Interview: Photographer Frank MacDonald (Scotland)
Can you tell us a little about you?
I was in the Army from 1997 until 2001 I went through the ranks and finished as an officer.
How and when did you get into photography?
I always had an interest in taking photos of people. I did it throughout my army career although I was employed as a mechanical engineer. From 1980 onwards I always took photos at functions and when dignitaries visited.
What does photography mean to you?
It has been a passion all of my adult life although I did not become a full time professional until 2006 where I did weddings and portraits until 2016. I became semi retired then but I got the bug of taking catwalk photos after Canon invited me down to participate in London Fashion Week in 2014. This allowed me to become one of House of iKons main photographers (CEO Savita Kaye) at London Fashion Week for the past few years.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
As I now have no website (that went after I stopped doing weddings) the readers will only see on my Facebook and Instagram pages my catwalk photos with some of the odd portraits thrown in. I actually do a lot of other people pictures in other groups and I am highly active at my local camera club.
Where do you get inspiration from?
In the early 80’s I was an avid David Bailey and Terry O’Neil fan. I loved their passion for taking portraits of people, albeit mainly famous people from both of them. For 3 years now I have followed celebrity self proclaimed ‘King of Leather’ Fashion Designer Michael Lombard around the globe at fashion events and for editorial shots thereafter. I try and think of what Bailey and O’Neil would have done shooting these editorials.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture ?
I try to if I am doing a promotional shoot with a designer after a fashion show. I have shot editorial in New York, London, Amsterdam and Milan.
Studio, on location or both?
I only have a home studio now and I keep that for people in my own location or thereabouts. Therefore, with regards to fashion then I am outside if the weather is good enough. I prefer to be outside now.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
Although I class myself as a full time professional as it is my only job; I briefly said earlier that I am semi retired but I am busy all of the time. I do a lot of photos for charities for free and I enjoy teaching other photographers but the income from those are non existent and I do not mind one bit because I enjoy helping others
What has been your most memorable session and why?
The most memorable was in March 2019 when top USA designer Jeff Garner invited me to take catwalk photos in The Grand Hall at Edinburgh Castle. This has never ever happened there before. I was the only main photographer there so I sat on a chair and I used a tripod. I could never have done that at any other event. This was so special as all of the models were dressed in regal outfits as it was named Women of the Crown and inspired by the release of the film Mary Queen of Scots.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I have been with Canon since 1980. My favourite lens has to be my 70-200mm one as I use that all of the time when I am doing catwalk photos.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Every man and his dog now own a good camera but not everyone can take great photos. Be passionate about what you want to do. Get inspired by others. Learn how to use your camera fully in manual mode and learn what it can do for you. Understand all of it. Also and very briefly; you must have a very good online presence otherwise you will just sit back in the shade. It is so time consuming but so worthwhile if you want to have a chance.
What do you think of our new magazine?
Firstly I think the photographers and models are absolutely fantastic. I love the fresh and modern look of it. I hope my catwalk and fashions photos bring that something different to it.
Model Cassidy Testa Designer Michael Lombard
Model Toni-Marie Happe Designer Michael Lombard
Model Ina Inca Designer Andrei David
Model Maxime Nova Designer Michael Lombard
Model Ushadevi Hernandez Designer Michael Lombard
Model Yvie McCormick Designer Sigrun
Model Riona Neve Designer Faye Yerbury
Model Diana Pupeikyte Designer Jeff Garner
Model Solveig Designer Jeff Garner
Model Nnn Designer Ester Balazs
Model Savita Kaye Designer Sigrun (Savita is CEO of House of iKons)