**Guest article by London Photographer Marc Hayden. Follow him on Instagram @_marchayden**
I remember using a camera once at school…..it was my dad’s SLR, and I went and took some snaps of the sunset; I enjoyed the idea of capturing those moments how I wanted to see them, but at the same time, developing film, or sending it away, just didn’t sit well with me. I have very little patience when it comes to making art. I went on to paint, draw, and study fine art up to and including university because digital photography just wasn’t a ‘thing’ back then. So I didn’t touch a camera, or take a picture until Instagram came out.
When I sat down and painted pictures at school, they had to be beautiful enough to stand on their own. I still apply that thinking to my image-making now. Framing, subject, background, colour, composition…..each element requires thought and care.
A lot of people find it interesting when they see me shoot in a supermarket or by a carpark. I shoot in everyday places because I live in an everyday place. I used to hate the fact there were no amazing views or vistas in my home town (Barnet, North London). When I was younger and I’d roam the streets with my best mate, Chris, we’d laugh that it was like living in ’The Walking Dead’. But I learnt to accept it, and then I really ran with it. The boring colours, backdrops, and crappy design actually have a charm of their own. Plus, I don’t have the budget to shoot on a beach or an amazing studio….you learn to use what tools you have at your disposal.
As Im very new to photography, I have learnt quickly that not every model suits every location. I always check the model’s social media to see how they view themselves and what suits them best. It makes complete sense to get the model to style themselves, as you get the real them. Sure, its always amazing to flip it it on its head and get them in wardrobe that is opposite to them, but when you have a 30 minute window, its best to go with what will definitely work. And I always start by having a coffee with the model. Firstly because I have developed a coffee addiction, and secondly, because you need to know who you are shooting; getting a top agency model to suddenly slouch over a coffee table isn’t as easy as you might think.
The backdrop can play a large part in the composition; if it’s interesting enough, like a launderette, I’ll want the viewer to see the model as part of a scene. If it’s an everyday coffee shop, on the other hand, I may let the model come to the forefront of the image and hold the viewers interest. The same thing applies to the modes wardrobe….if it’s interesting/unique, then I’ll try and let it play a larger role in the image.
My editing is pretty much constant; I’m a perfectionist, but at the same time I want the image to maintain a real human quality; skin is skin, and I never want it to look like anything else. Colouring is perhaps the key thing. It can change the whole makeup of the image.
Bridie Morris by Marc Hayden
Jana Jung by Marc Hayden
Georgia Martin by Marc Hayden
Sheena Liam by Marc Hayden
Bo Bene by Marc Hayden