artist talk, documentary photography, fashion, guest speaker, photography, Richard Kelly, Rick Kelly

Richard Kelly, our latest guest speaker

As we are getting closer to completing the final year, we are not going to have any more tutorials, only individual meetings with our tutors. Last Wednesday, Richard Kelly was our latest guest speaker.

Richard Kelly worked with us in the studio in the first year of our studies. Recently, we also had a lighting workshop with him. However, this time he talked about his photographic career and experience of working with many clients, in many photography fields and doing his personal projects.

He started his photographic career as music bands photographer. He moved on to fashion and was commissioned for Dazed magazine, Elle magazine and shot covers for many other.

His advice was to be flexible and work very fast, as often we don’t get to dictate the rules and will have to work to client’s time scale. For example: when Kelly photographed Amy Whinehouse, he had about 5 to 10 minutes for the shoot; when he photographed a band, he had to shoot in the middle of a night etc. This is one of the reasons why he enjoyed working in fashion best, as he had control of the shoot, the lighting and posing in opposition to bands where he could not choose much, as the client is the one who always dictates the rules.

He was commissioned by Cadbury and claimed that client-based work funds his personal work, as commercial work often pays well.

Fred Perry Way – Ping-Pong and tennis player asked him to create artistic work and payed for it, so according to Kelly this kind of work is always best, as you do what you love, you can shoot what you want, you can be the artist and get payed for it all at the same time.

Kelly has made a few personal projects and his latest one involves a group of young men living in Manchester. He told us that is very difficult to create documentary work, as those people aren’t used to be photographed. That it takes time to get to know the subjects and to negotiate their trust. Similarly, it takes time to make them look relaxed. He recommended to always explain the project, to tell the subject what we want from the shot, ask them what they want from the shot and clarify where we will use the photographs. While photographing people he advised to always talk to them, as it relaxes them, and the more relaxed they look the better the image. When doing commercial work, he also recommended to do something we want, not only what the client is asking for. For example, if we have different ideas how to make the photographs that we should go for it, as we will have something for our portfolio or a new exhibition. To try to think about the bigger picture. I must agree about talking to the subjects, about the difficulty of creating documentary work, so as building subject’s trust.

Kelly also advised us to do the job that pays well even if that it doesn’t interest us. He also told us to get in touch with him after university if we need any help or advice on starting to work in the photography industry, or assisting jobs as he could recommended somebody.

Have a look at Richard Kelly’s website where you will find many other interesting work.

rkellyphoto.com

Alex Beldea, artist talk, documentary photography, final year, photography, university

Working in Photography by Alex Beldea

University of Huddersfield careers and employability service offer a range of guest speakers and workshops to attend. I recently joined “Working in Photography” by Alex Beldea.

Alex Beldea studying PhD in our university and we’ve had a few tutorials with him last year. However, this time he talked about his career in photography, his experience as professional photographer, his clients and job opportunities. I will mention a few of those:

Back in his country, Romania, he worked as a sport photographer. He came to the UK over 7 years ago to study photography. While studying, he volunteered for 3 years where he photographed musicians for HCMF. He claimed that both jobs improved his technical skills.

He volunteered as events photographer for University International Office. His volunteer job lead to many paid job opportunities.

He then took a placement year and worked at photo studio Hylton Photography in Leeds. It taught him how to deal with clients, see real photography work and improved his technical skills. This job opportunity lead to many collaborations, as Beldea is still working with Hylton and until now both photographers help each other.

Through university he gets many opportunities to cover events, in one of those he had a pleasure to photograph a royal family visit. He stated that it was stressful and challenging, as he only had 5 minutes for the shoot however, he claimed that it was a very good experience.

He worked for the University gym Team Hud.

He photographed York chocolate story museum Treat or Trick walking tour.

He photographed DJs, celebrities, food photography – still and moving image for Epicure.

Photographed Wander-clothing collection.

Discover Magazine-researchers within university.

Every summer for about two weeks he shoots Graduation ceremonies at the university, he works from 8am to 5pm, then edits at night.

Photographed costumes for final project costume departments.

Commissioned for Manchester Gallery as international photographer to exhibit his work about Manchester- Second Home

He worked on many personal projects. The Last Shift is about coal mining in Romania which is planned to be closed. He photographed coal mining workers who will soon become redundant.

In Tunisia, Beldea is making a project about a refugee camp. He is photographing and raising money for 35 refugees who are struggle financially.

Alex Beldea’s tips are: to be patience; work hard and find a way to show your work; work in many photography fields, as you will gain new skills and it could lead to more job opportunities; look for places to get feedback; join portfolio reviews, for example Red Eye in Manchester, Photo Meet in London; attend conferences as you may end up having exhibitions and this is the best way to show your work; alongside professional photographer’s jobs do internships or assisting jobs, as again you will improve your technical skills…

What a brilliant talk, one of best I ever attended. In my opinion Beldea is a very talented photographer and I love his commercial work, so as documentary; especially Valid for Travel. I always look at his photographs when looking for inspiration. Thank you, Alex, for sharing your story and giving us very useful advice.

