A Decade in Review: A look back at my favourite photoshoots and images over the last 10 years.
Over the Christmas break I took a long look at my back catalogue of work from the last ten years and the journey I've taken as a photographer and thought it would be great to share some of my favourite images from the last decade ending with images from this year which have yet to be taken!
My first thoughts were to have a competition and let followers pick their preferred image of the decade but on reflection, I decided to share some of my own personal faves and say thank you to all those people who have helped me along the way.
How I started
Let me start by giving a brief background on how I become a full-time professional photographer and share a few personal moments. My interest in photography started at an early age and I was encouraged by my dad. At school I was the only pupil in my year who picked photography as an option, because of this, I was told that it was ‘no longer an option’ but it didn’t put me off. I spent as much time as I could having fun with my camera, shooting rolls of film and developing and printing my shots in my home darkroom, which also doubled as a bedroom!
As a child, I was dragged through church and attended a thriving youth group which I honestly really enjoyed. One of my proudest moments as a teenager was winning a national youth photography competition two years running! Life, as we all know, can sometimes have a habit of throwing a curveball our way and because of this my faith and spiritual journey hasn’t always been a consistent one, but I have held close a couple of Bible verses which have always helped me especially when times have been difficult, and I’m sure any self-employed person working in the creative industry would agree, life can at times be difficult.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Do Not Worry “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:25-34
That’s it, spiritual bit finished, for now!
I began my professional career in photography in 2006 after spending 18 years working in the industry. Starting as a graphic designer, before later becoming an art director, I understand the importance of producing creative photography but also answering the marketing brief. I’m also known for being slightly obsessed with colour coordinating my images, which is something I believe evolved from my design background and the subliminal promotion of colour branding. My style has been well received and requested on many commercial shoots, and in an extremely competitive industry, it has helped develop my signature look.
From 2006 -2009, I was still juggling my work as a company director, graphic designer and now trying to grow my name and skills as a photographer. I was fortunate that I had many existing clients including The NHS, Colchester Zoo, Dominion Homes, IFDS and Spurgeons Charity to name just a few who were happy for me to shoot for them, creating images for their brochures, websites and advertising. Reviewing my work has shown me just how many commercial clients I've worked for over the years, many of which I still work for now, for which I'm extremely grateful.
It was during 2009 I started connecting with makeup artists and models to create images which were a little more creative. It was at this time I started to experiment with developing my style and creative work which would attract new clients who were keen to work with a photographer who offered a more creative approach.
Not only has photography been my only source of income for the last decade, but it has also remained my main interest and hobby over the last ten years and I'm pleased my passion for photography still comes over when I work. Many of the images I’ll be sharing were taken during test shoots. A test shoot is basically a team of creatives coming together to either practise, test new equipment or technics and to build their portfolio’s. I’ve often tested just for fun to create an image which I or a member of my team has always wanted to create. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet so many amazing people since I’ve started, from models, makeup artists, hairstylists and creative people who I am honestly so grateful to have met. Some have been a regular support and encouragement, none more so than Mrs Jones who understands it is important in life to Do what you love!
Of course, my story and style have developed over the years since I've gained more experience and confidence. When I look back at my work, I love the fact that every image has a story and every person I've worked with has had some affect on my life but don't worry I won't share all those stories right now! Without further ado - I give you, a decade in review.
To start, I’ve decided to share images from just one of my shoots in 2010.
Retail Therapy - Get the look!
I arranged this shoot to not only help push me as a photographer and build my confidence but to gain the experience of working with a professional team which at the time scared me, to be honest, I still get nervous on so many shoots but that's because I always want to do well and not let the team down, I know I'm not the only one who feels like this! I also wanted to create images which I could use to promote myself and the creative agency WWJ to the retail industry. This was the first time I worked with makeup artist Kelly Hollands and Hairstylist Tara Johnston, since then we have all worked together on numerous shoots. It was also the first time I met the gorgeous model Nikki. It always amazes me how these serendipitous moments can alter the path you take through life.
Above and below: Take a look at the behind the scenes video to see how these images were printed on large format prints and point of sale products.
Below: Behind the scenes with Nikki Chislett and Tara Johnston
Below is a behind the scenes video which was filmed and edited by Brad Carter. You’ll not only see how the images were lit and the final products we created, but you’ll also get a good insight into a fashion shoot and how the team work together.
Above: Behind the scenes fiming with Brad Carter and model Nikki Chislett.
2010 Photo Shoot: Get the look - Retail and Fashion Shoot
Photography and Retouching: Phil Jones
Model: Featured model - Nikki Chislett
MUA: Kelly Hollands
Hair Stylist: Tara Johnston
Filming and Editing: Brad Carter
Client: Waldon White Jones - Creative Agency
Large format Print by Kamset - kamset.com
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