Simon Kemp [simonkemp]
Do you have an online gallery where one can view your photos?
For how long have you done photography? How did you begin?
Twenty years professionally...I dabbled for a few years before then. When I was younger I travelled a lot and (may god forgive me) didn't always take a camera. When I realised the missed opportunities that were slipping buy I bought a camera and decided to find out how to use it.
What has been your education as a photographer?
Self taught for many years. In the beginning I carried the bags of a couple of local wedding photographers and after a few dozen weddings they let me shoot a roll of film or two and it started from there. A few years ago I went to college part time and complete a BA degree in Photographic Imaging.
Please list any exhibitions in which you have participated.
I had a great exhibition a couple of years ago at a gallery in Spitalfields, London. It was a series of landscape images of the old battlefields of WW1 in Northern France.
Please list any awards for your work.
Qualifed with the BIPP and MPA. BA in Photographic Imaging from Thames Valley University.
What is your favourite type of photography?
Primarily people photography of all kinds.
What do you try to express through your photography?
I love to photograph those moments which have never happened before nor will they happen again in precisely the same way. It's the expressions on people's face that catch my eye.
How do you choose your subjects?
They usually choose me. Given the choice I am drawn to portrait subjects in which I see character, experience and a few untold stories.
What type of preparation do you do before undertaking the photo session?
I just have a little ponder and think about it probably mostly subconsciously a day or two before the session. I try to not be drawn to the obvious interpretation if possible.
Do you normally photograph with a purpose already in mind, or do you let yourself go with the flow?
Very much go with the flow on the day. I like to photograph on location and use any unique architectural, lighting or other aspects of the place.
Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Sigma, Olympus, Sony, Pentax...which do you place your bets on and why?
Doesn't matter. Nikon FWIW. Often an iPhone.
Describe your current equipment: cameras, lenses, computers, accessories...
A black camera. Some black lenses. A couple of lights.
What software and plug-ins do you use to retouch and manage your photos?
Lightroom. A little Photoshop.
What measures do you take to protect your work against Internet piracy?
A watermark. Get's cropped out anyway when the photograph is 'borrowed' thereby trashing the composition but hey, nothing's going to change that.
Are you a good salesperson of your work? In what should you improve?
Yes, I think so.
Which past masters of photography do you most admire?
Cartier-Bresson, Erwitt, Karsh, all the great portraitists.
Are technology and digital retouching reducing the gap between professionals and amateurs?
Yes, maybe. A bit.
Do you consider yourself more technical or more artistic?
What have you learned about the art of framing and composition?
Don't go for the obvious. Go for the obvious but maybe when it's unexpected.
How does one develop the instinct of knowing when to press the shutter release button?
Just get thousands and thousands of exposures under your belt. Then that, and many other things will come to you. Spending the remainder of your hours awake thinking about it can help too.
When should one use film, and when should one use digital?
Whenever you like. No right answer.
Does photography have the recognition that it should have in contemporary art museums?
In the main, yes.
Reading, Berkshire, U.K.