Dean is a Freelance Photographer originally from Darlington, North East who now lives and studies in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
Throughout practising photography his goal is to reach the skills of Roy and Adi Nachum, Steven Klein and Paolo Roversi. He aims in creating a very crisp style in his work and is very much inspired by Terry Richardson.
This interview was conducted in person unlike my other interviews so I felt the responses were different to what I usually get – I have written his answers after listening back to the recording of the interview.
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What inspires you?
Peoples facial expressions in portraiture inspires me because of the way someone can look and how you can change the way the photo looks by changing their expression with even one word. A person can look sad and you can say one word to change that – they then smile and you can capture that, therefore capturing two images with different emotions.
The shiny effects, details and how they pick up light and tone is why I like cars as a subject. They always have shadow and light and I feel this is captured better in black and white and enhances the photographs.
When did you first pick up a camera?
At school in year 11 but I hated it and it was the worst thing I had ever done – at college I studied Art and Design and the photography I did there was completely different. We learnt about landscape photography, product and portraiture photography in a studio and it went from there.
What makes a good photographer and how do you think you could improve personally?
Someone who can see something that nobody else can – lowering or lifting an angle for a competition that you wouldn’t normally get to see just walking along a street.
I feel like I should experiment with my style more and maybe change it or just experiment more – usually my portraiture is simple but I would like to do something more elaborate like collaborating with Media Make-up students of Fashion Designers and do a bold, colourful shoot.
Who inspires you?
Lady Gaga – this is for many reasons but also because of the way she looks, I would love to photograph her. Paolo Roversi is also a photographer that I find inspiring – especially his images of Rhianna.
Why is photography an important part of todays society?
You can capture something that won’t be seen again and it can be used throughout history. A photograph tells a thousand words but it can also be responded to in a negative light even if its meant to be positive.
Candid or staged?
Candid always as it is real emotion you are capturing rather than telling someone what emotion you want them to feel. I like to pick up emotion in my pieces.
Whats the importance of photography to you?
Being able to take myself out of my own head for a bit – a release like drawing or painting. When I’m stressed I usually go take a few photos.
What’s your approach to Photography?
Just going out and doing it, being an opportunist rather than setting out to go take photographs.
Among your works, which one is your favourite? Why?
New York City, Number One from ‘The Streets’
What stands out to me is how nothing is staged – people are all in a line doing their own thing with their own current thoughts that are captured in that one image.
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
How to take a decent one. I’d say working in a studio gives you these skills – at college we would have a black sheet and put objects on it – like Karl Blossfeldt, this style of work made me gain knowledge .
From your point of view, what makes a good picture?
Something that shows more than a photo, something worth looking at like emotion.
What do you do to always keep up with the times while still maintaining your own ‘style’?
Go with your own approach. I would never enjoy using film which is coming back now, I have tried it but I much prefer digital photography and I don’t feel comfortable using anything else.
Usual Camera Settings to make sure he gets the same quality throughout his works
AV or TV
28-70mm – Most Used
Would you class photography more liberating/restrictive than other art forms?
It is very much liberating – because if you can’t paint you can’t paint with photography you can’t not take a photo you can learn but with painting you have to have some skill already there.
Where do you see your career going?
Owning my own studio in NY City is the dream and following in the footsteps of Humans in New York – they find people in the street and record a video about them and take one portrait image and write about them, usually people with stories to tell such as the homeless
I would like to sell some work but I am just unsure how to market it.
Why did you choose to leave uni after your first year?
It was hell, it wasn’t following the direction I thought it would and I felt this held me back.
I expected to be taking thousands of photos and making a portfolio out of them but it was more of taking a photo and writing a huge powerpoint on it – or taking three film photos and developing them.
I feel I have the style and the skill to continue with my own practice without studying.
Website – www.deanpallisterphotography.com
Instagram – @deanpphotography