|© Neil Stewart|
“Known for his energetic fashion campaigns for such brands as Tretorn, Puma, and Folk, Neil Stewart is running his own race, combining freedom with precision, and pushing the boundaries of the photographic medium.
His unique style has established him as one of the new generation of photographers with a strong identity and a broad appeal.
Neil started shooting editorially in London for publications including Dazed and Confused, JD and The Face, using his raw, free spirited approach to create uncontrived imagery with an adventurous feel.
The resulting stories led to commissions from a diverse range of clients within the fashion, technology, car, sports and drinks industries, including J Lindeberg, Nokia, Hertz, Ellesse and Bacardi, who all utilized Neil's distinctive character to promote their products.
Neil lives between London and New York where he continues to expand his influence both in stills photography and in the world of moving imagery.
Photo España - Where did you learn photography, how long have you been a fashion photographer and how did you get into it?
Neil Stewart - I’ve been shooting my own images for 8 years professionally now.I went to art college to be a painter, I used to go and document in order to take it back to the studio. But once I started to use the darkroom and put the images on the walls I got really into the photos. From an early age I’ve loved images, my mum used to shoot super 8 of me and my brothers and we’d have projection nights at home; which are some of my strongest memories. I ran a surf and snowboard shop for many years and always documented the trips we’d go on. This is where my style was developed.
PHE - How do you publicize yourself and get work?
NS - I have agents in London, New York and Sydney who do a great job of promoting me and getting me in with the people I need to see. I also have a strong website and work on exhibitions and personally oversee how my books look.
PHE - What type of fashion assignments do you enjoy most and why?
NS - Good people, good light, good locations, good food, good vibes.
PHE - What are the special qualities required to become a fashion photographer?
NS - Strong mind and vision. Good with people on all levels. 1 clients 2 producers 3 models.
PHE - How much work do you do in the studio as compared to on location? Which do you prefer and why?
NS - We are blessed with some amazing locations in our world and I love to travel. I love natural light and enjoy waiting all day for those 15 minutes of magic hour. Shooting great images in a studio is a skill but for me feels forced.
PHE - Are there any negative aspects to the job?
NS - Compared to most jobs no. I travel too much, can be over-stimulated, physically and mentally exhausted, have trouble keeping lasting relationships, don’t spend enough time with my family, I tried to become a footballer and surfer but I’d still have the same troubles! It’s a privilege to do what I do.
PHE - What type of non-fashion photography do you enjoy doing?
NS - I shoot everything I’m into. Light (on everything-at sunrise and set),water (backlit especially), people, all movement, all weather, road trips, mountains, silhouettes, my feet, doorways, old men, hot girls, cars, boats, buildings (old and new), the sky, aero plane trails, symmetry... I can sit and play with prints all day, making books, photomontages. Installations.
PHE - What advice would you give to people who would like to become successful fashion photographers?
NS - Be lucky.
PHE - What are your expectations for campus? What are you going to teach there? Have you done something similar before?
NS - All I can teach is what I know, about photography, styles, the business. How to show work, deal with clients, my mistakes, what’s important to me. How I bring what influences me to my work, but really I’m ‘gonna try and inspire and get some fantastic images out of them.
PHE - What are your plans for the future?
NS - I have a really new art based project I’m working on, which will be a fresh way how we see and view 2d photos! Also I’d like to fulfill a dream of shooting a Pirelli calendar.” [Photo España]