Today, we are joined by Martin Wonnacott , he is a Photographer. You can view his portfolio here.
How long have you been taking photographs professionally (or semi-professionally, if applicable)?
I’ve been taking photos professionally for 25 years now ( scary when I think about how long ).
Did you undergo any training to get to where you are today?
I’ve had no formal training in photography whatsoever. I started assisting in a larger studio in England when I was 17 yrs old straight out of high school. After that I left and moved to London and knocked on doors quite literally till I got somebody to meet with me. I was then employed as a junior product photographer at 19yrs old shooting Press Ads for BBH and many other advertising agencies at the time. At 23 I went on my own and haven’t looked back.
What camera gear do you use?
I use a combination of a Sinar P3 camera system and a Leica S2 for my shoots with all the necessary lenses as required. For lighting I use Profoto lighting which used to have the most amazing software to control it all. They’ve dropped the ball big time recently on that sadly but the kit works well.
What are the typical preparations that need to be made before a shoot? (Both in terms of camera equipment and researching the location itself / weather etc.)
Research the brand or client as much as you can to better understand them. After that it depends on the brief as to if I’m required to submit a treatment on my approach. In terms of equipment I would think about using my Sinar P3 or Leica depending on the mood required. Most of my work is studio based so the only reason to check weather is to see ifI should wear shorts or not. Other than that make sure you have music you enjoy, coffee for the morning and a relaxed and humble attitude for the day ahead.
Lighting is a key factor in any successful photograph: are there any rules that you follow when considering the lighting for your shots?
Be true to your subject. You need to ‘feel’ the shot before you even plug a light in. This comes with experience but I always have an idea instinctively how to approach a subject, but am never afraid to break my own rules. Speaking of rules, the only rule I have for lighting is keep it simple.
What should I be looking for / working towards in terms of composition (generally)?
For composition the best way to approach this beyond specific client requirements is to have confidence. If it feels right at first glance it generally is !
What’s the most inspiring location you’ve visited so far?
The most inspiring location I’ve visited so far would be New York City, every day.
If you could give someone just 5 tips on this type of photography, what would they be?
My tips would be: Follow and explore what you are interested in, understand and care about as a subject matter.
Don’t assume anything, ever. ( applies to life )
Don’t give up.
Have fun with it.