Hear It!

Without further ado, it's time to introduce much renowned photographer Richard Thomas to our Hall of Fame. Hailing from the United Kingdom, Thomas has a great collection of L lenses that is part of his photography artillery. Quality, perseverance, commitment and pleasure are the key factors that make up his passion for photography and he finds great satisfaction in working with children as subjects. Let's check out his interview!

Photographer: rtimages / Richard Thomas
Country of Origin: United Kingdom

1. Production Equipment: Please list the production equipment that you use on a regular basis (eg. Cameras, lenses, flash & lighting, photo editing software).
I use a Canon EOS 1Ds and have a collection of L lenses, my favorite of which is the 24 -105L F4 because it's a great walkabout lens that's razor sharp.

2. What do you think of photography these days?
Technology gets better and better, enabling photographers to get results that wouldn't have been possible a few years ago. The down side is trying to keep up with everything.

3. What did you want to be when you were younger?
Older. Now I want to be younger... it's a no win situation.

4. Tell us about the time when you first got started in photography.
When I was 15 my brother and I set up a darkroom in the spare room at Mum and Dad's house. I loaded my own film using bulk loaders spending hours with my hands in a black bag. I learned through trial and error but still remember the excitement of seeing a photo come to life.

5. In your opinion, what does it take to become successful in this industry?
Quality, perseverance, commitment and pleasure.

6. What was your biggest challenge coming into this industry?
Key-wording! I soon discovered that you can have the greatest image in the world but if you don't put the right key-words in, it ain't gonna sell. Now knowing what the right keywords are is a completely different entity!

7. What are the best perks as a Photographer?
You get to do what you enjoy, and I never get bored of people saying ' Wow', great shot!

8. How do you plan for your shooting sessions?
Research what's already out there and try a different angle, beg, borrow or buy any props needed, do lot's of test shots and Bracket.

9. How would you describe your work to first time viewers?
The best I could do at the time.

10. Do you shoot to what your heart tells you or do you go through a complex check list in your mind when you produce your work? Describe the feeling/check list.
Before every shot I use the acronym ' WIFE ' - White Balance, ISO, F Stop, Exposure. I always shoot in RAW which gives me a certain amount of flexibility and the quality I want.

11. From your experience, what subjects gives you the greatest satisfaction? Any examples?
Children. I have a lot of shots of my two boys. They may not be the highest selling stock subject but they give me the greatest satisfaction. Of course I am biased.

12. From your experience, what subjects are the hardest to work with? Any examples?
Children. do I really need to expand!

13. What is your philosophy when it comes to your work?
Do your best, learn from others.

14. Describe who/what inspires you, tell us why?
Seeing the images by other contributors is all the inspiration I need. I have a friend who has just bought his first SLR, he lives a long way from me, so he sends me his shots via email for my advise. He's coming down to stay with us soon and we're going to have a few photography days. Seeing someone else discover the joy of photography and to be able to share my knowledge is great inspiration.

15. What do you do when those creative juices just seems to evade you. How do you "get creative"?
Never had that problem. I've got more ideas and subjects written down in my little book to keep me going for a long time.

16. Tell us about a time when inspiration just hits you, and you felt the insatiable urge to create. What did you do with that energy?
Inspiration hits me all the time. That's why I have a little book for stock ideas. Normally I get ideas when I'm in the shower - how weird is that, I must get a waterproof pen and notebook.

17. What have you discovered about yourself through photography?
Tricky one to answer. The only thing I can think of is that it's great doing something you really enjoy and to get paid for it.

18. Whose work do you admire the most? Why?
Andy Rouse - he is a wildlife photographer based in the U.K. Not only are his shots some of the best I've seen but his approach to photography and his knowledge and understanding of the subject is second to none. I love wildlife photography and wish I could devote more time to it but having a young family means I can't spend hours or days sitting in a hide waiting for that moment.

19. Do you have any advice for those who are just getting in to stock photography?
Keep at it. You will learn more doing this than any book or college course could ever teach you, and the plus side is you'll get a bit of money for doing it.

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