A chat with ... Photographer, Dave Blake
How did you get into fashion photography?
Not that long ago, I gave up a hazy career as a computer programmer, to pursue my true passion for inspiring others through images. I first discovered fashion photography as a hobby, and the professional career part came down to just being honest with myself about what I wanted to do with my life; and what makes me happy.
How would you describe your personal style?
Bright, sharp, and emotionally connective.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I appreciate printed work of other photographers, whether it be books, fashion magazines or art. Some favourites in my personal collection are Russell James: Angels, Helmut Newton: Work, The Complete Pirelli Calendars, and I also subscribe to Treats magazine.
What advice would you give to an aspiring fashion photographer?
Shoot as many agency represented models as you can. When you are starting out, the chances are your eye can't really tell the difference between an attractive person and a (fashion) model. There is a difference, and you will only go as far as the best talent in your book.
Can you give us a few insider tips on taking better photos for Instagram?
Just remember nose to the (window) light. You'll reduce unflattering shadows under the nose and eyes.
You've started to produce a few videos whilst you are shooting. What inspired you to start shooting more then just still images?
Video has really pushed me to work on my visual story telling, which is another component of fashion; you're selling a fantasy. It has not been easy to master, and has challenged me both technically and creatively, but it has been really rewarding for me, and I thoroughly enjoy the creative process. It's also cool that there is no retouching, and some natural imperfection with video, which means that I find it refreshingly real.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
It might sound crazy, but do want to go top-tier with my craft. My lofty goals for the next couple of years are to be published in fashion publications like Vogue and Harpers Bazaar, and work Internationally in the US and Europe. So definitely expect to see me pushing in that direction.
As a photographer, do you have any posing advice for new models?
I'm pretty sure I have the following phrases etched into my direction vocab: 'soft hands, point your toes, soften your mouth, nose to the light, roll your shoulder in' ... And I have to say, I'm not a huuuuge fan of the armpit pointing at the camera, but that's just me haha
What are 3 things your couldn't live without?
Family, freedom to work for myself, and coffee (double espresso haha)
If you could do a shoot with anyone in the world alive or dead who would they be any why?
I have a bit of a crush on Sienna Miller. She's still such a classic beauty, and has a really cool-sexy-boho vibe about her. Over the years she's gone all the way in both modelling and acting, which I admire. I think she would be fun to shoot.
All images taken by Dave Blake.