“Be the Best You Can Be” – Paul Craig, Photographer
At UK Locations, we know that the art of creating the perfect shoot is led by a cross-functional team of creative experts which may include a creative director, production artist, location manager (us!), filmmaker, models, and of course, a photographer. Using all of their expertise and skills, they work together to master the requirements of a client’s brief.
As a location partner, UK Locations provides a location library; location scouting; and a location management service. We understand the northern advertising and film market and have built a library of relevant, flexible and friendly locations.
Photographer, Paul Craig contacted us to find a unique location for his recent shoot with Havas Lynx, for their client Actonel. Here, we talk to Paul about his role of photographer and why he chose our location 2477 for this specific shoot.
Why did you get into photography?
I’ve always loved photography since I took a picture, aged 10, of the family at an event.
At school, I was always a daydreamer and less interested in academic studies. My friend’s dad had a dark room which encouraged me to take pictures. I remember, I bought my first camera with money from my paper round, aged 14, and from then on I was hooked!
Who is your favourite photographer? Who inspires you and why?
One of the first photographers who inspired me was Henri Cartier-Bresson. He pioneered the genre of street photography, and defined photography as ‘capturing the decisive moment’.
Then there is the godfather of colour photography, William Eggleston – an American photographer renowned for his vivid and mysterious images. His recent exhibition in London was really inspiring.
There are many great current photographers doing commercial work and working on their own projects who influence my work and way of thinking.
What challenges do photographers face in this digital age?
It would be very easy to spend all your time looking at a computer screen editing, retouching, and looking for ideas. But it’s important to move away from this and get out in nature – walk by the sea – and feel stimulated by daily life. I find that this helps to keep a big picture perspective on the work you are doing and where you want to go with it.
With the improvements in digital cameras and the latest lighting technology, there are a huge number of photographers producing technically great images. To really stand out it’s now more important than ever to have your own style and tell a storey with your images.
What is the current landscape for photography?
With digital, there are more and more people entering the field. It is becoming more competitive and it’s essential to differentiate yourself, to work at your craft, and to really develop your own style. I take pride in giving clients something a bit different.
As a specialist, I provide quality images rather than trying to compete purely on price. It’s my ethos.
Today sees an increased demand for stills and video to be combined on shoots, for different uses on campaigns. I have built up a great relationship with Manto Films as a way of dealing with this trend. It’s so productive because we both know how each other work and through this partnership, we are now able to make the whole process as seamless as possible. No compromise is made on the quality of either.
The Good: Teamwork makes the dream work! It’s fun to work with fellow creatives; you learn and inspire each other. Working hard under time pressures makes you bond, which is rewarding.
The Bad: As with any project, there are always challenges. Budgets and time are often tight. Different people have different pressures and expectations so it’s important to communicate well. We are all working together to achieve the same aim: to ensure that the client gets the best results, to the deadline, and to budget.
The Ugly: You have to have confidence in yourself from your experiences on other jobs. The client may require you to step up and make suggestions. They look to you, as an expert to come up with positive solutions. I’ve learnt to listen at all times to their needs and wants. If you can make it happen then great, but if you see any possible issues or problems it’s good to highlight these as early as possible, to gain a mutual understanding. This creates a working relationship on trust and builds a good rapport.
Talk us through the Actonel shoot from brief to production
I teamed up with production experts, Lisa Pritchard Agency, who organised all the logistics of the shoot for Actonel. In short, we used two actors and set up a real life working breakfast situation. The brief described a light, airy and modern kitchen.
Finding the right location was key to the success of the project. The kitchen layout was important, as the client had requested a large background, so they could fill it with the brand’s strapline, added in during post production stage.
UK Locations worked with us to find just the perfect location and they really helped make it all happen! I’ve worked with UK Locations before and have complete trust in how they work. I was able to let them deal directly with my production team too. They offered lots of great locations with natural light that matched the client’s brief. They also ensured that everything ran smoothly on the day. They are professional, organised, and fun!
What is your life mantra?
I saw an image on a wall once it said ‘Do good work for nice people’, I rather like this! In general, it’s important to keep learning and ‘Be the Best You Can Be’.