by Chris Lord Published 01/11/2012
Touched by fashion
As a general practitioner Chris Lord has looked to expand beyond his social portraiture and wedding photography roots and his new portfolio is helping him move into the areas of commercial and fashion.
Sometimes it's fascinating to look back and to see the little quirks of fate that may have had such a profound influence on our lives. For Chris Lord the moment when things changed forever was when he was looking for a little help to develop a burgeoning interest in photography into something more, and when by chance he came across a weekend workshop being organised by fashion photographer Bruce Smith, the die was cast.
"I'd become interested in photography as consumer digital cameras had become more widespread and started to offer better quality," he says. "It was around eight years ago that I really became hooked and at that time I purchased a Canon EOS 300D DSLR to enable me to take my interest further. I was working in IT at the time and spending a good deal of time in London from my base in the Lake District and so my first subjects were the usual tourist attractions such as Big Ben and street performers on the South Bank.
"Disappointed by the silhouettes I achieved against a bleached-out sky I Googled for any weekend photography courses being held in London and by chance came across a Fashion Masterclass being run by Bruce Smith. This wasn't my particular genre of interest at the time but, hey, a camera's a camera, right? - why should it matter what you're using it for, and anyway, I had nothing else planned for that weekend.
"On the back of this chance booking I suddenly found myself plunged into a strange new world of studio lights, Photoshop, models, fashion stories, directing, make-up and clothing, and I was totally hooked.
"I finally stepped out into the world as a pro about five years ago, along with my partner at the time, and between us we built a weddings and portraiture business in the Lake District. This was achieved with a lot of help and patience from Catherine Conner, now of Aspire (although she was with CPT at the time) and she helped us to launch our business 'Lord Martin Photography'.
"Through a change of personal circumstances I'm now operating as a general practitioner but I've made the decision to step back from the weddings business in favour of more commercial and editorial fashion work. I now operate as Chris Lord Imaging Ltd, and it's been really interesting managing this change of direction. For a start it's been hugely challenging because this area of the business is so competitive, and there are increasing numbers of photographers out there who are offering free (TFP) portfolio shoots in order to acquire experience and to build up their library of work, and set against this I've found it essential to look beyond just this narrow area and to have other strings to my bow.
"This in turn has led to me reinventing my business, and I've put a huge amount of thought into developing an editorial fashion style and putting together a new portfolio of work relevant to this area plus alternative portfolios that relate to specific clients, such as salons, stylists and models."
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