Portfolio – Putting the Focus on Fashion

Q You’re producing quite a few BTS videos, so what are your thoughts about working with motion?

I’m more focused on stills at the moment, but video is something I do want to explore more fully. What I don’t want to do is to just tack motion on to the job, since I feel stills and video are two different things, two different skills sets, and the lighting and equipment can be completely different. Motion can be great for social media, such as Tick Tock, Instagram reels and stories and so on, and if I’m coming up with an idea I can often picture it moving and then freeze the motion. It’s just how it works in my head.

Q How do you approach your studio sessions?

In the studio we’ll have music going and I try not to control the model too much, because what I’m after is more of a collaboration. It just gets too one-sided if the photographer is directing everything. The model also has something to contribute, whether that’s through how they express themselves, the way their bodies move or the poses they’re coming up with.

Sometimes while you’re shooting you can have the whole team huddled around looking at the photos, and it’s important to include the model in that conversation. They need to be involved in the process and talking through everything that’s going on.

Q Why is it so important to you to be sharing your experiences with up-and-coming fashion photographers?

It’s because that’s what I didn’t have when I was trying to break in. There might be a minute clip on the BTS of a Vogue cover, and I’d have to pause it every two seconds to try and figure out the lighting set-up.

The fact is that there aren’t a lot of resources out there, and I wanted to provide that insight into what goes behind a fashion shoot. Not only the practical side of photography, but also the business of the fashion industry, and how to navigate that. That’s something I’m really passionate about sharing, and I want to demystify that and break that down for people.

Q What tips would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Look to gain the practical experience of shooting and building a portfolio. But what’s equally, if not more important, is actually networking and connecting with other creatives. Not only networking up with people who work on magazines to get their support, but also networking out with people around you, and really collaborating with stylists, hair and make-up artists and creating proper relationships with those people, because you’re going to be working with them all the time within the industry.

And it’s a small world. Even in a big city like London you see the same people again and again, and it’s good to have relationships with them. There have been lots of jobs I’ve got through someone else, or opportunities for editorial shoots that have arrived through a stylist who might have a connection with a magazine I don’t have. Ultimately building connections is just as important as building a portfolio.

Q And the future for yourself?

I would love to travel the world as a fashion photographer and hopefully shoot for the pages of Vogue, and those other magazines I grew up inspired by. I just want to continue working and sharing my journey. It’s a big part of what I do, and when I was growing up I didn’t have a lot of people like me that I could relate to, or look up to in the industry. So I love working with, and helping, students and younger people. It’s something I’m really passionate about.

Take a look at Ian’s website here

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