Professional studies

Clive Figes interview

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Professionals name: Clive Figes
Date of interview: 18/11/2015
Time: 9AM
Mode of interview: face to face.
Contact details: 07771 56****.
Place of business: 23 Whitebeam Close, Paignton TQ3 3GA
Place of interview: 23 Whitebeam Close, Paignton TQ3 3GA
Clive Figes is a Devon based Photographer, situated in Paignton. Mr Figes is an International award winning Wedding & Portrait Photographer with over 40 years’ experience. He works closely with model agencies and has featured in fashion magazines. Mr Figes is a member of the Royal Photographic Society, the society of Wedding and portrait Photographers and the British Association of Professional Photographers; he also has a sound knowledge of advertising.
Mr Figes explained about networking and how this has given him many advantages in the past, with these connections he has managed to find contracts from big brands; he has also managed to set some of his models up with contracts. He explained that models in the south west won’t earn any money due to the lack of need; unless they are prepared to move up the country. The biggest worry that Mr Figes talked about was the lack of money there was to earn from photography in Plymouth, due to 50% of the area being covered by Sea.
Mr Figes talked about how the most unusual models do really well compared to beautiful models and how there is such a small market for men within the fashion industry. He told a story about how he stood in for another photographer on the clothes show 30 years ago and how the model on the catwalk never looks at the audience or the photographer. He said people only have 15 seconds to view the image and if they fall in love with the model you won’t look at the outfit, he was taught by Ian Sprat how to photograph catwalk models.
 Questions
1.    Can you remember when you first picked up a camera?
My mum’s Avon lady was David Bailey’s mum, I knew her for 7 years, When I met David I thought it was an omen and I was going to make loads of money, how wrong was I.
2.    Who inspires you?
Richard Avedon, Sarah Moon, Bob Carlos Clarke, Stu Williamson, Irving Penn, Cecil Beatty, John Swannell, Terry Donovan.
3.    Have you photographed anyone famous?
Daily Thompson, Mark Goodier and Ulrika Jonsson
4.    Who does the makeup for your models?
I do all the makeup; I got fed up with the makeup artist not interpreting what I wanted. I was taught by a great photographer’s wife, Stu Williamson, his wife was called Stevie, and I’ve read books and watched videos.
5.    Where do your ideas come from?
Strangely enough I wind my wife up, I find that I wake up at around 3am and have to tell my wife what my idea is for a picture.
6.    How many hours did you work in a typical week?
Every week was different; I couldn’t work that many hours as I had a housing business.
7.    Do you have an assistant?
Yes, I am lucky enough to have someone who doesn’t need paying but loves helping out.
8.    Do you have any qualifications in photography?
I studied photography at college and have the equivalent to a degree.
9.    Where do you get your outfits from?
I know a dress maker who asked me to do some shoots sometimes. I sometimes do work from serenity gowns.
10. Is there any advice to give me and my future career?
Don’t do it, unless you’re prepared to move up country.
Summary
Overall this was an interesting interview, meeting such a very experienced photographer. Mr Figes had lots of interesting stories and he has met lots of different people from all walks of life. I was a little deflated when he said that there is no money to be made down in the south west. I know there is little chance of making it as a fashion photographer down here but I personally think I could make a living from other genres.