(Featuring Katie Newsam Designs)
The Leeds Fashion Show kick started the weekend fabulously, I had my first press pass experience and I must say it was great though very intense. I took the opportunity to introduce myself to people holding professional looking cameras…they knew what they were doing!! I met Michael Walker who you will find lots out about shortly and Mike Distras a Photographer based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire – Covering anything and everything from Weddings, Portraits, Fashion, Events and much, much more! check out his site and keep an eye on him by following him on Twitter.
Now for Michael Walker (mutantrock photography)one of those people who without perhaps realising it inflicts positivity in a similar way to Lara Ostertag who is always doing something constantly striving for more and ousing with motivation, and these are the type of people I love to be in communication with they really help to keep your goals in sight. Most importantly you don’t have to go to University to necessarily succeed in what you’re doing as we will find out.
Michael Walker shared some of his time to answer a few questions and here’s what I found out about him and photography…
Age: 47 Favourite food: Shepherds pie, I cant get enough of it, bring me shepherds pie and I’ll give you anything you want. (ladies you know what you have to do!!)
Favourite Leeds Bar: I don’t really have a favourite as I’m not a big drinker, if I’m in Leeds shooting I like to call in at The Bourbon Bar for a pint of bitter, it’s cheap and the sofa’s are massive…..I like big sofa’s !
Favourite Leeds Restaurant: I wish I had time to eat ! I’m often working till the early hours of the morning so its a quick snack is all I seem to manage these days.
Studied at: I’ve never studied or had any training to be a photographer, self taught, trial and error.
What inspired you to become a photographer ?
All my life pictures have interested me, the more unusal the better. About 5 years ago a friend loaned me his film camera for the weekend so I thought I would take some macro shots of the flowers in my garden, these were not the normal flower shots like you see in your local diy store, I managed to get so deep in to the flower, the shots became almost abstract and with my limited Photoshop skills I created some really stunning artistic shots, that was it….I was hooked.
How did you become involved in the fashion industry?
After shooting macro images for about a year with a Nikon D200, a good friend of mine pushed….sorry asked me, to take some shots of her daughter, friends of friends started asking me and I found I was actually enjoying myself. Another photographer advised me to join a site called Purestorm, I did and the same night I was asked to shoot a local girl from Wakefield. This is when I realised I’ve never done fashion shoots so after a few days of searching through Flickr for inspiration I was ready to go. It’s now all I can think about, I’ve even subscribed to Vogue Magazine.
Describe what you do and who and what has influenced you to make you who you are right now?
As I’m a self taught photographer and still learning after 5 years, I take on board advise from many photographers, my images have been laughed at in the past and this I welcomed. Ive researched, watched videos and learned from my mistakes. My music/gig photography is something I never thought about doing until I came across a photogrpaher called Nick Pickles(Some amazing pics on his site find him on Twitter), Nick kindly gave me some tips and contacts and I now create some blinding shots that im very proud of.
As for fashion photography, so many people inspire me, recently it’s been a professional photographer from Leeds called Jay Mawson(I like this site!!), his work is just so creative and elegant.
How does having your own business differ from working for a large corporation?
I actually have a full time job too.
What has been most challenging?
Juggling work and photography has been a real battle, I’ve found myself working 15 hours a day, 7 days a week for months to get where I am today.
What are your favourite styles and looks?
I don’t have a particular style, having said that, I do still like the punk look. I do enjoy going to Leeds and buying myself a sandwich from Greggs and just sit and look at what people are wearing. I do like to see people who have created their own unique look using high street clothing, a little imagination is all you need.
Do You Have A Favourite Walk round Lens…If So What Is It?
Haha that’s a good one, I cant leave home without my gear, I take 2 walk round lenses, a 24 x 70mm F2.8 & 70 x 200mm F2.8, the zoom lens is heavy and not really a walk round lens but you never know what you will come across.
Which one item of equipment would you say is the most important to you?
My Nikon D3x, it’s my baby !
In general, during a session, how many pictures would you say you take to find “the right one”?
A portrait sitting I can take about 300+ shots but fashion shows around a 1000, I get a little trigger happy sometimes.
Have you got any advice can you offer to anyone interested in fashion photography?
My advice is do it ! you meet some amazing people and gain a good insight in to the world of fashion.
Over the last year I’ve been lucky enough to shoot Katie Price, Big Brother contestant Stuart Pilkington, Calvin Klein model Neil Lumberg, several bands like Saxon, Buzzcocks, Stiff Little Fingers & The Levellers.
For more photo’s check out his fan page. Now to share some of the night for those of you who were unable to make it…
OMG the items showcased were to die for, everyone had clearly been working so hard in the run up to this event and what a great evening it was.