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Speakers' Corner - George Fairbairn - part 1 of 1 2 3

by George Fairbairn Published 23/10/2017

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Tell us a little about your background, your first camera and photographic experience and your subsequent emergence as a pro.

My first camera was actually probably a little disk camera when I was a kid. I loved it, though I think the disc camera’s didn’t stick around very long. My first “proper” camera was when I was a teenager and was a Pentax film camera. I can’t remember the model, but it went with me everywhere. In High School I was massively into photography, so much so that I was awarded a scholarship for photography, that I subsequently turned down and joined the US Air Force instead. My time in the Air Force saw me put photography on the back burner. I didn’t think about it again till I left the military 8 years later. At that point I started playing around again and now, 8 years later it’s my job.

Why photography?
I’ve always loved art and always considered myself an artist who liked to draw before I would consider myself a photographer. The problem with drawing for me though was that I could copy comic book covers absolutely perfectly, but could never make up a drawing that was any good… in my mind at least. With photography, I could take those skills and compose and create images that I was happy with. It allows me to put my visions into reality.

Film or digital? Is there still a place for silver halide?
Currently digital, but I love film. I have recently started shooting a few things on film again and have purchased an old polaroid as well that I take on shoots. I have rigged it to fire my flash heads and use it as the final shot on a lot of shoots.


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Which camera?
Currently a Fuji X-T2

Bit of detail about your own studio set-up/staffing. Why (as a customer) would I choose you?
I work almost exclusively on location. Everything I have fits into my massive Peli case and allows me to setup a portable studio in any location. Customers choose me because of my expertise in the fields I work in and my ability to capture genuine personality and meet their briefs

The problem with professional photographers today is...
There isn’t one! Photographers today are no different than photographers 30 years ago, it’s just the technology that’s change. If I had to pick a problem it would be listening to the old photographers moaning about the new/young photographers coming into the market. Don’t listen to that…ignore it. If it’s your passion do it!

What’s the worst commercial error you have made to date?
Mistakes are learning experiences and I definitely learned from my. Mine was not being loyal to a very good customer and jumping ship to a competitor. In hindsight I should have recognise their loyalty to me and returned that favour.


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