1.27.2009

Nick Bradley

I was browsing my groups on Facebook the other day, and realized I was in a group called "Fashion Photographers." I forgot when I added myself to this group, but after looking over some featured artists, I can see why. I ran across this beautiful work by fashion photographer, Nick Bradley.

With only a year and a half of study under his belt, the results are timeless. Perhaps, effortless. His unique take on fashion photography is refreshing. Bradley brings this sense of realism into the picture without hesitation in juxtaposition.

Model: Ruby Henderson

Model: Janine White

Model: Dee Bradley (Wife)

Model: Anna Piperides

I just snagged a few of his black and white's, but he does wonders with color. You can check out the rest of his portfolio on his website. I've also put him on my "favorite fashionable links" so you can follow his blog.

Since we are in different time zones, it was hard to schedule a chat on MSN. However, we finally spoke yesterday! Here was our conversation...

Darrah: What made you decide to do fashion photography? There are so many other things to take pictures of.

Nick: I can't really remember a specific point where I said, "This is what I want to do." By the end of my first year studying photography, it just became more clear. One thing that steered me down this route was the fact that I love taking pictures of people. I know a few people that do landscapes, and it's something I just don't understand. When I see a landscape, I instantly think about how it would look in a fashion shot. I need a person in front of my lens to connect with the image in any way.

Darrah: I think landscape is boring. Then again, I think fabric is exciting. One thing I like about your photography is that your models look very natural. You didn't photoshop perfect make-up, or add editorial gloss. It's very humbling. Where did you find your models?

Nick: They are all aspiring models looking to expand their portfolios. Some of them are just doing it for fun I guess. I place advertisements requesting models for prints, and I pay them with edited images. There are many models willing to work this way. On my last project, I had about 50 girls reply.

Darrah: Wow! That's amazing. Sounds like you had to eliminate quite a few. What do you look for in a model?

Nick: It depends on what project I'm doing. You might need a girly girl for one shoot, and a strong woman for another. There are many factors that come into play other than the obvious, like height and hair color. I'm looking for personality and experience as well. One model I've worked with, Anna Piperides, is brilliant when it comes to taking direction. I tend to like a deliberately awkward and contorted position, so whenever a model gets that, it's great. It also helps if they can grasp my personality. I'm a bit quirky and eccentric, but that's all trivial I guess.

Darrah: I like quirky. It defines character and allows me to see stories in your photography. Is there anyone in particular who inspires your work?

Nick: Actually, one photographer in particular. His name is Helmut Newton. He is one of the greatest fashion photographers, and I have learned a lot from his work. I wish I could have met him, but he passed away last year. After reading his autobiography, I immediately connected with his work and style.

Darrah: How do you keep your inspiration fresh?

Nick: I get ideas all the time, and jot them down in a book. One thing that has always worked in my favour is coming up with new ideas during a shoot. I've had some of my best shots from spur of the moment ideas.

Darrah: Sometimes life looks better unplanned. So, what kind of camera do you use?

Nick: I work in digital with a Canon 5D at the moment. However, most of the shots in my portfolio are from a Canon 20D. I think equipment comes second to skill. I've taken some pretty good portraits on a 3.2 megapixel camera half a decade old. I like having something light, because I never use a tripod.

Darrah: Nice! Where do you plan to take your photography?

Nick: My ultimate aim is to live solely from shooting fashion. I have the obvious ambitions that any other fashion photographer might have like working for Vogue or Harper's Bazaar. However, I've been taught to follow my dream regardless of financial gain. My parents never tried to push me into an office-type job.

Darrah: One of my favorite pictures is of the girl walking in the alley. Where did you take this?

Nick: I took this in the back of my house. A lot of terraced houses in Blackpool (England) have lanes to the rear. They're usually unmaintained by the council, and this particular one is 90-years-old. It's got a pretty gritty feel to it. I wanted it to look like a scene from a movie. The girl is doing the "walk of shame." I don't know if you've heard this phrase before, but it's when you go out on the town, possibly stay over at someone else's house, and then return home in the morning when the bin men are coming around and you have to shy away.

Darrah: Are you kidding? I did the "walk of shame" last weekend! So, besides girls doing the "walk of shame," what would be your DREAM shot?

Nick: Hmm, I've never been asked that before. I would love to photograph someone famous with a ton of character. I like strong women like Sigourney Weaver. If I had to choose a location, it would be somewhere that hasn't been shot much. I recently visited New York, and went up to Cape Cod with my wife and family. We stopped at a small town on the way, and I thought it was just beautiful. I don't think anyone else felt the same. I may have looked a little silly, but I felt a connection. For some reason, when I dream, I am always in America. It's hard to explain, but that's just how it's always been.

Darrah: When I dream, I'm always in Europe. Let's trade places.

[I had to leave the conversation to transcribe a class on campus. Luckily, a picture can say a thousand words... and his do.]

2 comments:

lydia said...

Fabulous!!!!!!
His work really is amazing!!!

E.K. said...

This is great! I'd love to chat with you sometime, you ask great questions. It's hard to do, trust me, I've interviewed a lot of people!