Taking Photos | Reducing Impact

I recently read a book and it changed my life and how I do business.

I’ve long believed that the most effective ways of affecting change are images, words and action.

Like most people I am subdued to change because how I currently live is comfortable. Yet I recently read a book. Within these words was the will for me to take action and use my images in order to change things.

The book is called ‘Let My People Go Surfing - The Education of a Reluctant Businessman’ by Yvon Chouinard.

In 1973 he set up Patagonia Inc. A clothing apparel store for the outdoor and adventure market. His ‘test’ was to see how far he could get in business while actively doing good for the environment and to the people along the supply chain that work towards making Patagonia goods.

His company has grown into one of the largest ‘outdoor’ apparel brands on earth and at very step of the way has checked itself against the environmental and sociological impacts that Patagonia has on the environment.

Screen Shot 2019-04-23 at 15.59.28.png

As a keen hiker and sailor, I am surprised at myself towards the lackadaisical attitude towards the environment that I have taken. Of course I’ve been aware to these issues and I have bettered myself for the good of the environment. But I knew in my heart that it wasn’t enough.

You are what you do, not what you say you do.
— Yvon Chouinard

So I read the book cover to cover, re-read it straight away and downloaded the audiobook. Needless to say I was hooked. So invested in the Patagonia Ethos was I that I immediately began to ask myself the questions necessary on how I could reduce my impact on the environment as a photographer.


Beautiful Dartmoor

Beautiful Dartmoor

This has led me to what I believe is a long and complex journey. A journey I am looking to travel fully, with my eyes and mind wide open.

Simply through the act of looking for ‘problems’ in my business, I have found many things that I can alter. I relish the challenge of changing my business to help minimise my impact to the environment.

From now on, you can expect a better approach to how I run my business. Amazing images that both work hard for you and the environment.

BAIT and Berlinale International Film Festival

It’s been a busy ol’ 2018! One of my most memorable jobs was to take the production stills for a Mark Jenkin Film called ’Bait’.

The story follows Martin (Played by Ed Rowe), a Cornish fisherman, putting money aside to finally buy his own boat. It is a story that explores relationships and the fragile social ecosystem of a Cornish village in the summer, that can see a growing and often disparate community.

The production team absolutely nailing it.

The production team absolutely nailing it.

Kate and Lynn at Early Day Films, based out of Bristol, met me on location and asked if I would be happy to document the making of this film.

It was to be shot on an old wind up Bolex and hand processed by Mark. The cast was strong and the whole team went above and beyond what I’m used to seeing on the set of a feature film. I was originally employed as a marine coordinator and was soon drafted in with my camera. I even got a cameo!

Film Never Died. Ever.

Film Never Died. Ever.

Everyone put in the hours and more importantly, the love…

BAIT is a film written with love, made with love and finished with love. The passion behind this project transcends beyond the tangible and when you watch it after its international premiere at Berlin, it’ll blow your mind!

BAIT is so much more than just an ‘old school film’, it has more layers than an onion farm.

In my humble opinion, it is one of the most important films being released, for it truly advocates ‘process’. Through the analogue format it manages to promote so much of what is being stripped away in an ever increasingly digital era.

Mark Jenkin in his spider’s web of film.

Mark Jenkin in his spider’s web of film.

It had such an impact on me that I went out and bought myself a fistful of film and dusted off my grandad’s old Bronica.

For more information I urge you to visit www.baitfilm.co.uk


Thom.

Can you be a professional actor without a professional Headshot..?

The short answer here is No.

And here's a little bit of why...

Your headshot is the link to your audience, your agent and your Casting Director. It is literally one of the most important things to have in your arsenal as an actor.

Jason Actor Headshot Cornwall

Of course, you might be the best actor on earth, however, if you can't get the call from the Casting Director to show this then that's not helping anyone, least of all you.

You may have an incredible portrait of yourself, but if it doesn't adhere to the 'rules' of headshot photography then you'll be seen as an amateur and the Casting Director will move (incredibly swiftly) on. The best scenario that you can hope for here is that they didn't even notice your headshot in the pile. It's easy to rectify this though! Get professional headshots and get remembered for the right reasons! 

Joe Actor Headshot Cornwall

Ultimately the Casting Director is looking to employ you! They want to scan through the hundreds of faces on their desk/ in their inbox and find the right person. The right look, the right (professional) attitude. Then you can get the call, show them how good an actor you are and you're on your way to gainful and regular employment within your chosen profession!

I work closely with different casting agencies, I am grateful for this as it gives me an insight into the everchanging world of what is expected in a headshot. Different agencies within different genres and different countries all have their ideas of what is 'on trend' but there is a core of common rules that should be adhered to.

Guy Actor Headshot Cornwall

So while there are photographers out there that offer 'headshots', make sure that they are in fact headshots and not just great portraits.

A recent survey taken by members of the 'Casting Directors Guild' showed that 100% of the 175 members questioned said that headshots are not going away and remain one of the most important elements of being a professional actor.

So if you were thinking of getting your professional headshot portfolio, do your research. Does the photographer know the 'rules'. Do they know the industry that you work in and most importantly do you like their work?

 

 

Norman.

Taking photos was the last thing on my mind when i first picked up a camera .

It was to connect with my grandad who had died a year earlier.

It arrived and I stared at the faded, rectangle bag for hours, its scuffed edges and bulging pockets tempting me. I eventually opened the bag and the memories shook my senses like a squall hitting a ship. I was knocked flat and left reeling momentarily.

It smelled of so many of the happiest times in my life. It smelled of him. 

On family holidays he would always have it in his hands and be constantly stopping to look down the waist level viewfinder of his medium format camera, his hair waving in the wind and his brow clenched in pure concentration. 

Norman and his Bronica.  

Norman and his Bronica.  

He loved it, and so did I. In the earlier days he would develop the images himself from his kitchen darkroom, then later on would send them to the lab. 

I remember the little square images (usually of steam trains) placed in their albums, his beautiful handwriting beneath.

i eventually started using the camera. It bucked and barked in my hand like a pistol from its tremendous 'mirrorslap' and mechanisms moving. 

'Agnes' 

'Agnes' 

I developed the first roll of film and bought ten more. A week after that, another ten.  

I was hooked. Hooked on the methods and alchemy of photography. I'm now lucky enough to take photos to earn a living from people and clients from all over the world.  

All I could wish for is my grandad to tell all about it.