Photographer Interview With Alan Brown Of Scunthorpe, Lincs UK
Q: Do you like to talk about yourself or your pictures? If yes, about what aspects of photography? If no, why?
A: Yes – I belong to local groups and we talk constantly. Also I bore all my friends and relatives to death
Q: How technical is your photography?
A: If you mean do I point and shoot, or thing F5.6 and 1/250th etc. … then the latter (Also I spend hours afterward editing)
Q: How do you feel about cropping?
A: A necessary means to an end – (also editing/airbrushing)
Q: How would you describe your attention span?
Q: When did you decide to become a photographer?
A: 18yrs ago
Q: What does photography mean to you?
A: An artform, an interest, an expression of myself
Q: Can you recall the first photo you took that made you go WOW!?
A: Yes – It was of my shop assistant
Q: Do you have any formal training regarding photography?
A: No, Sadly – Thankfully my 85yr old chairman (of www.brelu-brelu.com) is passing on his knowledge drip drip, every friday and what he doesn’t know, has never been published ?
Q: Where is your favorite place to live and work as a photographer in the World and why?
A: If this is fictional, I’d say Tenerife for the light, Italy for the architecture and UK for range of content
Q: Define the word “beauty”!
A: Something that is aesthetically pleasant to the eye and makes you breathe “WOW”, under your breath, as atear rolls down your cheek
Q: What is your most favorite and least favorite word in photography or life? How do they make you feel?
A: Least=Paparazzi/celebrity – The insincerity annoys me. Most=Crisp/Focus – I feel “Alive” when I see a clear sky, a crisp outline, a detailed closeup
Q: How does your personality change when you look through the camera?
A: I feel rushed, but determined that “This one” may be the one
Q: How do you feel about missed shots which cannot be recreated?
A: Damnit – But never mind …. There’s always another day (until I die, then it doesn’t matter or at least it will be the least of my problems)
Q: Ever concerned about failure?
A: NO – I fail perpetually – I am almost an expert at it
Q: Who are your influences?
A: My Chairman, My wife, My Mistresses
Q: What is your favorite image, either your own or someone else’s or both? Describe its creation or meaning to you?
A: LUCY Alert – I like the expectancy that something is going to happen, the innocence of a life with no ill will and the happenstance or serendipity that allowed me to click at right time
Q: Describe a day in your personal or professional life.
A: Get up – travel – drink tea – travel – fall asleep – drink tea – travel – Locate – Introduce – Fumble – Click – (Repeat 300 times) – tidy up – Invite model for meal – Eat – Travel – Sleep/Nap in services – Travel – Go to bed exhausted
Q: What are the biggest personal or professional challenges you face on a daily basis?
A: I am confined to a wheelchair – I suppose, even after 40yrs, my biggest hurdle is ignorance and ill manners in others
Q: What has been the single biggest obstacle against growing as a photographer in whole?
A: The fact that I cannot always get to the angles and locations I’d like to. (Beaches, Sea, Underwater, heights etc.)
Q: What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
A: Women, Women, Women and Animals
Q: Tell your funniest, scariest, most bizarre, most touching story from a photo shoot!
A: My very first. I hired a local model. I explained I wanted a swimwear shoot, with her catching a beach ball, which we would simulate. While I was setting up and talking,I wasn’t watching her, but looking in opposite direction. I assumed she had brought her own swimwear.
She was a local lass. I knew her and her mother and was hesitant even to see her in swimwear as, being my first shoot, thought she’d be embarrassed. As I turned around, she was stood “hands on hips, with an expectant look, completely naked, legs apart, breast shining in the bright lights, nothing hidden”, as she said “Where’s the swimsuit ?
(After I had got my breath back, we agreed to take the shoot nude and “paint on” the bikini afterwards as neither of us had one.
Q: Have you ever thought about or actually stopped doing photography? What were the circumstances?
A: No way
Q: Do you ever have photographer’s block and if yes how do you deal with it?
A: Yes. I put camera in car and drive a hundred miles until I see something
Q: What types of assignments are you attracted most?
A: Outdoor Modelling Shoots in bright warm sun and in pleasant locations. (Especially if she brings picnic)
Q: Describe what black and white photography means to you?
Q: Do you think of yourself as an artist and what do you think of the word artist?
A: Yes I do. Being an artist is Creating, Developing, Entertaining even ?
Q: How do you describe your photographic style?
A: Amateurish, but sometimes insightful and original
Q: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction to your photographs?
A: Surprising is when a model hates all her photos, even when they make her look beautiful and flatter her. Predictable is teenage relatives who giggle and ask “Do you do Nudes. Do you s**g them”, when they find I have shot portfolios for models ?
Q: Tell a little secret about yourself that no-one knows …
A: I have an IQ of 163, but since my stroke, I type and retype every line I write, 2-3 times, because I now have dyslexia
Q: Who or what would you love to shoot that you haven’t already?
A: An underwater Coral Reef. The Memorial Flight. A tiger
Q: What would you have done differently during your photography career so far and could this be an advice to others?
A: I would have become expert with a 550D before buying a 5D.
Q: What are your thoughts on the paparazzi and their effects on photographers and photography?
A: Clueless, Shallow individuals in same league as bankers and stock traders. More useless than Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s hairdressers
Q: How do you feel about digital manipulation and to what extent do you utilize it?
A: I love it, as long as it is not done to harm someone’s reputation or defraud in any way. As long as it’s declared and limited – It’s fine. Why should a model be discriminated against, because she is real and has a stretch mark or blackhead or is aging a little?
Q: What other thoughts would you like to share?
A: I wish I could afford a 5D Mk II with a full set of L series lenses and I wish I had enough money to afford a studio, away from my home.
Connect with Alan via his Facebook page.