We’re honored to bring you this interview with Visual Flow Ambassador, Paul Williams out of Manchester, UK.
How long have you been a photographer? What got you started?
“Officially” Four years since I went full time. I studied film/photography at college/University. I started off in the TV/Film industry and after a friend asked me to shoot his wedding I went from there.
How did you establish and define your shooting and editing style?
I never really looked at many photographers for inspo in the early days and shot a lot on instinct and what I felt looked good. After being booked by a few DOP’s in the film industry and a creative director who all described my style as “cinematic” I took that and leaned on it in my editing style, the way I approach a wedding and the kinds of stories I tell.
How do you differentiate yourself from the photographer down the street?
My film background has helped me create frames that look like they have been pulled right out of a movie.
What is the best part about being a photographer?
My clients and other photographers. I have been so lucky to have met, worked with and socialised with some incredible people. The places this job has taken me and the people are without a doubt the best parts of being a photographer.
What is the most challenging part of being a photographer?
Can I say culling? No but seriously, workflow. Getting that right is a working progress. It all starts with how you shoot, cull, edit, store your RAWS, how you store your RAWS and how you deliver. Always changing and adapting.
Who are some of your favorite photographers?
My good friend Damian Brandon is up there. Great guy and his work is incredible. Mairéad from Remain in Light – I love that she’s so so good at nailing every aspect of a wedding and does it so well. Inspiring. Last one would be Craig Whitehead who is a street photographer. I love how he creates visual masterpieces from everyday life. His work is unreal.
What are your sources of photography inspiration?
Dropped – Independent cycling magazine. Great stories, stunning photography. Magazine B which focuses on brands and their identity, again a great read and always such fantastic photography. There’s a book shop local to me in Manchester (NQ) called UNITOM that’s where I find the majority of my inspo.
What do you think your keys to success are in this industry?
Community over competition. I know it’s cliche but get a network of awesome people around you and you can’t go wrong. I have some of the best folk in the industry a phone call away for advice or a beer. It’s invaluable. Oh and stretch before/after you shoot (trust me on this one)
What advice would you give someone wanting to learn how to edit in Lightroom?
See what workshops are out there for post production. Custom presets are key for starting out and building your style + youtube. Peter McKinnon is a great resource.
How has the Visual Flow Preset system changed your workflow?
It’s simplified and sped up my process without overcomplicating what I already had in place.
Find your style, find a system (camera, workflow, post) that works for you and be organised from day 1 (accountant, insurance, CRM ie studio ninja) and enjoy it. Don’t let yourself overthink what you need to do on the day – shoot the way you want to shoot, be creative and have fun.