Hi Christopher, first of all, thank you for taking the time to talk with us about your photography. Before we start, could you tell us a little about yourself?
I've always been fascinated with the creative industry. When I was at school, art and design were always my favourite and strongest subjects, it gave me an opportunity to test my boundaries and see how creative I could be. This enthusiasm followed right through school and led me to study a BA(Hons) in photography at Plymouth College of Art where I graduated in 2012. Since then, my photography has allowed me to stretch into multiple genres' ranging from commercial, travel, portraiture, events, architecture and finally interior photography where I'm now based in London working freelance for a range of clients.
After you graduated, you became a photographer on cruise ships. How did you find this experience and would you recommend it to other photographers?
Yes for sure, this gave me a load of practical experience in commercial photography. Over the course of a year, I was able to photograph countless weddings and hold hundreds of family studio portrait sessions alongside many other roles. The pay isn't great and the hours are long but the travel really makes up for that - a week after I was offered the job, the office gave me a call to say I'll be joining my first ship in Barbados. The year of working on the ships gave me a good opportunity to get a good portfolio together and time to think where I really wanted to take my photography career. There's always job adverts for cruise ship photographers so it's ideal for breaking into the photography industry.
What part of being an interior photographer do you enjoy the most?
Being an interior photographer is incredibly varied and no day is ever the same. For example, in a typical day I could be photographing a multi-million-pound penthouse in Canary Wharf to then be making images for a restaurant in Greenwich in the afternoon. Being able to choose my clients and the times that I work is also a bonus.
Could you tell us a few of the most useful pieces of equipment that you use on a daily basis?
A sturdy tripod is essential for interior photography, a wonky image never goes down well with a client.
Adobe Creative Cloud for post-production does everything that I need, for less than £10 a month and a simple transfer system to deliver the images to your clients, both Wetransfer and Dropbox work well.
We all know that the photography industry is super competitive, how did you first start out shooting interiors?
I'll be honest, it was a long journey but well worth the struggle. For myself, I found that I needed a good amount of images in my portfolio for new clients to hire me. I first started out working with a lot of local hotels, BnB's and friends houses in the first few weeks, slowly building up a portfolio. When I wasn't able to shoot any more interiors, I then began to photograph architecture when and where I could get permission, I've lost count how many times I was stopped by security guards because I needed permission. I was quite literally photographing anything and everything that was a building. The next step was networking like crazy. I was going to two or three networking events a week with a printed portfolio, sharing my work on social media and contacting agencies for freelance work. Within the year, I was receiving regular work.
For any of our readers who are considering going freelance, what would be your top three pieces of advice that have worked for you in the past?
I would say that having a quality website for your work to be displayed on is very important. For most of my clients, my website is the first thing they see.
Being able to network and meet new people goes a long way. I've always got a business card in my wallet because conversations can start at any moment.
Replying to emails and voicemails quickly sets a good impression to new clients