Paul is a lifestyle and interiors photographer who shoots for Vogue Living, Frame, Lucky Magazine... and undertakes personal projects such as the workshop spaces in Where They Create. His documentary reportage style, and use of natural light are what drew me to hang out with a bunch of photographers for the weekend.
There were so many head-nodding moments and little nuggets of stuff-to-do-next-time. Oh, like what?
- You don't need loads of lights and gear to take great photos. No really. He'll often turn up to shoots with three lenses, two cameras (well, okay) and maybe a reflector. And not use the reflector
- Blown highlights and dark shadows: how do you feel when you look at them? Good? Then go with that!
- Prime lenses are your friend (zooms are problematic). Particularly, a 50mm 1.4. Baby
- Back up to FOUR places
- For portraits of people, set things up to unfold. Let people inhabit their space. He often doesn't shoot 'to camera' portraits very often, unless required
- It is difficult to recreate that feeling of walking into an environment for the first time and being in wonder: capture it then, as you see it
- How does the shot make you feel?
- Learn the rules, and know when to let them go
The gold was in the viewing of a professional at his level covering a job - what the first camera does (it may be on a tripod for that bathroom shot), what the second camera does (mounted with a different lens for mobile, spontaneous shooting), what moments he picks, but most of all, at what points to implement the above.
I can read articles and follow online tutorials - but it does not replace strolling around watching how someone with this level of experience would choose to respond in each situation.
In the above image he was showing us his workflow and editing techniques, in situ at our location, the Robin Boyd designed Walsh Street House in South Yarra, Melbourne. We all then dispersed around the property implementing what we'd learnt.
There were a lot of chairs!