding photography team on board for the main day and I’ll just do the evening when everyone is drunk! 

But him & his now wife both wanted me to shoot the whole day. So we sat down and went through the plan of action for the day. 

I remember going to his wedding rehearsal and thinking to myself, what have a signed up for!  - Needless to say I had no sleep the night before the wedding! 

However, come the day of the wedding everything seem to fall into place for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it! 

After sometime going over the images and editing etc etc I gave the images from the day to my cousin and his wife and they were over the moon with my work! 

Like most people they shared the results on social media and the rest is history really.

I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoy weddings, I think providing you plan and prepare as much as you can and try not to stress too much (I know that’s much easier said than done when your shooting the biggest day of a couples life!) They’re not as bad as people think.'

Model - EmilyM

Despite your best efforts planning, have you had any mishaps whilst shooting a wedding?

'Not that I can think of no, I suppose I've always been fairly lucky although, I shot a wedding back in Autumn last year where they had torrential rain from the moment I arrived to the moment I left, I wouldn't really say a mishap but I felt extremely sorry for the bride & groom as the grounds of the venue they had hired was stunning.

I do remember back in November 2016 doing an engagement shoot, I'd just finished setting up my equipment, I explained I was going to take a few test shots, pointed my camera that the couple, to which the groom says to me "you've left your lens cap on" - We've all been there!'

Model - Artemis Fauna

As you're a qualified personal trainer I assume it's fairly safe to say you're a health nut. The few health nuts I know are fairly obsessed with protein shakes. As I have to ask my obligatory nonsense question, and I don't know a sufficient amount about health and fitness to ask a sensible question, what's your favourite protein shake flavour?

'Yeah, I’m either in the gym or editing haha!

I have to agree, most people who are into their training especially weight lifting can be obsessed with protein shakes, for me, I personally do use them but only after a workout to help recovery, I’m not one of these lets have a protein shake for breakfast, lunch & dinner health nuts. 

But to answer your question I’d have to say strawberry flavoured.'

Models - Tillie Model (Left) & Artemis Fauna (Right)

Granted, you might not what to answer this for fear of getting into trouble, but I'll ask anyway. On the subject of both weddings and personal training, and without giving names or too much in the way of specifics, so as to not drop you in it... Who has caused you the most trouble, or have you found the hardest to work with, a bridezilla (or their mother, we've all heard stories) or a personal training client?

'The majority of my wedding customers have actually been really nice, supportive & just let me do my job so; I've not really had a bad wedding experience yet, maybe I'm just extremely lucky!

I do remember one of my personal training clients though who was a bit of a nightmare to work with, I won't mention names for obvious reasons but I can remember sending them over a diet plan in order to help them achieve their results, the next morning, I had an email back from this client explaining how the diet plan I had created did not match and I quote "what I had seen on an online fitness blog" 

After explaining the reasons behind the diet plan and why it was created the way it was, they demanded that the diet plan was changed to match the fitness blog! - I refused to adjust it, due to specific goals and dietary requirements, they then cancelled all future sessions with me, demanded a refund and wrote a letter of complaint to the fitness manager of the club I was working at.

Both myself & the fitness manager at the time really didn't know what to think of the whole situation! - Very bizarre'

Model - Bella

Within your notes you bring up the subject of model releases, and it giving you peace of mind. Model releases are one of those subjects that is often debated on photography forums, and by debated I mean often argued about. Have you ever had a situation where you've had to use the "you signed the model release" card?

'To be honest I’ve never had an issue with this, for those who have worked with me will know this but I make everything as clear as I can in our pre-shoot comms and explain exactly how the images will be used.'

Models - Tillie Model (Left) & Artemis Fauna (Right)

One of the things you offer is photography training. If someone was to hire your services for this, what do they get?

'This is something I've only recently started doing, well, since the start of 2017.

I get a fair few message via my social media platforms, mainly on my fashion work where people ask me how do I achieve the results and what settings do I use, the usual questions: what camera mode am I in? what shutter speed do you use? what’s my ISO? etc, etc.

I can remember when I first purchased my D3200, looking at all the settings and thinking to myself, what an earth does any of this mean?!?

I’d hate to think how many books I’ve read and youtube videos I’ve watched to get my basic understanding of photography but I fount that getting out there, practicing and getting to know your camera is the only way to improve.

I must of used every single mode on my camera trying to figure out what works best, Now I only ever use manual mode and I often think when I see these messages if only someone had actually shown me a few basic tips.  

Which leads me onto your question, my tuition sessions are for 2 hours, this includes myself & the model (mainly shooting fashion/portraits) The first hour is spent watching myself shoot, I explain everything I’m doing from the start and of course answer any questions as we go, the second hour is then over to the participant.

This allows them to get involved, use their camera and understand photography a bit more.

I also explain my typical lighting set up and how to take control of the shoot.

I’m not one to over direct a model, I’m actually extremely laid back to work with but I’m sure most will agree, the model can’t see what you can see behind the camera so don’t be afraid to ask them to adjust their pose(s)'

Model - Brunutty

When you're asking the model to adjust her pose, are you just describing it or are you in there posing to show them? I pwomise if the answer is posing I won't be asking models for images!!!

'Haha! - I certainly don't pose myself! 

I find letting the model pose freely works best and then directing from there, it's just minor corrections I make such as "Can you give me more eye contact" , "look down for me" , "just look out to your left/right" , "Can you turn to your left ever to slightly" etc etc  - Although I often get my left & right and their left & right mixed up, which is always amusing!

I also find showing the model previous shots we've got and then explaining my ideas really helps them, but I won't be posing anytime soon!'

Model - ChloeAnne9

As someone who has successfully made the transition from hobby to job, what advice would you give others who want to make the change?

'Ohhh good question! – For me as I explained earlier photography was never meant to be a career it kind of “just happened” I’d say the trick would be to give yourself a 5 year goal.

If you can imagine where you’d like to be within 5 years of wanting to go full time that’ll give you something to aim towards and I think there needs to be an end goal in order to achieve something.

Just be determined and never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone!'

Model - ET

Where should people look to see more of your work and contact you?

'The majority of my work comes via social media and that’s where I’m most active, so I’ll link all that below:





I've also recently started using 500px, so I'll link that as well....'

Lastly, what's your favourite joke?

'Would it be possible to change this to what's my favourite quote? My sense of humour is extremely dry and I'd hate to offended somebody haha!'

Sure... What's your favourite quote?

'My favourite quote would be:

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” — [Benjamin Franklin]'

I'd like to thank Sam 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.