Thursday, January 1, 2015

Meet This Week's Judge: Bradley of Blinc Photography

This week, we have Bradley of Blink Photography judging the "brand new" theme. He has shared some of his beautiful shots of newborns, along with a little insight into his inspiration and process.

1. Tell us about yourself...

(Generic help group intro…) Hi, my name’s Bradley and I am a professional photographer! Born and bred in Sussex and surrounded by amazing friends and family. I live with my beautiful fiancée and am getting married next May in the gorgeous (although very wet) South Wales, United Kingdom.

Back in 2002 I finished college and started a career in sports where I began as a part time lifeguard and started coaching children from as young as 2 years in a wide range of sports. 12 years on, I am still in the industry but now manage the marketing for a number of facilities. Being a lot more office based now, photography is a great excuse for me to be able to continue interacting with families and children (and generally be a big kid myself).

I mainly capture newborns, families and weddings but that said, there aren’t many things I haven’t snapped in the past 9 years. The funniest has to be an outdoor food fight on a sheep farm with a family of 3! I laughed so much I forgot I was supposed to be shooting at certain points.

To reinstate my manly status when I’m not cooing over babies and purchasing newborn props like a compulsive footballers wife in a Gucci store, I love anything to get my adrenaline pumping. Now banned from anything with an engine and two wheels (nasty crash + many broken bones = wife ban), I now have to find my kicks elsewhere. Whether it be skiing, kayaking, mountain biking or competing in events, I still love being told “Is that really a good idea?”.

2. What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now?

My passion for photography started back in 2005 when I got my first Canon 400D. It literally came everywhere with me and I truly believed I was the next Ansel Adams. I spent my life reading photography magazines, watching YouTube tutorials and getting friends to model for me whenever possible. My new toy travelled with me, got filled with sand, splashed with water and finally passed away when it was dropped into a gorge from 80ft high. That said, I think some of my favourite shots to this day were taken back then, when I had no technical skill whatsoever but knew when I saw a great shot.

In 2010, I meant business and invested in my first 5D Mark II (farewell savings account!) and booked onto a 12 month photography course. I attended BIPP workshops, assisted for some of the most amazing photographers and spent my life practicing, practicing and practicing some more. Even today, I am continually eager to learn new things and even if I do become the next Ansel Adams (somewhat wishful thinking perhaps?!), I don’t think that will ever change.

The thing that fuels me? Great question! I continually thrive to create better images but mainly the idea of giving clients something they’ll treasure forever is what gives me that drive. I love the idea that in years to come, when I’ve hung up my camera, that photography will be my legacy. I hope that my images will be printed, hung and used for generations to come. Something that my family and friends will be proud to know their brother, uncle, dad and granddad created many years ago.

3. What's in your camera bag right now, what do use the most? The least?

Canon 5D Mark II, 50mm 1.2, 700-200mm 2.8, 24-105mm 4. 580EX flashgun, remote triggers and Mac Book Pro.

I am obsessed with the 50mm and probably use my remotes the least (that said I have a new found love for off camera flash)

4. What's your dream project or shoot?

A behind the scenes shoot with Cirque de Soleil, it completely blows my mind and imagine how amazing the shots would be with their stage lighting and ridiculous skills!

5. What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer?

Another great question (scratching head). Time, time and time! A very demanding job in marketing doesn’t give me the time I would love to shoot, edit and develop in photography (god help us when we have a family) but thanks to coffee, understanding family and friends I make it work.

6. If you had $500 to spend on photography...

How should you spend it?

Towards a new body for sure (when I say body, I mean a camera body not a new Bradley body. Although, I have become a little rotund recently. Can I spend it on personal training?)

How do you wish you could spend it?

Towards a trip to Buffalo, USA. To attend a workshop with the awesome DNA Photography.

How would you really spend it?

Maybe on a 35mm Sigma Art. I’ve heard amazing things about it!

7. Is there any one thing you wish someone had told you at the very beginning of your photography journey?

Be patient! I was desperate to be great in exactly 0.5 seconds. Something as skilled as photography takes time, patience and practice. Don’t be scared to fail because you’ll get back to the studio, assess a shot and get it right the next time. That’s how we all learn right?

Listen to others. Speak to anyone that will give you the time. Whether it is 5 minutes or 5 hours listen and ask questions. I’ve learnt so much from so many people (some that aren’t even photographers). Some people have been my biggest inspiration, whether they’ve given me an idea, taught me a skill or just offered me some advice. I am the photographer I am today because I listened to others.

Lastly, enjoy it! It’s a beautiful art that makes me and so many other people happy. Never forget that!

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