As part of the Ready Steady Pro Q&A Series we ask photographers from all backgrounds, niches and skill levels to answer 5 questions for the blog. This week, we hear from Mark Playle of Playle Photography.
Based in Hertfordshire UK, I shoot Travel, Wildlife, Motorsport and Portrait. At the age of eight I became the proud owner of a Hanimex 110mm film camera. Over the years many makes and models have passed through my hands.
Here’s what Mark had to say when we him asked the 5 questions:
Question 1: What’s the one single thing that has had the largest positive impact on your photography so far?
In 2010 I decided to do a 365 Project. I thought this would be easy. Little did I know. There were days I loved, days I hated and could not think of anything to shoot. I used various cameras from a Nokia N95 to a Canon 1DS mkII and learnt so much from the project that I recommend everyone should try one. If you don’t fancy doing a 365 why not try one image a week for a year or an image a day for a month? There were days when I had to really use the old grey cells to come up with an idea or composition. This forced me to think a little differently for every image. I vividly remember taking every image even down to where I was when I took it. 2010 will be engraved in my memory forever.
Question 2: If you could start over again from scratch, what would be the one thing you would do differently?
I don’t think I would do anything differently. I’m not saying I’ve not made any mistakes, I’ve made plenty. I’d like to think I’ve learnt from them. The one thing I would have changed would have to be my brand. ‘Playle’ is not an easy name to pronounce or spell if you’ve not come across it before. Say Playlephotography.com to someone over the phone and you’ll see what I mean. It’s pronounced Play-all I believe it’s of French origin. I quite often get Player, Play-ley and many other manifestations. Changing brand now is just not an option. So my advice would be, think very carefully about your brand.
Question 3: Who is the most influential photographer to you, and why? (Or, Which photographer do you admire the most, and why?)
I’d have to say three, Maurice Tabard, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau. These were all pioneers of our craft. True Masters. If you do not know these names just do a Google image search, I guarantee you will have seen some of their work before. The images created by these pioneers are remarkable. Just think for a moment. No Auto Focus, No 12 frames a second, No Histogram etc. Complete and full manual mode. It’s not just the technical side of photography these guys were masters of. The compositions, mood, feelings and emotion captured in some of their images are outstanding.
Question 4: If you able to give just one piece of advice to someone just starting out in their photographic career, what would it be?
Going back to Q2. Brand is everything, if your customers can not pronounce or spell your brand from memory; word of mouth referrals become non-existent. Pick a brand that rolls off the tongue and you can’t go wrong. Remember your brand name also has to be available as a .com .co.uk .fr etc. Try to avoid a name similar to one that already exists.
Think very carefully about your brand, once you get established and have a following you will not be able to change it.
Question 5: Paint a picture: What is the one thing / place / person you would love to photograph and why? It can be a person or a moment from history. As part of this answer also tell us about what gear you’d use, what lighting, what looks, wardrobes, poses and expressions you’d make use.
Being a complete geek I would love to take a picture of the crew from the first landing on the Lunar surface. As for the equipment, it’d have to be one of the original Hasselblad cameras. For lighting, I’d wait for the Sun to come up over the earth. I would take the standard group shot followed by asking them to all jump up at the same time whilst waving their hands in the air, sorry that should be in the vacuum.
Well, thanks so much for taking part in the Q&A Mark. For more information about Mark and his work you can find him at all of the following places:
Google +: https://www.google.com/+MarkPlayle
Have a question for Mark? Simply post in the comments section below, or join the fun over in the Ready Steady Pro Facebook Community
Would you like to take part in photography Q&A? Send us an email with your answers to the 5 questions and it could appear on this blog too! More details can be found on the Q&A Page