Thursday, October 14, 2010

[Un]Discovers: Simon Procter

I have been a fan of Simon Procter ever since I have the chance to look at his Blue Angel animation photo. After that, Simon has been keeping me up to date with his wonderful editorials and one day, I have finally decided to ask him to be featured on my blog. What you are about to see is an interview that will satisfy your curiosity of Simon Procter.

Hi Simon, I am so glad you are willing to be featured on this blog! So, how did you become a photographer? Did you consider to be a photographer as your career when you were small?
When I studied art only the rich kids did photography because it was an expensive pastime, such as developing film, equipment etc.. It was another country, many years later (after i shot my first nike ad) I remember buying an ancient but still powerful camera on ebay and marveling that it was mine. It is one of the underrated facets of the digital revolution that anybody now can create, the walls have fallen, only creativity and truth really matter. these are exciting days.

I have to agree with you that only creativity and true talent can define if you are a professional photographer or not. Who are your influence? Did you apply their styles when you are shooting photos?
I was forced to study 500 years of art history and photography was almost non existent in this.
My training is to create an image from scratch, an empty canvas, composition, draftsmanship . I don't suggest this method is higher or better but it's important to state that the way I create an image is not the same. Most days I dont consider myself a photographer.

I can totally see your photos are influenced by the history of art! Well, I read from your website that you started your photography gig by shooting the Dior show 100 feet above ground. Was that one of your most memorable experience ever? If not, what memorable experience can you share with us?
I Was lucky enough to meet by accident James Kaliardos and later Stephen Gan of Visionaire. it was the first time I had seen a fashion show.It was all very strange. My most memorable "fashion" experience was the first time I worked with Mr Lagerfeld, it was a crazy multi location shoot in NYC with 10 models and Karl himself. I was an unknown photographer at the time and it was a big risk for Stephen (Gan). It was very much a make it or break it moment. Luckily It all fell into place and Larl was so friendly and helpful. We finished the shoot in Time square and so many people came to see to a point we blocked the traffic.

Ah, how much I wish I could meet Karl in the future. I am sure it must be a good experience! I started to follow you after seeing the Blue Angel video. How did you come up with that concept? Did you take any reference from the history?
Many people have reported widely this work is based on italian renaissance painting but this is not true. The main influence is a French 18th century engraver , Gustave Doré. He illustrated many religous and biblical scenes that are very graphic, very dramatic. Also I am inspired by an English Painter John Martin that produced massive apocalyptic canvases.

I just have to say The Blue Angel is probably one of my favorite series I have ever seen. Out of all the editorials you have done to date, which one is the one you like the most? Why?
Well tricky, The big Galliano Royal shoot i did with Nicola Formenchetti for harpers US still brings me a lot but also the very first time i took over completely the art direction was a piece called "Red Dragon". It was the first time that I realized what Fashion photography could be .

So, other than fashion photography, what else do you like to shoot? Are you planning to explore other photography fields in the future?
Well I always produced a great deal of work that is not for publication and i have returned to writing recently. I am very lucky that my works are bought by international art collectors which gives me freedom to concentrate on projects for a long time. I am currently working on some new giant canvases that are half photography and half painting and who knows where this will lead..

I have to say Simon has a very interesting career path especially he gets to meet some of the people I hope to meet in the future. Anyway, we should continue this feature with some trivia questions!

Paris or London? 
Two great loves impossible call.

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee. lots and lots of coffee.

Ready To Wear or Haute Couture? 
Couture forever or possibly vintage motorbike racing leathers.

Color or Black & White Photos? 
Depends the weather.

Rock or Pop?
I grew up in the 80s the two were unseperable.

Perrier or San Pellegrino? 
Badoit, perfect drink for the morning after.

Red or White Wine? 
Always cold beer, sorry La France

Mac or PC?
Whats a PC?

Nikon or Canon? 
Canon, but cameras are jus cameras, the least important part of the equation.

It is truly my honor to be able to feature Simon Procter on this blog and I am hoping I could meet him in person sometime in the future! Readers, keep your eyes open on this blog because when Simon has any new editorials coming up, this blog will be one of the places you will see his works! All photos are courtesy of Simon Procter and feel free to visit his official site.

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