Well for years, but only had more than an iPhone; for last 3 years
When did you get into photography and why?
My ex-girlfriend gifted me a Nikon D300 camera - which ironically I never got to master, cos she’d always hurry me along when we were out, lol ..so, it wasn’t until after we split up - and I just had all this time, so I thought I’d get out and learn how to use this nice gift ..then I got onto meetup and then Instagram, met supportive creative friends and then I wasn’t shooting alone ..but with others, staying out longer, learning and just lovin’ it
What would you say your style is and has it changed throughout the years? ..If so why?
I’ve never deleted any of my pics from insta, because it’s nice to see how photographer has evolved; whether that’s shot selection, ability to execute the shot ..or the editing.
Editing is such a massive thing and I’m enjoying/evolving that more and more.
I’ve always liked taking shots of people ..but initially my London shots (@drapes213) were where I learnt to use a camera - so lots or architecture, sunsets and blah ..but as time has gone on, it just feels a bit samey and so to keep the joy of shooting ..I’ve been doing more and more portraits ..and creating the @drapes213_people page made me HAVE TO focus on it and dedicate time to this side of things
How do you approach a shoot? Do you pre plan, or is it a click and run?
Hmmmm... funnily enough, I’ve a few locations I love ..but I think, when it comes to portraits, it’s your ability/agility to take in your surrounding and what street furniture you might have at your disposal (lines, angles, textures, light sources) and utilise that in the moment! ..I say all the above, because, so many times I’ve gone out to shoot what I “planned” but then the photos taken in ad-hoc moments often end up being the ones I love most.
Is there an end goal you’re trying to achieve with your images, be it an aesthetic or story?
I guess it’s to draw people in ...to make them think wow, ..whether that’s a surprised wow, OR actually just show off that person - as I felt they should be spotlighted a bit :))
...and see the beauty I saw ..which is especially rewarding with people - as so many people just don’t see it in themselves, which is daft ..I mean, it’s nice to shoot models - but we walk past beautiful people every day that just sparkle.
I looove movement, lines and form (lots of relatives have been architects) so maybe I’ve a natural appreciation of lines in nature. I really believe in body confidence, so to show off that and raw passion in a shot is a buzz ..but it’s not always easy and I’m still working on that aspect.
Do you have an influences you can share?
No one person to be honest, I’ve made a point to make all the people I follow on my portrait account REALLY about portraits ..just to submerge myself in it, so I see lots of different perspectives ..no ONE view is more correct than another, but they all enrich and I have I have loads of folders where I save shots I see; like “mood boards” ..just to kind of inspire.
What inspires you?
Beauty around me; like everything :)))) ..sounds daft or cliche I guess, but it’s wanting to capture it.
Is there such a thing as a bad photograph?
Flip yeh ..I’m my own worst critic, lol ..I do all my editing on my iPhone and my camera roll has +34,000 photos and +600 videos (time lapses, etc) and for sure I won’t post half of it, lol ...if I look back on the shots I posted a year ago, maybe (hopefully) I’d think I can do better now, which shows I’ve improved. I think you should always compare yourself to who you were, and not others.
Are you looking for a career in photography or are you just having fun?
I just enjoy it. Great to make more pocket money out of it, but I don’t think I’d want to quit my job totally ..as to NEED to shoot might take the fun out of it ..and you need to enjoy it and FEEL it ..so, maybe pocket money, and fun experiences like fashion week, international travel ..but ah, I’m not so egotistical, lol.
Which social media platforms do you use and why?
I started on Facebook, to be honest I hate it ..I’d post and never felt any value ...I use Instagram a lot!! ...and now a bit of Vero, because I hate the Instagram algorithm (like the rest of humanity).
Which photographers do you mainly follow on social media?
Anyone I like ..I’m all about engagement as I genuinely love photography ..so, if you come follow or like a load of my shots, I’ll invariably come look at your stuff and engage ..as we are all on a curve ..some are further on than me, some aren’t - but all are of equal value.
What are your thoughts on photography versus DSLR / mirrorless?
Well I’ve had 2 Nikon’s and having accidentally drowned my DSLR while trying to shoot a coastal sunrise ..I’ve moved to Sony mirrorless and WOW ..I so prefer it, I could list all the reasons, but I think whoever you are - you’ll learn skills much faster.
What’s your main go to camera, lenses and how did you make that choice?
For sure: gmaster 85mm f1.4 ..then Sony/Zeiss 55mm f1.8 ..loving those two lenses!! ..if you’re on budget then go for the 55mm - as it’s insanely light for the quality it gives and super versatile ..can be portrait, can be Street, can do viewpoints ..it rocks!
What is your dream location to shoot at?
Well, I definitely want to do more hotel shoots ..not exactly dream location but the funny thing is; if you’re shooting at f1.4 ..you can almost shoot in McDonalds and nobody would know, so ..dream location is just somewhere warmer than London right now :))
Describe your favourite picture and how you captured it?
It’s hard to pick a favourite. I’ve a few favourites.. for different reasons, maybe it’s the mood/storytelling captured ..or a technical shot ..or sometimes it’s the edit that’s made it pop.
In three words how would you describe your photography?
Versatile (I’ll flip between shooting device and style often - just to see how something could look in a different way)
How do you feel about better quality cameras being put into smart phones?
I think it’s awesome; I mean, I’ve never been classically trained and so, my iPhone was my IN into this world and you can’t always have you camera with you ..so, mobile phone enables to capture “those” spontaneous moments ..many of my London shots are with iPhone ..portraits, I’ve only shot one ..but not posted it actually.
What are your thoughts on expensive cameras? Do you think they create better images?
Well, no.. if you have no clarity of vision.. then no camera will help you (cheap or expensive) ..which is also why I’m not one to always shoot in Manual mode ..I do for specific things, but not constantly ..because: shooting in manual doesn’t mean you’re suddenly better than the person next to you; if you can’t catch “that” spontaneous moment at speed