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Interview: Photographer Craig MacLeod (USA)

Can you tell us a little about you?

I’m a Scotsman who photographs people and captures their emotions, visually.

How and when did you get into photography?

I moved to Southern California in July, 2014 and took the opportunity to make a professional change: from a commercial business lawyer to a self trained freelance photographer.

I’ve always held a passion for photography, using it as a way to stay creative whilst still in a conventional legal career. Now I find that my business experience helps me understand clients’ needs and visions and to work collaboratively.

What does photography mean to you?

To me, photography means capturing a unique moment in time: of a person and their emotions, which are often complex.

Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

Wide open lens, existing light, no flash. Images that connect emotionally.

Do you think in advance what you want in the picture ?

Yes - I always prepare mood boards and discuss them with those involved in the shoot beforehand. However, on the shoot flexibility is key as often situations change (eg weather).

Where do you get inspiration from?

Early references are critical to finding your own voice - whilst studying the History of Photography at the University of California, San Diego I became particularly drawn to the works of Julia Margaret Cameron, Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. Later references are important too - such as Herb Ritts, Greg Gorman, Bruce Weber, and Peter Lindberg.I’m a fan of international cinema - particularly the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. That often influences my work.

Also, having grown up in Scotland in the late 1980s, I was - and remain - obsessed with style magazines of that period such as The Face, Arena, Blitz and I.D.

Studio, on location or both

Mainly location.

Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

Paid professional.

What has been your most memorable session and why?

I don’t have one as, honestly I enjoy all my shoots - they are all different even when I shoot with the same model. It is important to me that I work with incredible people who are serious in creating art but do not take themselves too seriously.

Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

Leica. Noctilux 50MM lens - wide open at 0.95!

What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

Have your own vision and make sure you are clear as to what it is before you start.


Facebook: macleodimages

Instagram: @macleodimages