Woop! Proud to announce that an image I submitted from a recent test was shortlisted for the Pink Lady Food Photography Award! The shot in question, below, was of a whopper of a baguette packed with goats cheese, prosciutto, griddled courgette, roasted tomatoes, olives and basil oil and styled beautifully by Livia Abraham.
Out of over 8000 entries, to get to the final 600 or so is obviously very exciting but I’m doubly honoured as it sits amongst images by photographers whom I’ve worked with over the years and who’s work I greatly admire.
Interestingly, the one image I got shortlisted was one I wasn't even planning on entering! It's not necessarily my 'usual' style of shooting and I had spent an hour or so one day filing through which images I wanted to put in...I took a screenshot and emailed it to myself before submission so that could look at them with fresh eyes the following day (on the bus to a shoot, which is apparently where I make all decisions, small or large!). That screenshot can be found below...
I didn't enter anywhere near this many in the final submission, I edited it down that evening to a much smaller number but its interesting to note it didn't appear in my initial selection and I'm not sure I could tell you how or why it ended up in my second! I'm glad it did. Sometimes you have to listen to your gut.
The shortlist has some very strong images this year. I'm occasionally surprised what kinds of image end up being selected in the various categories and its always fun to see current trends in different countries and across different disciplines. I'm looking forward to the winner being announced soon and hope to visit the winners' exhibition at the Mall Galleries, SW1Y 5BD, its on from Wednesday 25 April - Sunday 29 April 2018 from 10-5pm (closes at 3pm on the final day).
See you there!
Another quarter, another roundup; more insights into my day-to-day! Since July, I've loved grilling in the rain, early mornings by the river, spending time with family in Cornwall, getting creative with my tests, week-long shoots in Rye, eating curry for five consecutive days and feeling motivated by the people I meet and places I see.
Apart from the (regrettably numerous) hours a week I (waste)/spend staring at my feed, I do find Instagram helpful, inspiring and a pretty honest, if a little abstract and rose-tinted, representation of how I spend my life. I'm aware that it's public but I enjoy sharing my personal stuff alongside the more work-orientated posts so for now, I'll keep doing so. You can obviously follow me, if you don't already, at @hhughes_photo.
I'm experimenting with a little something this summer, and almost all of my strange adventures start with a sketch or a doodle.
More posts to come...when all the parts arrive!
So here it is, non-followers. Instagram Roundup 3. I am putting this up here today because I reached 400 followers this morning and wanted to look back on the last 3-4 months of 'best bits!
I've had a rare 'relaxation' holiday to Malta with the SO, I spent a week at The Savoy, I've been testing nearly twice a month since April and have finally been on my first trip abroad for work - to Italy no less!
Got a few more tests in the diary, lots of work with new photographers and even a little trip to Cornwall later in the year, where I hope to get some video shot for a bit of practice!
So, I've finally adapted my logo.
I am very proud to be a photographic assistant, and I love my job. THERE'S NO 'BUT...'. I'm still an assistant and will be for a good while yet.
I have had many a discussion about the way the UK seemingly has an issue with the role of the assistant being a permanent one. In the US, you can be a valued, well-paid, experienced assistant all your working life (if you so wish) and it's not treated by all as a transitional period. In contrast, I've been told by a more than one European photographer that assistants are considered photographers in their own right that ALSO take on assisting roles as they start out, but are mostly hitting the ground running as a photographer. I think I've spoken to every photographer I've ever worked with on the subject; from fashion to food: if you're assisting in the UK, you're there to learn for a couple of years and are looking for the time when you break out on your own.
(That time can vary, of course, and if you don't actually WANT to shoot for a living or are perhaps someone's 'full timer' for an extended amount of time or you simply don't give a damn what people say about how long you've assisted, this won't apply!)
In my experience, photographers don't WANT their assistants to be full-time photographers. If it's not "What do they need to assist ME for, if they are already making money on their own?", it's a small concern that they might be experienced/cocky enough to spark a relationship with their clients (bad ettiquette to say the least!) or an ego situation that maybe this 'photographer/assistant' might not be as willing to do the more tedious stuff that an assistant might do without thinking - anyone want a cuppa?
Me? I still enjoy filling up the kettle, mucking in with the washing up or fetching lunch just as much as I enjoy stepping into the 'digi-op' role, experimenting with lighting and new techniques, ordering in equipment or retouching on the day.
I've been either a full-time studio assistant or freelancer for every single day I've lived in London - and I moved here in May 2011 - and don't intend to stop assisting for a while yet...BUT (there's the 'but'!) in my efforts to become a food photographer one day I'm interested in getting a few small jobs, meet some new clients and try to work these in amongst my assisting for a little while longer.
I have worked with some brilliant and talented photographers and met some bloody great assistants who have since turned into bloody great photographers. Personally, I think the 'first-one-in-in-the-morning-last-one-out-at-night' kinds of day have made me into somewhat of a hard working and knowledgeable photographer (and might one day make me an empathetic and generous employer like many I've known!) and I'm grateful for all those who have answered my questions patiently and given me tips and feedback over the years.
TLDR: PLEASE CONSIDER/CONTINUE TO HIRE ME AS AN ASSISTANT, but I'm looking to the future and working slowly towards it...starting with my logo.