I have been following Alice Luker for a while and admire her captivating photography. Her work encompasses editorials, lookbook, and creative direction for campaigns; her work currently graces the pages of L’Officiel Ukraine, Macao Tatler & Fault Magazine. She has built a career shooting (and often producing) for clients most recently including Aftershock, Azature (that luxury nail brand black diamond nail polish that Kelly Osbourne wore on the red carpet) and Beauty Stylist Institute. The prospect of becoming a professional Photographer can be daunting, but where better to get the insider track to what it actually takes to turning photography in to a full-fledged career then Alice. I was invited along to her casting for latest shoot for L’Officiel Ukraine.
What does it actually take to be a Photographer?
To have a real, raw sense of vision. You can purchase all the equipment you would ever need (which clearly helps) but the key is developing and refining your artistic eye. Absorb everything, you never know when it will be useful. Read books, go to exhibitions, watch films and build an artistic universe in your own mind. My favourite books include George Orwell 1984 and Oscar Wilde Dorian Grey; I feel that they challenge our constructed sense of reality, thereby challenging us as individuals. I also have a keen interest in philosophy and psychology, I feel this helps to form a less literal interpretation of a concept.
It is also important to grasp elements of knowledge across the whole spectrum of the fashion industry. Before I ventured into fashion photography I attended various short courses at London College of Fashion; makeup, styling & the history of fashion. This became invaluable when developing mood boards and conducting test shoots whilst building my portfolio.
What advice would you give to those starting out?
Build that portfolio! It may seem as though the fashion universe is constantly throwing tricks your way, making it near impossible to achieve anything but determination and drive goes a long way. The internet is also a fantastic tool, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. Be prepared to spend a portion of your life on a computer…
How do you get inspired, when it comes to creating new concepts for editorials?
The concepts that really get me going are hyper real, Blade Runner-esque atmospheres; set in a kind of dystopian parallel universe and challenging our perception of reality. I adore cinematic lighting and beautifully executed cinematography film noir & neo noir. I recently watched Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Rebecca’ and thought it was wonderful. I can also stare at Marlene Dietrich’s cheekbones for hours on end. Black & white films seem to heighten certain elements of emotion and beauty that colour can’t always grasp.
Pinterest is a major tool that I use, and I collate boards to gather my ideas, often as a first port of call. I then refine into mood boards, including visual references for art direction, lighting styling, hair, makeup & model suggestions.
What equipment do you like to use?
I currently have a Nikon D700. I like the overall feel of it, and I work with film lights to evoke a cinematic, glossy and emotive atmosphere. I sometimes use colour gels over the lights,for example on the Blade Runner inspired shoot I used blue, yellow & purple.
What is happening for you now?
My plans are to continue developing and shooting editorial concepts whilst working on commercial/ advertorial commissions. Keep doing what I’m doing whilst continuing to move up in the industry!