Interview with a fashion photographer
Another unique interviewee, the one and only Stephen Rendall from Fez Photography. A coveted and published fashion photographer from Lincolnshire. Stephen’s style and perspective for wedding and fashion were the reason for selection.
It is a great pleasure to have someone with an artistic flair and, who has put time and effort into their education. Stephen is full of confidence, though very friendly and always busy with projects.
You can see Stephen’s work on his professional website and his Instagram feed. Stephen is happy with film or digital work and has experiences he’s willing to share, good and bad!
Let us now begin with some information about Stephen, take a peek into his life, his thoughts and some of his work.
INTERVIEW WITH A FASHION PHOTOGRAPHER – FEZ PHOTOGRAPHY
Tell us a little about yourself, where you grew up and what was life like for Stephen Rendall.
“I grew up in the City of Lincoln, UK, it’s in the east midlands, we have a cathedral, and a castle… I can’t really tell you what it’s like in comparison to elsewhere, it kind of just is.. My life has kind of been like a soap opera, lots of drama, but that’s all changed now thankfully.
(I don’t want to give away too much :P) I have a beautiful partner, she one of the most amazing women I’ve met in my life. She keeps me on the right path so she must be pretty special. We have lots of children between the two of us, 8 in total!! They keep us on our toes as you can imagine, but I wouldn’t want to change anything. Life is crazy, but it’s mine!”
When did you start photography?
“Started photography around 8-9 year ago I think, Self taught for most of it, but I have recently finished my BA (Hons) in Lens Based Media, and will be starting a MA in Commercial photography at NTU in September.
The plan is to become a teacher, and when I retire to move to the country and do Fashion workshops.. But that’s a long way off.”
INSIGHT WITH STEPHEN RENDALL
Tell us about the people who have influenced you in life and your career. This could be both from a professional and personal point of view.
“There are so many people, my parents, who’ve never given up hope and always believed in me. Crystal for giving me a reason better myself. The kids for making me want to be a decent role model. The college staff for not letting my slip through the cracks during some dark time whilst at college.
Inspirations for my work? David Bailey, Horst P Horst, Dali, Mark Ryden, Lindsay Adler, Lara Jade, Jack Hick… so many inspirational people in the field of photograph and ‘Art’.
I am always finding and meeting new people who inspire me to do better. In all aspect of life and work. That’s the point, we as human being are far from perfect we always have room for improvement.“
As far as improving as a photographer, would you recommend art books, fashion mags or photography courses?
“All of them… no such thing as too much information. My favourite at the moment is Lara Jade’s, Fashion photography 101. But i have countless books, i use regularly for inspiration and ideas. Well worth paying out for, as they get so much use.”
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY
My dad had some 35mm camera when I was a kid. I found it one day when he was in bed or somewhere I dunno… Anyway I decided I was going to take some pictures with hid old (manual focus) camera, so I snapped away, photos of the floor, fish tank, telly and of course a selfie. Then it stopped working, so thinking ‘uh oh’ I broke it, i put it back and never said a word. I completely forgot about it until…
Dad gets the film developed after discovering the film is full.
I came home from school happy as Larry (I don’t know who Larry is and why he is so happy by the way). Dad’s waiting sat on the sofa and invites me to look at the latest photos (no alarm bells yet) so I am happily looking through them, remembering the good ol’ times, then there’s a blurry photo… (I still haven’t twigged yet) I remember my dad saying something like ‘oh that’s a shame this one’s blurry’.. One or two more and another there’s another blurry photo… (ummmm nope still no idea) dad says ‘Oh i don’t remember this one do you?’ ‘No dad’. Next photo, blurry fish tank.. (OH!) ‘I don’t remember taking this one either. Do you know who took this one?’ ‘ummmmm no dad, I don’t know’ (big gulp… I think to myself, I know what’s next…) so we go through numerous blurry photos, each time dad gives me the opportunity to own up, each time I refuse despite the fact I know what gonna happen.
Even when there’s a particularly blurry photo of a very handsome young man. I still denied all knowledge. Dear lord did I get a good-hiding, not so much for touching his camera, I know now it was lying about it that really ticked him off.
