Fine Art Photography or is it just Getting noticed as a photographer? these days it’s quite a difficult task, so many photographers are following the trends shooting almost the same content. Just look at Tik Tock and Snapchat at how everyone else is mimicking the best they see to try and be the same. It’s all a matter of time before this all fails drastically, and so how can you manage to push ahead of the crowd and get a little notoriety for the pictures you take?
Early on, I realised that I was not enjoying photographing just the normal subjects and compositions. I tended to move towards a little more eccentricity in what I was trying to achieve visually and played around with photoshop a fair bit in the early days. It allowed me to become proficient at photo composition and manipulations but at the same time experimenting with a more creative approach in my own work; a lot of this early work had found itself becoming a dusty relic from the early days of James Nader becoming the fashion & advertising photographer I am now.
Creating graphical interpretations seemed to suit my level of lighting skill at the time, which was cinematic film lighting or hot lights, and I sed bulbs from lamps and all types of things to achieve some early effects. However, it was a short time before this quirky work gained attention, eventually leading up to my Lambertz commissions, which were all quirky and photo manipulated in some way to enhance the image or create a totally surreal aspect image. Creating the images which would speak to customers. Of course, there are many mainstream photographers, but my strength and longevity are because I can switch styles at any time.
My montage work has allowed me to connect with many larger brands and full-on campaigns, as you can see in the images below. Therefore, if you wish to stay a mainstream photographer, this is great and will certainly get you to work but look at the quirky campaigns the likes of Dolce Gabba and Versace and Thiery Mugler, to name a few. Over the years, their campaigns are still above the line. Still, many other fashion houses have fallen into deep, depressing pits of social campaigns and bland, unassuming watery images that only talk of money and not being clever about disgusting it all. Advertising has become so obvious now, but it will return to the heady heights of the ’90s at some point.
I have commissions from many brands who love the quirk, and the reason being it gains attention, it stands out in today’s blandness! I, therefore, say to all you photographers out there ty not to follow the modern trends right now as they are all running out of steam but go retro and look at the likes of David La Chapelle and Mert and Marcus, who always push the envelope and go for it. The bigger brands love it. When you next put together a shoot, upgrade your thought processes and try out something which pushes you and your team to create new things.
It’s not all about Photoshop, though. Your team can add much quirkiness, your stylist essentially and then makeup and lighting before even hitting your workflow. It’s clear to see on social media how many pictures are edited these days and how apps can change your face and tune them up. Start with the basics and work up your own style.
It was many years ago when I mixed up my montage and composites together with my mainstream fashion. I found out that at that time, people were unsure of who I was and thought I should split my styles to different websites for marketing dome towards advertising and the other towards fashion brands. I am now clear in my direction, and yes, some of this work suggests you do too many other styles. Still, the images have hidden from view and now opening up to scrutiny have all one business and earned decent money and opportunity the biggest being a 27-day shoot over Europe and visiting 12 countries over 6000 miles and getting to shoot with some of the world well know celebrities along the way.
Go for it and be different, and don’t believe all that you are told.