It would be fair to say that when I started out as a professional photographer, I didn't seek Commercial Photography, but nevertheless Commercial Photography found me ... And I am extremely grateful that it did!
Starting out with my first dSLR in my hand and much excitement in my heart, all I wanted was to take photographs of people. I dreamed of portraits; portraits of adults, children, babies, portraits of brides and grooms. Over time, my style started to emerge: clean, crisp, punchy but with a hint of classic. My editing is often minimal, reserved to a few re-touches and maybe some minor level adjustments.
When I photograph people, I like to get to know a little about them, because I like their personality to shine through my photographs. Whenever I'm on a shoot I like to remember the famous words by Paul Caponigro: “It's one thing to take a photograph of what a person looks like, it's another to create a portrait of who they are!" It's what makes my photographs personal and unique ...
Commercial photography is very different to that ... Instead of capturing the essence of the person, I have to strip their personality and replace it with the brand I am trying to showcase.
On a recent weekend in London I found myself photographing Tom. Tom is a street entertainer. His show is absolutely brilliant and totally hilarious and if you find yourself in London, you should definitely watch it! Without giving too much away, it involves some juggling, a tennis racket, a 7 foot unicycle and lots of laughter!
I watched The Tom Show the day before I photographed him, and that gave me an understanding of what it is about ... It's funny, punchy, vibrant! And I knew I needed to portray this in my photographs, both when shooting and afterwards in post-production.
I certainly didn't have to worry about the funny side, Tom took care of that. It was by far one of the funniest shoots I have ever done. But I did have to worry about making the photographs look great! The location was one where Tom usually does his shows. But it also had to be somewhere clean, away from crowds and distractions (not always easy in the centre of London, on a Sunday before Christmas!). The weather was pretty dull and the light was quite flat. Without the aid of additional lighting, I knew that the look I wanted to achieve would have to be a combination of getting the images right in camera and then applying certain effects in post-production.
The final photographs are vibrant, highly saturated and high contrast! They take "punchy" to a whole new level, because, frankly, The Tom Show takes street entertainment to a whole new level!
And this is why I've come to enjoy Commercial Photography. It pushes me to challenge my techniques as a photographer. It allows me to experiment with different looks and styles, without compromising the work I do for my portrait clients!
For any Commercial Photography bookings or commisions, please click here!
For more information about The Tom Show, please visit Tom's website!