To get to know our members and support them, the BIPP Scottish Region would like to reach out and find what drives them. Recently I caught up with Richard Craig a wedding and fashion photographer based in Glasgow.
To view Richards work: http://www.richardcraigphoto.co.uk
Richards’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/richard__craigphoto
Behind The Scene: https://vimeo.com/101030052
You were educated at Perth High School. What made you want to become a photographer and tell us about that journey?
“My dad was a keen photographer, he gave me an old Olympus and started to teach me photography. I was 15 at the time and mostly self-taught. I shot my first wedding around about this time and from then on knew photography was a passion I would follow.”
Did you take any formal training or courses before setting up your business?
“I started a college course but quit within one year to take up a part time job with a local photographer. During that time, I worked on 62 weddings and built up my knowledge from there. From then on, I built up a relationship with House of Fraser and started to shoot some commissioned work.”
During that time, which photographers inspired you?
“I always loved fashion photography and would buy Vogue and Harpers Bazaar. I looked through the editorials and especially followed the work of Mario Testino, Peter Lindberg and Partrick Damarchelier for their simple and classical approach.”
Give us an overview of your work, what area of photography are you specialising in?
“My focus is fashion and wedding photography. I shoot about 30 – 40 weddings a year, no more as I like to deliver quality over quantity. Most of my weddings are booked because clients have seen my fashion work.”
How are you currently marketing your work and do you use social media? (wedding fairs, placed adverts, word of mouth etc).
“I find Facebook a bind but necessary. Most of my advertising is through the Scottish Wedding Directory with placed advertising or their review system. Also, word of mouth is important, as I said most are attracted to my fashion photography. I aim to create a style people will recognise.”
How wide is your client base now?
“At the moment, I’m building a world-wide client base. Currently I’m putting together a production for a client in Italy to shoot bridal wear but I’m keen to travel abroad to shoot weddings.”
Looking through your latest work you have been commissioned to shoot a Bridal Collection. How did this come about and is this an area you would like to develop as a business opportunity?
“They had seen the work I did in the Middle East, a fashion shoot in Doha and were interested in working with me. I’m working on expanding the bridal fashion work to add to the weddings.”
In your recent fashion work, you have used some very exotic locations like Dubai, how did this come about?
“My dad has been working in Dubai for several years, so I went over to shoot a test. It went well and then got some clients involved. Two designers took the opportunity to shoot their collections out there. I also got support from Nikon who provided four Nikon D5’s and two Nikon D810’s, Loxley Colour provided some albums and Tether Tools gave me some equipment to test out. The whole trip took eighteen months to plan from the initial idea to completion. We worked out the style, got a team involved, arranged flights and accommodation and hired security. We used two jeeps to transport people and equipment and set of in to the desert for about a mile and a half. It was desolate except for a few buried cars from joy riders. The working conditions were challenging, forty-five-degree heat meant that the make-up artist and models had to get up at 2am to prepare for the morning shoot. The shoot days were over by 12.00 as the temperature was too hot. Culturally it is difficult to shoot fashion in the Middle East so security is a must, it was a risk but worth it. There was also the challenge of using equipment in this environment, not only the heat but the sand. The bodies and lenses did not get separated to avoid dust getting in. Overall, we shot for about ten days over two weeks.”
You were successful last year in winning the Provisional Category Award in the BIPP Scottish Region, tell us a bit about how this image came about.
“That was from the Doha shoot, you’d be amazed at the number of cars that have been abandoned in the desert, even Lamborghinis’.”
How did it make you feel to win this Award and has it helped raise your profile?
“Yes, I was over the moon when I won. I think the work has raised my profile.”
Which shoot/commission has been the most challenging?
“Well apart from the Doha shoot which was extremely hot another temperature related shoot was for Bridal Wear, except it was minus 1. So, I guess I’ve coped with it all temperature wise.”
How much post-production work do you do on your work and have you been self-taught?
“I really don’t do much post processing on my work. I prefer to capture everything in camera.”
What sort of equipment are you carrying now and do you have a favourite/preference?
“Currently I’m shooting with Nikon D5’s, lighting comes from Profoto and I use Tether Tools equipment to shoot to the laptop which I use for most shoots, except the Doha shoot.”
What have been the highlights of your career so far?
“Definitely, the Doha shoot but also working with Billy Connolly who I met through shooting a graduation, he was great and a rally nice guy.”
Do you have any advice to those who wish to become a professional photographer?
“Oh, that’s simple, always quality over quantity.”
Thanks for chatting to us Richard.