Arthur (insta @Arwimages) is a London based photographer that I originally met a few years ago, when I modelled for two of his shoots in central London. He has such a distinctive photography style and is also one of the nicest and relaxed photographers I have worked with, which really helps to get the perfect shot.
I was lucky enough to be able to interview him recently and ask him all about his photography. He had some great advise for aspiring photographers, as well as some tips for people who just want to up the Instagram game.
Enough of me rambling on, now lets get in to the interview.
So I know you are a very creative guy, and you also dabble in music. But How did you get in to photography? Are you a self taught photographer or did you go to photography school?
Yes, I’m totally self taught! Lots of watching YouTube videos and asking dumb questions online. I bought a DSLR purely to film song covers and vlogs whenever I was on tour. Photography didn’t even cross my mind at the time. I’ve always loved Tumblr and moody aesthetics and one day I randomly decided to go all-in and have a go at creating it myself - and luckily I already had all the equipment I needed!
What camera do you use and Which is your favorite lens? Why?
The body is a Nikon D5200 - which really isn’t that great at all. As I mentioned; it was intended just for my personal YouTube videos and after a ton of research - I decided that this camera was the absolute cheapest camera I could find that would still produce great work. So it’s by no means a ‘great’ camera, but it definitely does everything I need it to do.
Lens wise, I use the Sigma 18-35 Art lens which is absolutely divine. My camera has cropped sensor, so rather than actually being 18-35mm it feels more like a 35-50mm - which is actually the ideal focal length for fashion portraits. Especially 50mm. There’s a really cool test online on head shots at different focal lengths and around 50mm works best on pretty much anyone.
The thing I like about your photography is, I feel like you have quite a distinctive photography style, and that you come up with really inventive concepts, like the photo you took of the model in the washing machine or more recently of the shoot with all the Amazon boxes.
Where do you get your inspiration from, and How did you find your own photography style?
Thank you! I’m definitely heavily influenced by Tumblr and that whole aesthetic of the mid 2010’s. Emo/alternative mixed with a high fashion feel. It was all about smoky bedrooms, ripped tights and making ugly/quirky locations look super cool i.e. Laundrettes. Spending my 20s on that site definitely contributed to how I go about planning looks and editorials today. Movies and music videos are another big part of where my style comes from. Some of the imagery is so striking and sparks a lot of cool ideas - especially with the lighting. A lot of the gritty Netflix dramas like Stranger Things and Snowpiercer have some super cool low light/neon vibes that have inspired some looks I’ve done.
What are you favourite types of shoots to photograph?
This is something that constantly changes, but right now with the cold weather - I’m really loving shooting indoors. If we can get a hotel room or a cool bedroom with some natural lighting - then that’s a perfect spot for some stylish and moody editorial shots. Also shooting indoors means you can bring a bluetooth speaker and have a chilled vibe whilst you shoot. Music makes everything better!
After lockdown, I’m looking forward to shooing in another arcade. Every arcade shoot I do looks incredible. Endless amounts of neon signs - you can’t lose!
How do you edit your photos? What software and filters do you use?
I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. I do all my initial colouring and ‘filters’ in LR and then if I need to do any complex edits like skin retouching or removing people from the background - then I’ll pull up Photoshop.
Do you have any tips/ advise for aspiring photographers or people who just want to level up on the insta?
Above all - good lighting and a dope outfit can save the day. Other than that, just get out there and practice! I put up a casting call on StarNow looking for models and you will be amazed at the amount of people who want to have their picture taken for free. There’s no substitute for actual experience. Yes, I’ve watched every YouTube video out there on ‘best portrait photography tips’ etc - but until you’re out on the street with a model, you’ll never improve.
Also, the thing with Insta is you need consistency. The more you post on there, the more people will see that you’re serious and will want to work with you. So even if it’s just selfies during the lockdown right now - the more photography and/or modelling you’re doing shows that you really love doing this and when things get going again - people are going to hit you up first.