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Speakers' Corner - Luke Curtis - part 1 of 1 2

by Luke Curtis Published

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Why photography?
I feel Photography is one of the most expressive art forms, is so broad it gives even those who would consider themselves non-creative a platform to express themselves - take a look at the explosion of Instagram, it’s taken the world by storm, no other art form has merged so beautifully with the digital era.

Film or digital? Is there still a place for silver halide?
I feel there will always be room for analogue - just look at the recent resurgence of vinyl, it will become more and more niche and for the true enthusiasts but will not be leaving us anytime soon… For me, I am a child of the digital era and always will be.

Which camera?
The first camera I picked up was a Sony and I have always struggled with other manufacturers in comparison. I have stuck with Sony through all their changes and do all of my work on either the A7 or the A7RII which is an amazing camera … after a solid year and a half of use there is still nothing comparable in my opinion.

Bit of detail about your own studio set-up/staffing. Why (as a customer) would I choose you?
I am currently in the process of finding my own studio, which I am so excited by as the majority of my work has been either on location or in hired spaces. With my work now almost exclusively portraits it makes sense to set up a studio that I can invite clients to. I would say I am chosen for my technical ability within the music industry and my attention to detail with everything from set up to hand over of images.

The problem with professional photographers today is…
I am a lover not a fighter so would never sling mud, one thing that always raises an eyebrow is the effort ‘pros’ will go to not share best practice! It amazes me and I see it as a lack of faith in ones ability. You should always take time to put back into the art form and hopefully inspire others - that’s a large reason I love standing up and sharing what I have self taught myself… because no one helped me, because they kept their secrets too close to their chests and all that did was made me work harder and faster to get to that level and prove a point.


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What’s the worst commercial error you have made to date?
I took on a project that I wasn’t good enough to deliver on! In my early days I set out about putting myself forward for anything and everything and I remember one instance where in my naivety assumed I could do what the client was asking. As you could imagine I failed to deliver!

How did you rectify the mistake?
I went away and taught myself how to do it. I was honest to the client and offered to re do the work at a later date when I had the right kit and education… luckily they gave me the scope to do so! I think honesty in your own ability is important, as there are some extremely technical practices you simply can’t blag!

The lessons learnt?
Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, don’t let failure deter you from achieving your goals, be honest with your ability.

Is it getting harder or easier to make a decent living?
There are a lot of people in the industry making noise about how hard it is out there, this really confuses me as we aren’t all doing the same (or shouldn’t be!) It’s totally subjective and if what you are putting out isn’t attracting the commissions you want, then you’re simply not on trend. You need to look at your own work, make it stand out and get what you deserve for it. Of course there are more people than ever taking pictures…. this just makes me explore more and take inspiration from more avenues to help me produce something unique every time!


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