AmericaDnaFive minutes with Philip Faith

Think less and feel more! The perfect picture does not necessarily mean the perfect pose ! focus on spontaneity, synergy with the model!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I was born in Montreal, Canada from a Spanish-French Mother and a British Father , I’ve always been into arts, drawing, painting playing music since a young age!

I studied Ancient  History and Theology for several years, then worked as a professional musician-producer to finally shift to multimedia- videography which led me to embrace Photography.

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How did you get interested in photography?

I grew up with a mother that was very active in the fashion industry, and I was always attracted by the aesthetics of feminine beauty in high fashion editorials.

I got my first Nikon FE when I was 14 and started to shoot and learned  the mysteries of argentic and the darkroom!  I had the chance to study with a very experienced photographer who convinced me that I had the Eye and that I should definitely submerge myself in the art of painting with light! Which I did!

Do you artist/photographer inspired your art?

As a Photographer, I take most of my inspiration from painters and movie directors .

Fellini, Russel, Barker, Jarmush, Parker, to name a few. As for painters well there’s Goya, Delvaux,  Delacroix , Fuseli, Dali, Giger .

I cant ignore the influence that Newton, Leibovich, Von Unwerth had on me, since these photographers are Masters in my Book!

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Could you please tell us anything about your technique and creating process?

I work mostly with Continuous light , using gels and colored textures, I find that I have more control on darkness and shadows then with flash.

I also plays with customized white balance settings while I shoot.

Most of my shoots usually start off as drawing sketches, I believe that the images exists in their potential form, my work consists of unveiling them!

The other key element, is décor, since I don’t  count on Photoshop for that…So choosing fabrics, textures, backrounds, locations and props is essential to all my shoots!

Describe your ideal photographic situation

I like to think that there’s a mystical aspect to Photography, each individual has their ego and look  but in front of the lens you can tap in with another side of every model! Releasing their alter ego, their hidden face, their soul! Its not for nothing that some cultures believe that having your photo taken will steal your soul!!!  So my ideal Photographic situation is when the model metamorphoses in front of my lens and everything fits into place to deliver the image the way it was initially conceived.

How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph?

It usually starts with a finished image in my mind, then there’s the brainstorming, logistics…Then I find the best suitable model for the concept, next is gathering the best team of hair, stylist and MUA. I go on what I call Décor hunting, to get every element, props to make the image come alive.

Last but not least, the day of the shoot!  It usually takes a few hours of tweaking and getting the desired look, and an average of 5 hrs to shoot depending on the number of models…..

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What’s your useable-to-unusable ratio when you review images from a shoot?

When I shoot, I like to see the full composition in my view finder ..So I never shoot 2000 photos to get 15 good ones!

My ratio is usually 100 photos to get 10 final ones! And trust me sometimes the selection can take days!!

What quick advice do you have for someone who wants to improve his or her photography skills?

I would say : think less and feel more! The perfect picture does not necessarily mean the perfect pose ! focus on spontaneity, synergy with the model!

And most important: Emotion!

From time to time many photographers find themselves in a creative rut or uninspired to shoot. Does this ever happen to you and if so how do you overcome these phases?

That’s a tricky question! I find that technology helps on some levels and doesn’t on others….The pressure to stand out is so constant since there’s so many photographers out there who have more exposure via the web and social medias that you have to push your limits higher and higher to stand out and be recognized for your signature style!! Not always that easy!!

What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?

I’m working on a coffee table book called : THE BEAUTY IN THE BEAST which is a collection of portraits with unusual exotic animals.

I’m also working on a set of 9 photos, where I’ll be recreating Biblical scenes with a darker sexier twist. [Official Website][dodho magazine]
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