Name: Simon Paterson Role: Photographer Age: 25 Favourite food: Fish butties Favourite Leeds Bar: Escobar Favourite Leeds Restaurant: Gaucho Quote of the moment: ”I may not go down in history but i will go down on your sister!”
Studied at: Bradford college of art Course: Photography
1. What inspired you to become a photographer?
I can’t draw
2. How did you become involved in the fashion industry?
I met Lara Ostertag as she was looking for a photographer to collaborate with, she is obsessed with the fashion industry so most of the work we do together is fashion based. I hadn’t shot fashion before but it seemed to come pretty naturally, not the majority of my work is fashion based.
3. Describe what you do and who and what has influenced you to make you who you are right now?
What I do? Well…I take pictures. I try to make every shoot as different as possible. You are constantly told throughout university to put your own stamp on your work. I used to have a specific style, but that was from shooting with the same camera settings, same lens, same lighting and all you end up with is the same picture with a different person. I do what I can to adjust my photographic style from shoot to shoot, sometimes even in the middle of a shoot if it’s not going well.
Famous: there are the obvious choices like Rankin, Bailey, Avedon… without being force fed these throughout my education I think my work would have been very different. Phillip Lorca Di Corcia is a bit of a hero, not only for the incredible name but his work is definitely worth a look. His technique makes you think differently about taking photos.
Local: Joseph Dawson, an incredible local photographer, he can work a studio effortlessly and also flourishes on location. There is just something very cool about his shots.
4. What were your first job experiences?
I did a shoot for some dancers, I thought the images I produced were great, but now I can’t even look at them because they are so embarrassing.
I was also commissioned to shoot some escorts in Manchester around the same time, now these weren’t your high class frequented by the likes of Wayne Rooney type of escorts. Needless to say I have trouble looking at these images too, but for very different reasons.
5. What has helped you the most?
Collaborating with Lara Ostertag.
6. What has been most challenging? And are there any do’ s and don’t s we should know about?!!
Um…. I don’t know. Answering this question? Thinking of new ways to shoot I guess. Not getting bogged down in the same lighting style or not composing images the same. It’s a matter of constantly looking at other peoples work, and trying to see how they have shot it. Basically just rip everyone off. If you look through a magazine and you see a shot you like just try and recreate it, It will never look the same as the original as the model and the clothes will be different, so its fine, probably.
7. What are your favourite styles and looks?
I really like old cross processed look, anything vintagey. Even though it’s been over played so much that the idea of it is hanging by its tattered old threads, there is still something cool about throw backs. Not that I can pull it off, that’s maybe why it intrigues me.
8. What styles and trends do you think will be dominating the Leeds Fashion Show this year?
What a question, it depends who you see. There are a lot of incredible designers in leeds with very different styles. So I suppose the answer to that one is you’ll have to go to the show and find out for yourself.
9. What advice can you offer to anyone interested in fashion photography?
Keep your eyes open all the time for a potential back drop. As much as it is about the model and the outfit, the location can really make a photograph something special. Everywhere is a potential photograph, bars, restaurants and hotels are usually quite happy to let you in for a couple of hours in exchange for a few of the shots. Although saying that I love shooting outside on a nice day. So my advice is find an excuse to set the shoot on a beach.
10. What will you and other photographers be expecting to achieve at this years Leeds Fashion Show?
Well I’m not actually shooting at the show, I am involved in the promo side rather than the actual day itself. I prefer the editorial side as it’s calmer than standing at the end of a runway barging elbows with 10 other press photographers all fighting for the same shot. That sounds a bit bitchy doesn’t it. But to answer the question I expect that they will expect to achieve some nice pictures of girls in dresses to send to their agencies. This is a bit of an odd question.