Photography Interview

You don't have to be royalty to strive for a flawless finish in your photographs. WEL looks at life through the lens from both sides of the camera...

You don’t have to be royalty to strive for a flawless finish in your photographs. WEL looks at life through the lens from both sides of the camera.

The Photographer

Richard Barker: Freelance photographer specialising in celebrity images and events photography for various publications gives his view from behind the camera.

Richard’s photography went head-on into the celebrity angle from the very beginning when as a writer, he was asked to step in for a photographer that didn’t show for an event. This turned out to be the Caudwell Children’s Ball where he photographed Liz Hurley, Rachel Stevens and Danny Cirpriani amongst others. Other A-list subjects have included Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and he covets the opportunity to photograph Kate Moss and of course, the new royal couple to be. Celebrity is a passion for Richard as the results can be iconic and they never fail to dazzle with glamorous outfits and outrageous behaviour.

We asked Richard how he felt about re-touching images; he told us ‘to be honest I enhance a lot of my images. I try to make people look their best but I only make small amendments like teeth whitening. I do not agree with major changes, especially when the subject is not informed prior to publication. A lot of people will ask me to make minor changes, but I never alter body parts. No images in magazines can be taken too literally as pretty much every image will have been enhanced or modified. It’s a business, and pictures are seen as products. I wouldn’t want any woman to feel inferior, because everyone is naturally beautiful.’

In Richard’s view, there is a variety of styles and techniques that can be used to take a good portrait. In William and Kate’s image, Mario Testino made the most of natural lighting; the light shines through a window and gives the image warmth and gives the couple a glow that enhances their bond.  Kate also possesses a natural beauty which makes her incredibly photogenic, and William has striking looks so they complement one other in pictures. Richard is a fan of Kate; he adds ‘she exudes charm and elegance. I’d describe her as a real English Rose.’

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To get the most out of portrait photography Richard feels the setting is important, not just for aesthetics but to make the subject feel comfortable.  An environment the subject is familiar with instantly makes them more relaxed and chances are; the photo will turn out better. In his view it is important to remain faithful to the integrity of the subject and not place them out of their comfort zone.

The Subject

Dr Samantha Gammell: Founder of the Hadleigh Clinic; specialists in medical, cosmetic and laser treatments, offers expert advice for confidence in front of the camera.

With the portrayal of perfect images in every glossy magazine it is no surprise that many people feel uncomfortable or shy away every time a camera is pointed in their direction. 

Rather than capturing a special moment, photos can instead remind us that the vision we have of ourselves is no longer the reality. Photos highlight that things change and this can also unfortunately include our facial features and previously youthful look. For those already lacking confidence in their appearance these pictures merely enhance their ‘worst’ features and flaws to the exclusion of all else.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Thanks to advances in cosmetic medicine you can achieve that flawless air brushed look without digital enhancement and more importantly without surgery and prolonged recovery so you can feel more confident about the way you look.

 1. Make your skin glow: One of the key components of photography is lighting. Youthful skin has a certain dewy glow to it as light bounces off smooth facial contours and plump healthy skin cells. Sun damage is the main reason your skin may look older than you are. Daily sunscreen is essential to prevent premature ageing and medically proven collagen boosting treatments such as Dermaroller, Skin Hydration Therapy and medical skin creams (the ones that really work!) are important to keep your skin looking youthful. If however some of the damage has already been done, it is now possible to reverse it with skin rejuvenation treatments such as Intense Pulsed light (IPL), laser resurfacing, chemical peels and Near Infra Red skin tightening.

2. Smile with confidence: Whilst smiling portrays the feeling of happiness, it does unfortunately emphasise lines around your eyes, folds and wrinkles around the mouth area and thinning lips. Skilled, expert use of Botox and dermal fillers can soften and sometimes eliminate these imperfections leaving you with plenty to smile about in front of the camera.

3. Perfect your profile: The human nose takes on various shapes and sizes depending on cultural background, genetics and any injury. Some people may be blessed with the perfect structure while others desperately yearn for a change. Non-surgical nose jobs, with expert use of dermal fillers, are a new and exciting alternative for those interested in correcting imperfections and irregularities without undergoing invasive surgery.

4. Plan ahead: Ideally plan years ahead. A few medical cosmetic treatments starting in your thirties can prevent more extensive treatments later on. However for those not so organised make sure any such treatments are carried out 4-6 weeks prior to any special function.

5. Be confident: In today’s highly demanding image conscious world, it is no surprise that some of us have certain hang ups about the way we look. Using the very latest, safe and clinically proven cosmetic treatments and medical technologies it is now possible for you to fight the aging process and ensure you look and feel the best you can.

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