Screw You College

To start things off, can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself? When did you get into photography? Do you have any formal training or are you self taught?

Hey! Im Felix and I live in Bristol working as a freelance photographer. I got into photography 10 years ago or so just as I finished school, I got turned away from college to study it so just took that as a big “I’ll show you” and bought my first DSLR and taught myself everything I know today.

Why the city of Bristol? Seems like a lot of creatives enjoy what this city has to offer?

I moved to Bristol about 6 years ago on a whim after living in Surrey my whole life. Id spent quite a bit of time working in London and found it a bit too hectic and not my kind of lifestyle. Bristol to me is such a good hub for creatives and its definitely whats keeping me here. Its not got that super competitive creative aspect London has I found. I just like to get along and work with everyone, us creatives gotta’ stick together and all that!

Where do you look for inspiration?

Im not really too sure! A bit of everything really, mostly my friends I think. Going and shooting with my friends and working on projects together really gives me a buzz. Theres a lot of photographers that I follow and talk to from the U.S. that are doing some amazing things in the landscape/portrait side of things with a really natural look. This is what I’m always trying to do with my work I think.

What is in your everyday carry? Equipment you use to shoot…

Ive definitely got too much equipment these days, but thats not a bad thing I guess. In my main camera bag I have my Canon 5d mk3, this is just a total workhorse and the industry standard body for pretty much everything you’ll see in print and online. In regards to lenses I use the new Sigma Art series, both the 50mm f1.4 and the 35mm f1.4, these cover pretty much 90% of my work as they are super sharp and versatile. The last lens I carry is the Canon 24-70 f2.8, this is a really fantastic lens but for some reason I only ever use it at its widest setting for landscapes and the occasional editorial. Ive also got a backup hardcase with backup bodies and lenses of everything when working on larger projects such as corporate, editorials and weddings, the last thing I want is something breaking and not being able to work. I also love shooting film in my spare time on personal projects so I always have a handful of rolls and a an old film camera to shoot on if I see something I really want to have on analog.

How is life now that you’re self-employed? Would you recommend it? What time do you get up in the mornings now that you are the boss!?

Yeah its different thats for sure. Its awesome in the sense I’m doing what I want for a living, really liberating, but it has been a bit scary at times when I’ve had bills to pay but its always pulled through. Everyone starts off a bit rough I guess but its been over a year of full time self employment now and I’ve got things fairly locked down now, hopefully it keeps up! Im actually really boring and try keep everything as 9-5 as possible when I’m home. Nobody wants to be that weirdo replying to emails at 3am on a Saturday night.

You mentioned you were cooking sushi during this interview – is cooking a hobby in your down time?

Yeah I absolutely love cooking and well food in general. The last few months I’ve let it slip a bit and I’ve just been eating McDonalds and any old junk food just from being too busy to stop for an evening and cook but I’ve just moved into a new house where I’ve got my own office and a nice kitchen to cook in so Im getting back on it big time. Id like to think once I’m done with my photography career I would really like to open my own cafe or do a cookbook all designed, photographed and branded really nicely but who knows!

Do you aim for your images to tell a story or do you like to leave them open to interpretation?

Im not really too sure, it depends on what I’m shooting, really my with my lifestyle fashion work I’ve been trying to have an overall theme to it all but thats about it. Ive done a few trips to shoot portraits and landscapes with people but don’t really think about the shots I’m getting until they are right in front of me so I guess its more open to interpretation.

Talk to us about your tattoos? What inspires you? Where do you get your ink done? When did you start?

Im a big fan of old traditional style work with big thick lines mixed with new school imagery. Trippy and pretty is what I’m going for really, my go to guy is Will Geary (@will_geary) who works at Life and Death tattoos in Shrewsbury. Every time I go up we both have rough ideas and just mash two things we like together and it seems to work, or at least I think so. I started when I was 18 on my leg, thats just kind of a mix of tattoo flash I’ve collected throughout the years from various artists I like, my arm is what I’m really trying to keep done by the same guy (Will). Not too much left to do now, so hopefully finish it off this year!

How do you see the role of Instagram playing out with modern day photographers? Is it a love/hate relationship and a necessary evil?

Instagram is the bane of my life. Its such a double edged blade with it being such a powerful and broad platform but then its now being turned into this pay to be seen format which is terrible for us one man band creatives just trying to get by. Instagram encourages popular content, not good content. Sometimes Ill be over the moon with a shot and I’ll post it only to get a few likes but its just Instagram playing behind the scenes to get you to pay for the views, it can put a real downer on your work. On the other hand it has landed me some amazing work and some best friends, so from a networking perspective it is great, you just need to cut through the crap to get to the good stuff I guess!

To learn more about Felix, please follow him here