Today, I have the great pleasure to bring you Archie Campbell. A young Freelance Videographer & Photographer based in Wiltshire and London. He describes himself as being a highly skilled camera operator, editor and producer working on corporate, music promos and short films. I discovered Archies work thanks to a double exposure photography that was a big hit on Flickr – with over 1 million views and according to Yahoo, is the 4th most Viral image of 2013.
Please join me in this insightful interview with Archie. Enjoy!
What got you into photography?
My father was a photographer and therefore I managed to have access to his equipment and influence from an early age. When I started to earn my first bit of money from a part time job the first thing I bought was a camera!
What’s on your gear list?
My gear list is a bit odd and varied! I shoot a lot of video for work and use stills as my hobby and outlet. General gear is as follows: Canon 6d, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 24-70mm; Hasselblad 500CM, 80mm, 150mm, 350mm; iPhone 6; Olympus Mju II. All edited in Lightroom 5, I have Photoshop but I find I can do everything in Lightroom!
What inspires you?
Images in general and mostly emotive images. A lot of the photographers I like don’t spend hours creating their shots in a studio but instead focus on seeing moments as they happen and do their best to capture it in the moment!
Can you talk a little about the double exposure image. The story behind? How you did it? What it meant for you to have so many views?
The story about this shot is a bit of an odd one. I’d just earned my first bit of money to enable me to buy the camera that I actually wanted rather than having to settle with whatever I could afford. When experimenting with it I noticed that it had a double exposure feature which could be achieved in camera, something I had experimented with on film. My first images were tests and after that I tried to take something with more meaning. The great thing about being able to create the look in camera was that it fitted with my style of shooting quickly and not worrying about having to spend hours in post getting the shot just how I would like. Knowing that the most effective double exposures are high contrast images I positioned my sister against a bright window on a cloudy day. This enabled her to be a complete silhouette whilst nearly blowing out the whole background, just what I needed. Heading outside I found the bush I had done a few experiments with before and flipped the camera 90˙ so the bush would simulate my sisters hair. There was a fair amount of luck to the composition but after I had taken the shot I knew that it was great and there was no problem retaking.
I personally thought it was great but I think most of my shots are! I showed my sister and she loved it, then my parents, friends etc. everyone seemed really confused at how I had achieved the shot and were really intrigued as to how well the bush had simulated the shapes, textures and other similarities to parts of the face.
I posted it to Reddit and overnight it went viral. In terms of success, I have made no extra money from going viral and past the initial couple of weeks life has just gone back to normal. The one revisit to the picture I got is when Yahoo told me it was the 4th most Viral image of 2013, an accolade that not everyone can boast about!
The main gain the image gave me was confidence. It explained to me that finally other people thought that my work was good and I shouldn’t worry about the doubters and just shoot for myself as someone out there will appreciate it. It’s great occasionally browsing the web and seeing it pop up on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc.
At over 1,000,000 views and thousands of reposts it’s nice to know that I’ve let a little part of me loose on the internet!
What is your favourite photo that you’ve ever taken?
I don’t have a favourite photo. It’s funny because my most successful photo is the one that linked you to me but I wouldn’t say by any stretch that it is my favourite photo! Photography is very personal and so my favourite would probably be one that captured a moment that I really enjoyed. That’s what I aim to do with my shots. I am attempting to essentially catalogue my life!
I can categorically say that shooting on film is probably my favourite medium as I tend to enjoy the moment and limit myself to taking only one shot. The same can’t be said for digital where I will end up chimping on the screen far too much!
Can you tell me something about your creative process?
Everything is spontaneous. Apart from a very few ‘setup’ shots I keep it really laid back. The key to this is just making sure I always have a camera on me!
How important is Post-Processing to your works?
Would it be possible to see a before and after?
I edit all my images. But I don’t spend hours doing them, just a few minutes here or there. I’ve never experimented with compositing objects that weren’t really there when taking the image. Considering I like my picture taking process to be quick and easy I see the same for editing. I use a lot of the VSCO presets because they alter the images to an aesthetic I like and I have now got into a zone whereby I know how to shoot for certain presets which is always good fun.
What do you hope to say to people with the work that you create?
As I make no money from my photography I don’t really mind what others think. It’s a personal process and therefore if I’m not shooting for my own gain then there is little point. I’ve always been a believer in that if you do what you love you will find a way to make money from it. Don’t worry about what others think and focus on being the best that you can be.
Tell me about the music that inspires you.
My spottily and deezer are a mess. There is no theme through the music as if I like the tune, melody, moment, etc. it gets favourited! I do have a bit of a thing for soundtracks and instrumentals mostly because I find that they help me focus.
What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not creating photography?
Free time! I could do with some of that. Between being a freelance filmmaker working for a tech startup I have on the side and managing a few other projects I have little truly ‘free’ time. That being said friends are really important to me and a true friend is one that you don’t have to see everyday yet you can still pick up from where you last left of.
Thanks a lot Archie! It has been a pleasure to have you here, on the 4 Eyes Room and I will sure keep an eye on your awesome work.
[whohit]Archie Campbell Interview[/whohit]