News of faculty

15 Apr 2013

«The shooting of performances have their own magic»

Having begun his carrier as photographer at the age of 14 at Architectural Review, Richard Haughton manages to combine both, his desire to be involved with many different areas with his own technical expertise and passion. Right now Richard is one of the most sought after gastronomical photographers in the word, and the list of celebrities he had worked with includes such names as Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Mark Almond, Luciano Pavarotti and others. But just as many years ago, his currently favorite area remains the filming of artistic performances, which was the subject of his presentation given to a group of guests of the «Art-management and gallery business» RMA program that took place at the Multimedia Art Museum.

Richard, what should be the relationship formed between the photographer and the performance artist? Have you ever taken part in the performances that you were shooting?

You don't really have to be friends, but you have to understand that while you are on your common journey, you will have to have some degree of communication, and it will be better for everyone if you are, at least, able to have a good understanding of one another. Because quite often, especially during the studio promo shoots, in order to get a good picture you do have to spend a great deal of time working closely together with the group. Moreover, I've had a fist hand experience that taught me that there is no such thing as one right style of communication that would guarantee you equally good results in working with all the different artists out there, since each artist has it's unique personality and therefore different expectation of you as a photographer and the final product.

Having worked for so many years as a photographer at different performances, have you developed a particular affinity to the studio based choreography shooting? As I would imagine this to be simpler and more convenient kind of process as well.

I do like shooting live shows. It is only during the live performance you can notice some truly bright moments, that will characterize the artists and the gist of what they do. In fact, working with an artist in a studio setting is actually much more challenging. You can't simply place an artist in a white room and tell him - "go ahead, dance".

What exactly made you chose the performance shooting? After all the photography has other more lucrative fields of application.

It all depends on your definition of «success». Photography – is, indeed, something that captivates my imagination. And I can tell you, that when I'm doing my favorite thing, I never perceive this as working. Beside which, the performances are one of few things that I'm truly fascinated by as well. Every time I decided to chose a new direction for myself, I ultimately succeed in achieving my goals. For example, when I've decided to start working with stars in the music industry, I've simply approached several record labels and offered them my services. Then I've switched to working with famous chef cooks, helping them to illustrate their recipe books. These days the gastronomical photography is my second biggest passion I have...

What can you suggest to the photographers that are just starting out?

The best advice I can give - learn from your own mistakes. Look carefully at what you weren't able to achieve, and try to understand exactly why it didn't happen. And of course you have to learn how to be quick to be able to capture the image you've just envisioned a second ago in your mind. All this does comes with experience.

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