Based in Yorkshire with his partner Adele, they enjoy buying old building and spending too much time on tasks
that do not enjoy. To see more of his work and to connect to him through social media please visit :
www.richardmayfield.co.uk / @RPMphotographer
Camera: Nikon D800 / Hasselblad HD3 50
Photographer: Rankin / Bailey / Tim Walker / Platon / Mondino
Hotel: Always Boutique
Book: Expensive habit!
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S: How did you first get interested in photography?
RPM: I never wanted to pigeon hole myself into one area of creativity and enrolled on a BA hons Degree in Graphic design, marketing and photography. This enable me to cover a wide range of genres from textiles, fine art, print making, multi media and many others. Through hard work and determination I created the opportunity to work within some great design agencies. But the Mac Operator role grew bigger, the teams grew smaller and I missed the interaction with people. I became more involved in the art direction of photography shoots and my passion for shooting needed to be satisfied. My foundation in photography started within the portrait market which was great learning curve for dealing a wide range of people. In his last year shooting social photography in 2005 his portrait sales deliver £878,000 of revenue into the studio. As I became more advanced with my lighting and the concepts behind my photographs, fashion and beauty started to really appeal to me.
S : How would you best describe your style of photography?
RPM : My style of photography is extremely varied, which goes against what seems to be the typical drive to creating a specific style. I have a real passion to learn, a natural curiosity to experiment and the willingness to make mistakes (always in my own time and never on a job). I will always play with lighting, have fun with new techniques and try different finishes. But I always build a frame work around my shots to ensure that I can recreate the style of any of my work when necessary.
S : What is it that makes a great portrait for you?
RPM : A great portrait for me is all about telling a story. I can achieve this in one of three ways. Firstly by incorporating a theme that is related to the subject, secondly by showing a relationship between the subject and the environment or other people and thirdly I can strip all of this away a bring out the character of the sitter.
S : How do you describe the difference between your portrait, beauty and fashion work to a client? What
RPM : It is not about being able to differentiate between the different genres for me, it is about being able to create a photograph that satisfies the brief. I have a strong ability to pre visualise what is needed in a final piece and then use my skills to ensure that I deliver. Which seems to work for me and my clients!
S : What is your post-production workflow like?
RPM : I do all my own post production and over the years my techniques have changed, along with my style. I learned by making a lot of mistakes in the early days by over using digital techniques. I now process all of my shots through Lightroom to colour grade them and then take them into Photoshop to finish. I use none destructive retouching techniques to ensure that I keep all the texture in the skin.
S : What is your dream project?
RPM : A dream project for me would be to take a couple of large tour buses, an assistant, my creative team, great models and travel. Allowing us all to shoot outside of the constraints of a brief and just enjoy the process of making a photograph. While being commissioned to shoot…of course!
S : How does your way of working differ from the studio to location?
RPM : My way of working is very similar for both situations. I will agree a clear vision for the brief, visualise my ideas, select the right team for the job, choose the most appropriate type of lighting, decide on a set or location and then decide on the energy for the shoot.
S : Where do you find the inspiration for your photographs?
RPM : Inspiration always come from what I am shooting. Whether that it is an amazing piece of clothing, the subject or a certain lighting technique. My shoots are always very well planed and briefed to the team, but nothing can beat that spark of inspiration while shooting. When you know that you have just created a great shot!
S : What is your biggest resource in relation to technical knowledge?
RPM : Creating an opportunity for sharing and collaboration has always been very important to me. I spend time with other great photographers and we are all very open to sharing, which I have found is a great way to develop. I was once told that two things help you develop ‘the people you meet and the books that you read’ which I think is so true.
S : What was the best career advice you were ever given?
RPM : David Carson’s approach to work always inspired me and I got to spend time with him on a couple of occasions early in my career. A quote from his book ‘The end of print’ has always stayed with me…
Sing like you don’t need the money
Love like you will never get hurt
Dance as if nobody is watching
It has to come from the heart if you want it to work
For more interviews from Seamless with other great photographers like Sue Bryce, Lara Jade and Venessa and Rob visit http://seamlessphoto.com/beinspired/2012/11/richard-mayfield/