Up & Coming (Paul Nelson)
Here at Interfit we are always keen to help promote up-and-coming photographers. It’s always great to find out how and why they do what they do! In a series of interviews, we are going to talk to young photographers which are just starting their journey or, are on the cusp of moving to the next stage in the hope to inspire, shed some creative light and showcase new ideas.
Our Firth and first interview of 2020 is with Paul Nelson, Paul is a self-taught professional photographer from the outskirts of Oxford. he started his own company nearly 3 years ago doing quite a few weddings, Extreme sports and website photography for corporate clients. Now, he’s doing a lot more fitness photography and portrait photography so dive in below to discover more.
Julian – “Hi Paul, So you reached out to us on our website while checking out our Black Friday deals last year. We liked your work and thought it be worth a chat to see what you’re about.”
“You became a full-time professional working for yourself 3 years ago, how did you feel making the leap and is there anything you would do differently”
Paul – Making the leap, I was really apprehensive. I Didn’t have many clients and only had a couple of weddings under my belt.
I was left some inheritance from a family member and with the support of my girlfriend, family and friends, I jumped in the deep end and started my company and I couldn’t be happier with my career choice and being my own boss.
My only advice would be to not turn anything down, as you can learn from it all and if your thinking of making the leap yourself, make sure you have some regular clients before being a full-time photographer.
You will sleep better haha.
Julian – “How did you go about learning your skills and was there anything you had trouble getting your head around?
Paul – I bought a Canon 600d DSLR off one of my good friends around 4-5 years ago and just started teaching myself and learning more about the camera and how it all worked.
I had a few tips of some of my friends who are hobby photographers, but the rest was just practice and working out the fine balance of aperture, iso and shutter speed but also learning from your mistakes and working with different lenses and lighting.
The only thing I had trouble getting my head around was using a flash, which I’m still trying to push myself to learn but I prefer to use continuous lighting.
Julian – “Is there a photographer that you admire? ”
Paul – There are loads of photographers I admire, David Bailey is a huge inspiration to me. His portraits are so effective and he certainly has quite the portfolio. I could look at his work for hours!
Another photographer I admire would be Estevan Oriol. He has some really amazing black and white images that are really gritty and would take some guts to capture.
Julian – “If you could photograph any famous person (alive or dead) who would it be and why? ”
Paul – This is such a hard question haha! I would love to take a portrait of Robert De Niro as he has such an iconic look and I bet he has some great stories.
Julian – “If you hadn’t decided to pursue a career in photography what would you be doing right now?
Paul – I’d probably still be working on cars. But I’m really glad that I choose a career to be as creative as I can be and to push myself.
Julian – “What is your option on the use of Photoshop and do you think photographers are becoming too reliant?”
Paul – I’m really not a huge fan of Photoshop, I use it if it’s needed, like group shots at weddings, but otherwise, I don’t use it.
There’s quite a lot of photographers out there who are far too reliant on it, and you can spot it a mile away.
It takes away your ability to improve as a photographer and learn from your mistakes, as you’ll always have the mindset of just fixing everything in photoshop.
Julian – “We started 2020 few weeks ago, did you make any New Year’s resolutions and do you think you will stick to them?”
Paul – My new year’s resolution was to manage my time better with work and to have a bit more time for myself to relax. I can’t say I will stick to it because I can’t seem to say no to work haha.
Julian – “Is there many photographic opportunities living in a more rural part of England ?”
Paul – There aren’t loads of opportunities unless you like landscape photography.
It’s a good way to push yourself though and create something out of nothing.
Like using the wooded areas or decaying buildings/walls for some interesting portraits.
Julian –“ So when you finally get some time to yourself what do you like to do”
Paul – Relax is one thing I don’t usually have time for at the moment, so that, and I also like to snowboard and mountain bike as well as walk around the local cities.
Julian – “If money was no object what camera would you buy?”
Paul – I would love to own a Leica SL2 or maybe the S3 one day, I just love what they can produce, but for now, I’m more than happy with my Canon 5d mkiv and Canon EOSR.