We had the pleasure of sitting down with Nathan D’Amour, one of the UKs leading events photographers. Nathan was very kind to allow us access to his world and answer questions which we hope both inspire and encourage you to go out and take photographs of your own.
Hey, welcome to PixelTango! Could you please introduce yourself to our readers? What is your current status in life and what is your background?
Hi I’m Nathan D’Amour and I’m one of Uk’s leading event photographers. I’m self taught and describe my style as cutting edge and innovative.
For my photography it’s all about capturing the energy and drama of a situation. I’m now entering a new phase of development, applying my skills and techniques to fashion and advertising photography. Fashion appeals to me as it’s about freedom of expression, an excuse to experiment and be extravagant. It’s a world where visually anything is possible. It’s only limited by our imagination.
I’ve been lucky to have had a creative background my father was a painter and studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, I’ve always been surrounded by Art, which I think has been helpful in my approach to photography.
What is your work station like, and what are your tools of the trade?
I’m currently on a Mac Pro 8 core machine with 10 GB of Ram this helps with a fast workflow.
For raw conversions I use Capture One but my workhorse program is Photoshop CS3 (I think it’s about time I upgraded to a newer version though!)
My Kit :-
For events I use a Nikon D3 with SB910 Flash for lens I prefer to work close in so I carry a 24-70 zoom, 14-24 zoom and a fish eye.
For Fashion and advertising work I use a Phase One DFS with P45+ Digital back and Profoto lighting
How did you get into photography?
I got into photography about 4 years ago and completely by accident. I’d arranged for a friend to take photographs at a big dance event in Leeds Called Kissdafunk. I’d gone to long lengths persuading the promoter to take on my friend.
My friend on arrival got cold feet and wanted to just party, so not wanting to let the promoter down I asked my friend if I could use their camera and spent all night taking photographs. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing technically, I just messed around with the setting and snapped away, it was a hit and miss situation but I really enjoyed myself and more surprisingly ended up with some great shots.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get inspired by everything, I like to think of myself as a walking collector of information, I’m always visually aware of everything around me.
I enjoy visiting places sometimes a location inspires a shoot. I read and source through magazines, I like to create visual scrap books. sometimes putting together random images inspires a concept.
A great deal of inspiration comes from talking to people I love to share ideas, it helps formulate something new and exciting.
If you could define yourself under one style, how would you describe yourself?
I describe my style as fast and furious with a hint of surreal and I like to think there is romantic overtones thrown into the mix.
What is your favorite image?
Are there any photographers you admire/respect?
Richard Avendon, Nick Knight, David Lechapelle, Mario Testino, Tim Walker, Patrick Demarchelier, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Annie Lebovitz, Helmut Newton.
What is the most difficult part of photography?
Fitting everything I need for a shoot into my boot of my car.
For anyone reading this who aspires to become a photographer or simply want to practice it as a hobby what would you suggest to them?
Go out and photograph as much as you can photograph the things you find beautiful
Does everyone need the most expensive camera and editing software to become a photographer?
No I started with a simple point and shoot and my first SLR was a Nikon D100, these go for next to nothing on Ebay.
Would you say editing is a vital part of photography nowadays? Would you suggest that all photographers learnt how to edit?
Yes editing is all about enhancing your work and should be used as part of the creative process it will also help define your style.
What editing techniques do you use most? Are there any unique techniques you can share with us to make your images so spectacular?
I use curves in photoshop the most, just a simple s curve can add contrast and vibrancy to your work. But one technique which can have a dramatic affect on your images is to create a new selective colour adjustment layer, here you can experiment with the different colours and tones. Try affecting the neutrals, black and whites doing this can change the whole feel and look of your image.
Finally we would like to thank you for your time, do you have any final words for our readers?
Keep inspired and have fun, the more you shoot the better you’ll become, there are few geniuses in life, the people who succeed work hard at refining their art!
Here at Pixel Tango we hope to ask Nathan back in the near future to give more insight into his processes and shed more light on the technical side of photography.