Somojo Magazine

Photography by R.Wilkinson

How long have you been involved in the photographic industry?
I’ve been a full time Professional Photographer for 18 years but grew up in a house full of photography. My dad was president of the Royal photographic Society in the mid seventies.

What is your background/training?
Self taught

Have you won any awards?
Main award was as a finalist in the Sony World Photographic Awards 2008

Have you held any exhibitions?
A couple with my ‘Sea & Symmetry’ series (Apple Gallery)

Who have you photographed/worked for? ( famous people/clients etc)
Loads … Coca Cola, Budweiser, Visa, Virgin, Boots … Gordon Ramsay, Brian Blessed, Joanna Lumley and Princess Anne!

Is the ‘Fine Art Print’ and exhibition route, something you’d like to get involved with/do more of in the future?

What types of photography do you do? (Advertising, Commercial, Portraits, Stock, Weddings, etc)
Mainly advertising and editorial, people based, plus stock photography.

Which of these if you could, would you spend 100% of your time working on?
Beauty and portraits.

Is there a type/style of photography that you haven’t yet tried that interests you?
Nope … think I have photographed most things in most styles (not always well !).

What is the worst experience you’ve had on a professional shoot?
Grumpy clients with egos who don’t want to be photographed.

What is the best experience you’ve had on a professional shoot?
Lots … being stuck in Barbados for three extra days because of no flights out.

What is the hardest part of being a professional photography in today’s business climate?
Getting clients … then getting them to pay up.

Do you work with digital, film or both?
Digital these days.

Has the availability of digital cameras and imaging software had an effect on your day to day business?
I now spend hours in front of the computer but I suppose that is better than spending all those hours in a small fume filled dark room!

Do you feel that the internet and online photographic agencies are good for the photographic industry and photographers?
So far I don’t think they have made much difference (not for me anyway).

Have you seen a change in the stock photography industry in the last few years?
Yes, prices and quality has dropped .. plus too many amateurs flooding the market with bad cheap images.

Do you think things are going to continue in a downward direction for stock photography?
Yes .. sadly.

Who do you think is responsible for the current situation?
The end user wanting lower prices, the image sellers trying to undercut the competition or photographers for allowing it to happen?

A bit of both but photographers should be more responsible and realise that without them there are no images.

Do you think that most photographers are as knowledgeable as they could be about copyright law and image licensing?
No most don’t seem to have a clue.

Why do you think so many photographers are happy to sell their work for such small amounts of money available from ‘microstock’ agencies?
They are just happy that someone will publish their image.

Doesn’t that just make it harder to get a realistic licensing fee at other agencies?

How do you promote your work?
Online portfolio, direct mail but still most work comes in by word of mouth.

Lots of people recommend social networks for promoting small businesses. Is it something you have considered?
Yes … tried it, didn’t like it … takes up too much time and I would rather have a life and be out taking photos.

Who is your favourite photographer?
Javier Vallhonrat.

Do you use a mac or pc?

Do you think it is important to choose one over the other in terms of producing the final results?
No … just that mac looks good if clients see you working.

What is your favourite piece of photographic kit you currently own?
My Fisheye lens

Given an unlimited budget, what would be on your photographic equipment shopping list?
Nikon D3X … for me it is not really about the equipment but the image.

What do you think the future holds for professional photographers?
A bit bleak for some but some will survive (me!).

Anything else you’d like to ad?
Thank you for doing this interview with me.

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