Obviously it didn’t deter me from photography..”
That’s a lovely story, whatever happened to your dad’s camera?
“I have no idea.. Probably lost in a move at some point.”
We can see from your website you are primarily a fashion photographer but also shoots weddings. Can you explain what this type of photography is all about and what has influenced you?
“I started with photography seriously by working with models to practise my portrait skills, after a while it was just what I shot. Now I love everything about fashion. It just covers everything and really there are no rules! That’s what I like. I can get as crazy and off the wall as my skills will take me, or as traditional and classical as the old master oil painters. There’s no one-size fits all. There are clothes, hair, makeup and the sets. I just want to surround myself with it everyday.
I shoot the occasional wedding, but tailor my wedding photography towards a fashion editorial style, so it’s about finding the right clients with what I have to offer.“
What was one of the most rewarding shoots you remember and why?
“I did an Homage to Horst P Horst for college, I planned that shoot out to the T. When it came to shooting on the day it took Two shots before I just knew I had the right shot. It was an amazing feeling, all the planning just paid off. I could have done it with my team on the day thou, the model was amazing (Thank you baby, I love you), the assistants, and stylists where exceptional. Just the best day from start to finish. ”
WHAT IS ALWAYS IN YOUR CAMERA BAG WHEN YOU GO OUT?
“Everything.. Everything I could possibly need for the day.. If I know what I am shooting I plan for all eventualities, tape, pins, batteries anything and everything.
If on the other hand I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen I just take everything.“
Do you have a favourite lens?
“Oh without a doubt my Canon 85mm 1.8f its beautiful. But I will say the ‘nifty fifty’ canons 50mm 1.8f lens is a great lens and definitely worth the £99 brand new.”
THE RANDOM QUESTIONS
When you were a child, what career/job/field did you want to go into?
“I actually wanted to be a professional backing dancer! Or a Holiday rep at somewhere like Butlins or Haven caravan parks.
I loved dancing and would be the first kid on the dance floor and the last one-off. In my teens I even won a couple of competition.“
Who would you love to photograph?
“The list is endless really! Favourite bands, photographers, politicians..
But I think if I could photograph anyone it would be my grandad, He passed away a couple of years ago… I never got round to actually doing a portrait shoot for him. It’s something I will always regret not doing. “
Name one of your strengths and one of your weaknesses
” I don’t really know my strengths as a creative I can be pretty hard on myself, other would be able to tell you better… Weakness thou I think that’s my emotions… I am a very sensitive person… I cried at Titanic (When the old couple hold hands and accept death) and at Marley an Me..”
Why is an orange fruit named after a colour?
“I would say because ball that spits stingy juice in my eye doesn’t sound as good,”
BMX or skating?
“Inline skating all the way! (sorry I know it’s not one of the option but it should be).”
Is there any wind on the moon?
“The conspiracy theorist in me wants to say no, but truth be told I don’t know.”
You are elected prime minister, what is your one item on your manifesto?
“Deconstruction of all, tax loopholes and a raise in corporation tax. ”
Can you explain art?
” Art is whatever you want it to be, don’t explain it, don’t critique it, just enjoy it for its purpose… to be Art. (I know deep, right!)”
You find Aladdin’s magic lamp, what are your 3 wishes?
“Success, Health and Happiness”
You have to choose to share “a punch”, “a pint” or “a present” with the following: Vivian Westwood, Albert Einstein and Justin Bieber. Which option for each person and why?
“A punch for Beiber – Because it’s Beiber
A pint with Einstein – Who else would you want to talk politics, religion and philosophy with…
A Present for Westwood – if i’m swapping gifts i never say no to clothes.“
Reading through Stephen’s answers, you can see how caring he comes across, for his work and family. After shooting with Stephen a few times (thank you) it is clear there is a raw talent there.
The story behind his memories of his father are so strong and noteworthy, you can almost picture it!
Liked this article and want to see more?
Please get in touch, for now, check out the previous interviews.
Safia – Interview with a model.
Jon Scrimshaw – Interview with Instinctive Photography
Chris Miralles – Interview with a Photographer