I am drinking a lot of coffee this week!! Today I am catching up with Dave Wall ahead of his workshop at PhotoHubs Coventry. Firstly thank you Dave for taking the time to have a coffee and a chat…
What got you into photography?
Bob Carlos Clarke —- and
I won’t lie — it helped with “the ladies” —– after all I was only 18 !!
If you had not been a photographer what would you have done?
I don’t know. It is all I have ever known. All I have ever done. Probably be curator at an art gallery or something similar
What was the best advice you were ever given?
Have empathy for what you photography. Whether that is a product, a landscape, a brick wall or a person —— learn to appreciate it’s qualities and you will make it look it’s best.
Are you a full-time photographer?
If yes how many years?
A LOT !!!! 30 years in the industry —– I know I know —- I don’t look (or act) old enough
What is your style?
What do you shoot?
I would always class myself as a commercial product photographer as that is what I was trained in, but realistically these days it is predominantly book covers that I create for some of the biggest selling authors across the globe —- my dream job !!
Why this subject?
I don’t have to deal with clients !!! My work is very much like a student —- I shoot what I want, when I want and how I want —- and I get to travel the world doing it —– RESULT !!
Name 3 words that describe your style?
Often sinister (goes with the territory of crime and horror book covers)
Have you photographed anyone famous? If so can you tell me who?
Over the years yes – many fashion and page 3 models —- (not so much these days – although I do retouch MANY celebs for the tabloids).
Worst photographic experience?
I haven’t had many to be honest as I am well prepared for pretty much any eventuality —- although when I was a student I “did” shoot my first paying job – a pet portrait and forgot to load any film in my camera !!!
I also found shooting weddings a NIGHTMARE (as I like to be in control and they have too many variables for me)
Best photographic experience?
WOW —– so so many !!!!
Living in a car in Iceland for 10 days was magical !!!
Eating a bagel while sat on a glacier while waiting for the sun to rise was amazing !!!
Also while in the Canary Islands experiencing and being encompassed in Volcanic VOG (Fog that comes up from the ground and then just disappears back into the lava fields was magical also !!
Canon or Nikon?
Don’t get me started on cameras !!!!
…… should I carry on !!
Because I am a camera tart !!!!!
What has been your greatest photographic achievement?
Although I have won many many awards — hands down my finest achievement was having my work Auctioned at Bonhams in London —- BUT although that is exciting in itself —- my work was hung next to my all time Photo Hero — the late great Bob Carlos Clarke !!
Something that can NEVER be beaten !!
Advice for someone starting out?
Have a thick skin
Ignore the haters
Shoot for “you” and clients will come —- look at me —- I shoot dark alleyways at 3am for a living !!
Top 3 tips you would give someone starting out?
Kit —– DOES NOT make the photographer (says me who buys 6-10 cameras per year) —- but honestly your best tool is your imagination !!!
Invest in training (from a seasoned pro and not from somebody who doesn’t know about the industry) …. It will pay for itself 10X over !!
Don’t rent studio space until you KNOW you can bring in the business !!!
Rent on a daily basis to start
If you had to move to a desert island what 5 items would you take with you?
Holly Willoughby (at least I am honest) !!
My cat Mildred
My Pansonic GX8 with my Olympus 12-100 attached (best all round combo I have ever used)
Beer —– goes without saying
My Macbook pro
—- I would say my wife but Holly might not approve