Photographer Spotlight: Luke Curtis

Posted by: on Dec 6, 2018

Bio: Luke Curtis is a UK based photographer with a career that has seen him travel the world shooting events, artists and holding workshops educating other photographers. Follow him online at www.lukecurtis.co.uk and on Instagram at @lukecurtis.co.uk.

I would describe my style of photography as… 

I’d like to think my style is dramatic, low-key and daring when working with so many unique artists they all want a standout look which means the work. What I produce has to vary greatly which is daring as your always testing new ideas.  But there is a strong low-key style I always create on each shoot which over time has become recognisable as my work.

What was your first camera, and how’d you get started in photography?

My first camera was a Sony nex5, I bought it whilst I was working at Sony as I was expecting my daughter Isabella and a colleague advised me to get a camera, so I could document her growing up. As cliché as it sounds as soon as I started taking pictures I fell in love and knew it’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life!

Why did you want to become a photographer?

In the early stages of my relationship with photography, I spent a lot of time researching others work and loved how some photographers can really tell a story and educate others to different cultures through still images. I have always wanted to do the same, my niche is dance music and it’s still an industry that is in its early stages of life and I feel it’s up to myself as well as other creatives to tell the story in a beautiful way, so generations can look back at the scenes evolution.

What’s your most memorable shot or shoot, be it challenging to capture or interesting subject?

Last year I shot with a headlining DJ called Hector, earlier on in the year I had been experimenting with lighting and workflow a lot to find my most comfortable setup. I personally felt I had found the perfect workflow using Capture One tethered housed in a custom build Peli 1510 but had yet to test it on a commercial commission. The shoot with Hector went perfectly because of the workflow and I knew that my method of shooting would be changed forever which I was very happy with and has played a huge part in my career growth as I can deliver great quality ANYWHERE!

What image are you most proud of from your photography portfolio?

It’s difficult to find a specific image as I am really hard on myself and believe being a photographer you have to always be improving which means you have to leave a lot of good behind as you try to improve.  An image that changed my career which not the most technical but makes me proud was an image of Elrow’s mascot (a giant Spanish chicken) which went on the cover of DJ mag. Proud from a career perspective but not a technical perspective.

My dream gig would be…

Shooting portraits of Daft Punk would be the ultimate gig for me! So iconic, my mind goes on creative overdrive considering the possibilities of shooting them!

My favorite piece of gear is…

It’s hard to find a singular favourite piece of kit as a good workflow and kit bag should all seamlessly work together otherwise you are not efficient and wasting either effort, time, money or all three! A fast powerful camera is only as quick as it’s storage card or tethering software. Great lights aren’t great if you use cheap shapers., it’s about your complete workflow coming together.  Central to all I do is underpinned by my custom Peli 1510, a TetherPro USB Cable and Capture One.

Do you shoot tethered?

Tethering has been the most revolutionary change I’ve ever made to my workflow being tethered solved some huge problems I was facing! the camera being a barrier and changing people’s behaviour was a part of shooting I disliked hugely. By tethering I can create time where myself and the subject are side by side reviewing the images and determining the direction of the shoot, this takes away the barrier a camera creates and really changes the dynamics in terms of making the subject a part of the direction of a shoot which in turns I feel gives me better results.

My favorite piece of Tether Tools gear is…

My trusty TetherPro USB cable, so simple but Is the crucial link between the quality my camera offers, and the power and versatility capture one gives me.

What’s on your photography gear shopping list?

The new Tether Tools ONsite D-Tap to AC Power Supply! Shooting tethered in location comes with its limits, battery life being one of them. Being able to draw power from a V-Mount Battery with D-Tap to extend the time I can shoot solves yet another workflow inefficiently I have. This is on my Christmas shopping list!

ONsite D-Tap to AC Power Supply

The best advice I can offer a fellow photographer would be…

99.9% of what you see has already been done before, your job is to do it better. Don’t let trying to be original stop you from creating anything at all! if you want to be a successful photographer shoot at every opportunity and show everyone that will look, then show anyone that won’t look and eventually they will! Persistence pays off.

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