If you would like to see some more work by Beldea, I will recommend you visit his website

alexbeldea.com

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Portfolio Review by very talented photographers – Silvana Trevale and Tom Duffield

Last Friday, as part of our innovation week we’ve had a few photographers visiting our university. Each of us (final year photography students) could choose up to two of them for a portfolio review and a chance to talk about our major projects. The list of photographers who visited uni: Silvana Trevale, Karina Lax, Mario Popham, Sophie Traynor, Jack Greenwood and Tom Duffield. It was difficult to decide, as they are all very interesting people and brilliant photographers however, I chose Silvana Trevale and Tom Duffield, even though they saw my work before.

I chose Silvana, as she specializes in portraiture and working on personal project about Venezuela’s people and their struggle in the country which face financial, political and social crisis. I selected Tom Duffield, as he published an amazing book about his own family living on a small farm. The Whole House is Shaking explores family members emotional echo, a result of living with and later without the father who was a heroin addict. Tom mixes portraitures with still life and text to tell his story, it seems as a landscape of the everyday. I feel as I struggle to find something interesting apart from portraitures to tell my story about immigration, therefore I believed that he could help me out. I showed my dummy book and a few stories hand written by some of the subjects I photographed.

The feedback form Silvana Trevale

According to Trevale “Dog fits with the subject, as the subject looks as a lonely soul for me.” I told Trevale that now I am concentrating on each person as a human being, not just a person who works and contributes to the UK’s economy. She said that “the little girls’ photographs look too commercial, as they are too cute and doesn’t necessarily fit with the rest of the aesthetics. The girl from the end of a book is beautifully lit”. “Try to photograph differently, maybe without them looking at you, so it won’t be too cute”. “You work nice with the environment. You shot a lot since I last saw you. The images of lights could mean that everyone is form different places”. I also asked Trevale to write her own story as an immigrant and she did. Thank you for that. The last portrait with the cross on the wall is Trevale’s favourite. She said that “It’s a good idea to include some portraits with the story, or just a portrait or just a story, as it will help to build up the whole thing”. Her advice was to “keep shooting”. “I like the serious faces best, but you kept the genuine look of people and even that they are smiling it works”.

Tom Duffield’s feedback

“Very interesting project with ongoing issue and Brexit, it become more relevant. Your portraitures developed”. About the image of a man with picture frame above “there is a level of symmetry, the frame in the background intersects with his eye, brings focal point to his eye which is really interesting, strong portrait”. I asked what I should looked at apart from making portraiture to create narrative. Duffield asked “What I am interested with? I said that “the only thing that interest me was their lights or photo frames. As the light shines in their homes and not everyone has chandeliers”. He showed me that one of the portrait (the one with man and photo frame on the wall) “would look good with the image of ashtray and cigarette. As he looks uncertain about the future or as he is waiting for something”. Duffield asked me “What particular you are interested in immigration?” I said that “Immigrants has been discriminated and blamed for just about everything what is wrong in this country, and that I am trying to show that the truth isn’t like this”. I told him about the hand-written stories I am planning to add to the book. He said that I should put portrait along the story to correspond, or if I don’t have a portraiture but a story, then I should add the story next to the light, or something more abstract next to it, or place it on the blank page. The strongest portraits are the ones with natural lights, window light, simple background, nice skin tones. The last image “gives sense of religion”, the additional image of a light hitting the wallpaper – “change white balance”. He pointed out the image of a man with picture frame as its “slightly warm, a bit green, change white balance. If you want consistency, change it to a similar tone. Colour balance and tint and always the most important. About the first portraiture with lady on the bed “Really nice portraiture, nicely lit, painting-ly feel to it, nice composition how she fills the frame. In sense of visual strategies this is very successful portrait, more engaging, beautiful, natural, unguarded and honest”. Duffield also advised me to add description about every photographed person’s work to show how they valued to the country, how they contribute, or photograph their uniform, qualification certificate, or the tools they are using in their work. To show they have a level of expertise and that they contribute something. The project is looking very good and will be nice on the wall.

Thank you guys, I appreciate your feedback.

If you would like to see Trevale or Duffield’s works have a look at their website, I think they are both brilliant photographers with a lovely personality.

silvanatrevale.com

thomasduffield.com

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Large Format Camera Workshop

Last Thursday we’ve had a large format workshop with one of out tutor Yan Preston.

Yan explains what is a large format, how does the camera works and why its been widely used even thought being huge, heavy and considered as a very slow and expensive process of making photographs. Large format is used for the quality and beauty of images and for huge size that photographs could be printed. Yan also introduced some artist who as well as her uses large format in their photography. For example Alec Soth, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Sally Mann-Immediate Family, Alys Tomlison, Awoiska von de Molen, Taryl Simon-American Index, Andreas Gursky-River Rhine. According to Alec Soth the subject become less conscious when photographed by the large format, as the photographer is under cloth, so the subject don’t get to see when the image is taken (You tube, Alec Soth: Portraits – The Ground Glass).

In the second part of the workshop Yan explained how to use large format camera, how to put the film in it and how to set up the exposure. We then went outside and each of us had a chance to take two images. There were a lot of stuff to remember but Yan told us that we can only learn it by use it and that we can learn from our own mistakes!

I really enjoyed and this session and looking forward to see how our images turns out.