Clever Fun Interview With Simon Green Photographer
Q: Do you like to talk about yourself or your pictures? If yes, about what aspects of photography? If no, why?
A: Yes, not so much about me but definitely my photography and photography in general. I love all aspects of photography and have a tendency to bore people to death or make people late by discussing it in depth.
Q: How would you describe your attention span?
Q: When did you decide to become a photographer?
A: I have been doing photography in some form or another all my life, but really got into it when I was in my early 20′s. I was in the Army and started photographing informally for my unit. Once people started to see my images, more work started to come to me and eventually I retrained as a full time photographer
Q: What does photography mean to you?
A: It is my life, the only thing that is more important is my family and even that is a close call. It is some times incredibly difficult to have to miss a photographic opportunity to spend time with my family!
Q: Can you recall the first photo you took that made you go WOW!?
A: Yes! Black and white landscape image of Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland. It was taken on an old battered Hassleblad 500CM on TMAX 100 and it was the first time I had control over everything. The exposure, the development and the final print which was a 20″x16″ hand print. When I first saw that image I realised that everything had clicked into place and something special was about to happen. It was a defining moment in my photography.
Q: Do you have any formal training regarding photography?
A: Yes. I was initially self taught, I was then trained in the Army as a photographer, it was then that I met a fellow photographer Giles Penfound who became a mentor to me and pretty much taught me everything else I needed to know.
Q: How technical is your photography?
A: Very – upto a point. I always check and test as much as I can before a shoot and ensure as much as possible it is as technically correct as possible. After that I just let things take their natural course.
Q: How do you feel about cropping?
A: In camera as much as possible,
Q: Where is your favorite place to live and work as a photographer in the World and why?
A: Cornwall, UK. The light is fantastic, the people are great, the scenery is spectacular.
Q: Define the word “beauty”!
A: When many great things come together as one, a beautiful photograph could be described as one with great light, location, model, angle of view etc.
Q: What is your most favorite and least favorite word in photography or life? How do they make you feel?
A: can’t – totally negative and usually wrong.
Q: How does your personality change when you look through the camera?
A: My confidence increases greatly, when I am not behind the camera I am quite shy and unsure, but behind the camera I have control over everything. I become quite flamboyant.
Q: How do you feel about missed shots which cannot be recreated?
A: Gutted! I can spend weeks being upset and wound up about it, but it rarely happens these days.
Q: Ever concerned about failure?
A: Constantly, I am always concerned that my equipment will fail, or I will forget to do something very simple or that all my images will be out of focus and a million other things. As soon as I start shooting though all that goes.
Q: Who are your influences?
A: David Bailey, John Swanell, Anyone who shoots for Vogue or Harpers, David La Chapelle
Q: What is your favorite image, either your own or someone else’s or both? Describe its creation or meaning to you?
A: Its always changing, every shoot I do is better than the last. At the moment it is an image from a shoot yesterday at a local Art Gallery for WED magazine.
A lot of time was spent getting everything right, the model, hair, makeup, posing, lighting. It was without a doubt some of the best images I have created to date.
To me it is another milestone in my photography as my style has changed dramatically and I feel that it was the culmination of a year of growing and becoming a better photographer.
Q: Describe a day in your personal or professional life.
A: Hit the studio about 9ish usually finish any paperwork or bits of photoshopping I need to do. Often there is meeting or two perhaps a product shoot in the studio, then out on location to shoot some fashion images. We do lots of running around, generally we fit around 6-10 different shoots into a week this could be as varied as some fashion, product, advertising, architectural, food, sport. The day can often run on till 10 at night sometimes later, especially if there are tight deadlines, we work hard to hit deadlines. We work 6 or 7 day weeks mostly and after work we have just enough energy to go home cook some dinner and sit in front of the tv. Amongst all this kids need dropping at/ collecting from school.
Q: What are the biggest personal or professional challenges you face on a daily basis?
A: Getting the balance right between work and family
Q: What has been the single biggest obstacle against growing as a photographer in whole?
A: Trying to avoid doing what every other photographer does. Often I look at the work of others and convince myself thats how our work should be. Its a battle to stay on track and believe in myself the way others do. It’s been a long time coming and I still have doubts but I am really starting to believe in my own work.
Q: What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
A: Landscapes and fashion – put the two together and I am in heaven.
Q: Tell your funniest, scariest, most bizarre, most touching story from a photoshoot!
A: Nothing I can think of but then I am usually absorbed in my work and everything else goes on around me with out me noticing.
Q: Have you ever thought about or actually stopped doing photography? What were the circumstances?
A: Yes, I was convinced that there were too many photographers to make it a worthwhile business. But no matter what I did I ended back here. So now I just let it happen.
Q: Do you ever have photographer’s block and if yes how do you deal with it?
A: Only once so far, recently and because I had something worrying me, i just could not get into the ‘zone’ but I seem to be back in it now, thankfully.
Q: What types of assignments are you attracted most?
A: Magazine fashion and Editorial
Q: Describe what black and white photography means to you?
A: The roots of photography, darkrooms, chemicals, grain, beautiful fiber based prints full of wonderful tones, deep blacks and subtle shades.
Q: Do you think of yourself as an artist and what do you think of the word artist?
A: Absolutely, an artist is anyone who creates something unique, inspired.
Q: How do you describe your photographic style?
A: Contrasty – whether between colours or shades, textures or emotions. Simple and organic
Q: What has been the most surprising or most predictable reaction to your photographs?
A: That they could be on the pages of Vogue – I get this on a regular basis
Q: Tell a little secret about yourself that no-one knows …
A: I am very sensitive and always put others needs before my own. I don’t think many who know me would believe this.
Q: Who or what would you love to shoot that you haven’t already?
A: David Beckham and anything for an international fashion magazine Vogue, Harpers, Elle
Q: What would you have done differently during your photography career so far and could this be an advice to others?
A: Nothing much, just maybe jumped at a few more chances along the way and be less afraid to talk to people
Q: What are your thoughts on the paparazzi and their effects on photographers and photography?
A: They provide the public with what they want and are ultimately just trying to make a living like the rest of us. Some of them however do go to extreme lengths just to get the shot.
Q: How do you feel about digital manipulation and to what extent do you utilize it?
A: We use a small amounts of retouching, usually to remove an unwanted crease in a garment or to remove distractions in the background, but I try to get as much right in camera as possible to minimize post processing work. We simply do not have the time to spend hours retouching. Digital manipulation is just another tool to achieve the final required image.