Portraiture for me is an expressive act. It encapsulates a moment in time where light and shadow coalesce to shape and mould the human face. There is a sense of reflection in this moment where the viewer can ponder at the expression of the subject. The why of that moment. As a photographer I marvel at the portraiture process from the first interaction either by email or a chance meeting somewhere to the actual shoot where relating to the person in studio or on location greatly influences the outcome of the photograph. When we have been captured in a photograph it is as though time has stood still. We can look back many years later at an image of ourselves and see great beauty yet at the time we were struggling to love ourselves feeling old or under pressure, unloved maybe even heartbroken. Or we can see in ourselves a strong determination, a twinkle in the eye and an undeniable joy. These contradictions between our internal selves and the physical form that we project both representing how we want to be seen as a mask and how other people see us create wonderful tensions that ultimately become documentations of the human condition. No matter the intentions of the portrait whether it be for a corporate headshot or a collaborative enterprise these tensions arise. How we shape and model ourselves becomes part of culture either perpetuating what is or finding new ways to be. Working from a private studio in Lewisham enables me to experiment widely with a vast array of people from all sorts of backgrounds - artists, intellectuals, models, sportsmen - and within these interactions I am often surprised at how intimate revelations of life and love, the individuals journey and passions become part of a photographic process that in many ways is a therapeutic letting go and just being in the presence of another. This at times vulnerable space is the burning engine of creativity and one that I regard with the utmost respect. Trust is such an important part of engaging with another person and particularly in a one on one situation like a photoshoot. Creating that safe space where one can explore the very personal aspects of imagery whether is be a headshot or the muscularity of an athlete is so important to me and one that I take great care to maintain. If you have visited this site looking for corporate or business headshots I would advise you to visit my headshot site at www.headshotsbyvincentrowley.com where you can get more details on pricing, availability and bookings.
Often when I do videographic work for companies I am also asked if I would take photos and of course I always do. People and their expressions are so crucial in a company's branding. They give tone to a company's ethos or reflect on the success of an event. I think it is very important to capture natural expressions, the interactions when people are oblivious to the stealthy photographer nearby. These candid moments add authenticity to the image and the onlooker feels a personal connection to the company or event even though they have not been there or met the people. Authenticity is such a crucial aspect of representation and carries a lot of weight particularly in marketing and also in staff recruitment. When people can identify with the people they see as reflective of a company, brand or event they are more likely to want to be part of what they see, invest in it or even share the image. As social media has become the gateway to so many first impressions for people it is crucial to gain a positive foothold with photographic representation and investing in great photos does not necessarily mean bursting the marketing budget. Identifying the mood, the events, the social interactions that can positively help define and mould future customers impressions of your business is an investment in future customers, staff and business. Make sure you capture these moments with experienced photographers who have an eye for detail and the underlying narrative that is important to you and the people you want to attract.
My appreciation and love for fine wine and dining was catapulted into the super league when I began work at Hakkasan in the early 2000's. I had just arrived in London and being just off the boat I was happy to work in that beautiful Chinese Michelin star restaurant that lurked beneath the streets of Hanway place and Tottenham Court roads in central London. The smoking ban had not yet lifted so by the end of a shift the restaurant was enveloped in a grey smog that had aspects of beauty when shafts of light would pierce through from the overhanging table lights when the DJ would be playing his final tunes and the remaining quests hung on to their drained glasses. It was here that I trained to be a sommelier and for 3 years I tasted my way through the finest wines from all over the world. Gorgeous French wines from Burgundy and Bordeaux, Margaret River wines from Australia, Spanish Riojas and Hungarian Tokaji and so on. Hakkasan was frequented by the rich and famous the world over and I have a long list of famous actors, royalty and sports stars that I have served: Anjelica Houston, The King of Jordan, Serena Williams, Daniel Craig to name a few. Despite the fame and glory that became common place after a while it was the art of wine appreciation that taught me so much about the aesthetics of the sensual and the importance of context or terroir as the French would have us say. The snapshot of taste that one experiences from any wine is a reflection not only of the winemaker and producers but also the very soil, water, air and landscape that the vine nourishes itself from. The struggle to survive or lack thereof becomes an imprint on the flavour profile. Every taste like a photograph is a snapshot or story of a particular time and place. I loved how a story of a particular wine when embellished with travel experience and quirks could sell even the most ludicrously expensive wines. The story or narrative of art is for me the most compelling aspect as it forges a bond between the art form and the person experiencing it. There is that transformative nature. The imagination is enlivened and one is taken places while remaining physically grounded. The lifestyle shoot forms this function in many ways. It gives you the snapshot or experience of the product and should enliven the imagination. When the imagination is fired up and the senses are teased it is not long before the body wants to experience in reality what it sees. These temptations can be crude but not necessarily and in the fine photographic ethic within which I work I feel the subtle nuanced approach brings a classic sense of artistic aesthetic to the marketing experience.
As a creative I am constantly finding new and innovative ways to capture and record the world around me. Of course a large part of this will be motivated by commercial needs and having to pay the bills. By keeping an ever changing and growing portfolio of work and skills I can manage my creative output in ways that make work feel like the continuation of a hobby. I love photography and being able to make a living from it is the best thing because work feels like play and that is just awesome. Recently I have bought a tilt-shift lens and have been experimenting with controlling the distortions that inevitably arise with wide angle lenses. I must say the thrill of creating an image particularly of buildings and facades where converging lines are a thing of the past is so gratifying. The interior, that place of human habitation also has a continual fascination not only for me but for many people as like wine this becomes an expression not only of individual taste but also of cultural and artistic expression. Over the next year i will be channelling a lot of energy into perfecting the skill of the interior photo and will be pitching myself as the newbie on the street of interior photographers. So beware:)