Representing emerging & established talent

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PHOTOGRAPHER- Franklin & Bailey

For our second blog post, we interviewed photographer Gareth Bailey, one half of the photography & makeup duo Franklin & Bailey

Twitter: @Bailey_photo

What is your background?

I’m trained in Performing Arts…I trained at Italia Conti. Round about the same time as I started training, I picked up a camera. Whilst I was at college I started doing all my friends’ headshots and then when I graduated I balanced the two.

Do you feel that being a performer has helped your photography?

Yes, I feel like that one of things that is nice for the client, is that both Lizzie and I are from a Performing Arts background. So, half of taking a picture isn’t just taking the picture, it’s how you connect with the client and understanding where they are, where they’re going and perhaps, almost where they’ve been as well. They relate to you as you’re form their background as well as being a photographer. We relate to them because we’ve been there. It’s common ground, which is nice to have.

What should a performer expect on a shoot with you?

I think a relaxed atmosphere, direction…. a lot of the direction I do is mechanical as well as emotional. We shoot a lot of graduates who don’t know what to do, and this is completely fine. A photographer’s job is almost to be like a director as well. We can offer shoots without make-up…but Lizzie and I have worked together for over a year and we find having freshly applied make-up for a shoot just reads in the camera.

What do they need to think about or prepare beforehand?

Erm, don’t go out the night before?! Laughs. You know, not even the night before. Think about 5 nights running up…(Really???) Yeah, stay hydrated, you want your skin to be nice, you don’t want bags. Obviously all of this stuff can be made to look better in post production… but at the end of the day, you’re going to get a far larger choice from your session if you just think about the run up to your pictures. Get your clothes together. Don’t pick cheap fabrics because they look cheap on camera…iron your clothes and look after yourself. Be ready to go along and relax.

What do you aim to achieve with your headshots?

We aim to achieve a span of emotions, something from neutral, serious, dark, moody, through to happy, light. So that at the end of the day you can have a variety of pictures that can represent you. I think, one headshot can say many things…. Our aim really is to give you multiple options of character that could represent you across a variety from musical theatre, through to acting through to commercial dance…

5 words to describe your headshots style

Vibrant, dynamic, cinematic, colourful, contrasting……(professional?) and professional of course laughs

How important is it to choose a good photographer?

Like really important. We have so many clients that have maid their mates £50 for their headshots and then 6 months later need to get them done again. It’s important. When you’re photographing people daily and weekly, the photographer has the confidence to work with anybody. If you’re really, really nervous and you come in to a shoot and you’re really struggling with the idea of getting your pictures done…if you go to somebody who isn’t 100% sure in themselves as a photographer, you aren’t going to feel anywhere close to comfortable in yourself to have your pictures taken. This is where it comes down to again, there is a technicality of course, and photographer should be doing those, but the true art comes in making the client feel relaxed and comfortable and then taking their picture. We always ask a client “Where do you feel you want to sit in the industry?”, “What of our work have you seen that you like?” and we’ll move the shoot in that style. If you go to an inexperienced photographer, they don’t necessarily have the equipment, the location, or the experience or knowledge of how to change up the style or feel of the shoot to your needs as a client. I think our headshots within the industry, I would like to think, stand out because we tailor it and make an image that’s specific to a client’s needs.

How do they choose a photographer?

Speak to your agent, look at their work. Look at a few different photographers. You want to find a style that both you and the agent are comfortable with.

Top 5 “no no’s” for someone having their headshots taken with you

Don’t go out the night before (!). Don’t use fake tan to give you colour that you don’t usually have. Just don’t do it. Don’t dramatically change your hair cut your hair or use a hairdresser you haven’t used previously, before your shoot. Think about washing your hair (laughs). Washing your hair the morning of can make your hair really flat and it can just… drop. Think about not washing it so that it gives it volume. We don’t 4 days of not wash (laughs again). No fake eyelashes. Absolutely no no. Erm, this is an absolute no no…don’t be with choosing your tops. Don’t turn up with creased, dirty tops. Just don’t do it. Seriously, Primark tops look like Primark tops! Have a variety, fabrics with depth, think about it.

“Must haves” for a successful photo shoot

Good tops laughs. Sleep. An idea of where you want to be going. An idea of what you want. Where you want to be going in your career and idea of what your agent wants from your shoot. Seriously talk to them about what they want from it as well as you as they will be putting you forward for work.

Best “handy hint” for performers

Get your pictures together. Having current, up-to-date pictures. Also think about showreels, it’s a hugely worthwhile investment….My very personal tip would be just to stay on top of your singing repertoire laughs a lot