Interviews / Stories
Interview: Photographer Warren Dyer (Spain)
Tell us something about yourself
I am English, 44 and have been living in Southern Spain for the last 17 yrs
How and when did you get into photography?
I started at the tender age of 12 with a Pratica MTL5 I bought with my savings from working in a Fish and Chip shop part time. At 13 I had my own darkroom and was processing and developing my own films and prints. By 15 I was submitting work to the local newspaper. I also was commissioned by my school as their official photographer and covered various events and shot all the images for the school prospectus. I left scool at 16 and started working for Shell Oil in their Photographic department. I learnt loads there and even covered the F1 GranPrix for Shell. Later on I left and started portraiture work and by 19 I was shooting in London for model agencies.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography to me is WORK, but, I also enjoy it so much that it is also sometimes PLAY. Lets face it, I earn a living from it, it’s a job but it’s a very rewarding one when you can create something that you see in your eye and can convey that vision to your clients and public in an artistic way. The rewards really pay off when you get recognition for your work and people can get pelasure from seeing your images.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
Actually my style varies. I can adapt to my clients needs. I do like black and white images. I also shoot musicians live, and this is a field that I will also follow for myself.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I always look at other photographer’s work in magazines, on Pinterest and Instagram 2, I often see locations while I am out and about that inspire me and also I love people watching which I think helps to inspire too. Travelling to different countries and seeing different cultures is a great way of broadening your view on people and style. JQ Britt Designer/Stylist: Yamaia Faye - yamaiaonline.com
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
Yes! I often do a pre-shoot visit to a location and sometimes even a test shoot if I have the luxury of time and location availability. I discuss as much as possible with the magazine editor/stylist prior to a shoot and when shooting, this helps to make the whole process flow better.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
Paid Professional. Although, sometimes the pay is so poor, I often wonder about that! ;-)
What has been your most memorable session and why?
I have a terrible memory, lol! One sticks out which was not a fashion session but a live music event where Nina Simone was playing. We only had 3 minutes from the moment her hands touched the piano keys to photograph her. I was using a Nikon F3 and F4 and my assistant (mate who blagged a press pass actually) had never changed film before. We were around 15 togs all fighting for the angle to get her face and hands on the keys and I passed my camera out of the back of the crowd to my mate to change film whilst i continued to shoo. Thankfully he didn’t put his finger thorough the shutter and as a result, I got plenty of shots of the great lady. Sadly that was her last concert and she passed away later on that year.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
I have always liked Jeanloup Sieff and also Helmut Newton but I should also mention Paul Pannack from London who I used to work with years ago and is a long time friend. He inspired me and tought me many things about fashion and beauty photography. He workd with the greats such as David Bailey, Brian Duffy and Sanders Nicholson and is a fantastic black and white printer too!
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Be prepare do diversify and be flexible to adapt to your market. Don’t undersell yourself. Too many times I see new photographers offering low rates. This is bad for the indsutry and will only make it worse for them as they realise there is more to a photo shoot than turning up and shooting a nice model. The amount of pre and post shoot work is equal or more than the shoot its self. If you charge low fees, the clients end up thinking that is the norm and then its hard to get the fees up to what they really should bef or the hours that we put in to create the final image.