Matt Darlington is a creative commercial photographer from Cirencester in the UK. When we checked out Matt’s creative shots with a unique edge we were really keen to share some of his work with you. Despite Matt’s current commitments, working on a creative project with Dior and Selfridges we were really happy when he agreed to be interviewed by Urbanity Chic. Read on to find out about, amongst other things, which fashion designers he is inspired by, what he’s recently been working on and what he’s hoping to achieve over the next 12 months.
Q: How did you get into professional photography?
I got in to it just from having a love of photography, it’s something I have always enjoyed and still do when I’m working. I can’t think of anything better to do in life than doing some thing I enjoy each day.
Q: What do you enjoy most photographing?
There not just one thing I enjoy photographing. I enjoy everything to do with creating an image. I like to have a change every so often to keep things fresh. With fashion photography, I enjoy meeting new people, working with them and their ideas. Also seeing some of the new stuff designers come up with is really exciting.
Q: How has the last 12 months been for you?
The last 12 months have been crazy! I started getting more of my work out and started to get spotted more. The other major thing over the last 12 months would be my internship with Rankin. That was the hardest, most painful and difficult few months I have done, but enjoyed every part of it and learnt so much. It was non-stop and always had to be ready to go. I had to do some crap jobs during it, but also had to do some amazing stuff too.
Since then I have been working on more fashion shoots.
Q: Who inspires you?
There isn’t one person that inspires me; many people inspire me. It could be someone I’ve just met or a family member. It depends on what I’m thinking about and what project I’m working on.
Q: Which modern day fashion designers or fashion icons do you look up to?
I love Kate Moss. She is great fashion icon. Maybe not in her personal life, but what she does with fashion is amazing. I’m a big fan of the ‘Cool Britannia’ and she’s the queen of it! A lot of the stuff she does has a British vibe and it’s what I like to do with my own work too. When I was doing my internship with Rankin I did get to meet her.
Q: What makes a good photographer in your opinion?
It’s important to try to get what you’re thinking out in the photo. Don’t just snap and think that will do, but try your best to always get whatever you saw before you took the photo. A good photographer will always be able to portray how they saw the world the moment the shot was taken.
Q: Do you prefer using film cameras or digital?
I always use digital now. It’s easier and a lot faster. However, I have been playing about with film recently. It’s been interesting to go back to it and having to wait for the outcome of a shoot.
Q: Do you prefer to shoot on location or in the studio?
I enjoy both. The studio is more relaxing as you know where everything is and what’s going to happen to some degree. When you’re on location it all becomes a bit more fun, rebuilding areas for the glam squad to work from, where to do the photos and no-one’s ever to sure what the weather will do. It’s all good fun!
Q: Do you have any interesting stories about a particular photo shoot you’d like to share?
A shoot I did not too long ago was a nightmare, but it all ended up great. It started when I had to pick up one of the models from London the night before the shoot. Just as I got there, some one from the location where I was meant to be doing the shoot the next day had to cancel! I went mental and emailed everyone I knew to find a good location.
After an hour I had an email back and ended up booking Ollie Proudlock’s mums house! All was fine, and then one of the other models cancelled, again a ring round and all sorted. Then at 11pm the hairstyles cancelled, could not believe my luck! By 12am I had every thing sorted and ready for the shoot the next day. The shoot went really well and ended up with some of my best stuff.
Q: Do you have a specific style of photography that makes you unique?
I think most of my style is done in postproduction. When I shoot I will try to set the lighting up so it’s low lit and I use a single studio flash as a spot. I do like to get some sort of Brit feel in my photos, with props or colour tones.
Q: Do you have a favourite photograph?
Of my own photos it’s the stag’s head photo I did. It was the start of my following and was when I started to get spotted more.
With regard to other photographers’ work, I really enjoy the series of work called Jesus is my homeboy, by David LaChapelle. They are a great mix of being dark and daring.
Q: Who is your favourite photographer?
Apart from Rankin that I did my internship with, I really enjoy Tim Walker’s work. He creates some crazy and amazing work that’s always looks so simple and at the same time really complicated.
Q: Is there anybody you would like to work with (either behind or in front of the camera)?
I would love to do a shoot with Lilly Cole. She has such a great look.
Q: What does fashion mean to you?
It’s a day-to-day thing; I always like to make sure I look good. Fashion is a personal thing as well, what one-person likes you may not, so wear what you think looks great.
Q: How would you define your personal style?
I like the mix of smart and rough look. I often wear a smart suit jacket with an old t-shirt, good quality jeans and old work boots. The old military jackets you see in some of my photos are mine and often wear them out. They do stand out a bit.
Q: Where are you based?
I’m based in Cirencester.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
It’s a small Cotswold town. Its nice small area that has a lot of great locations for photo shoots. I often have to go to London for some of my photo shoots, but mostly working from Cirencester
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
One of my highlights was when I got a call from Pete Doherty and was invited to his home to do a series of photos.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in the future?
I’m hoping to do a book of my work, would love to see it on everyone’s coffee table.
Q: What do you do to relax?
What I do I find relaxing? The build up of a shoot is stressful, but when shooting itself I’m relaxed and happy. Always on shoots I have people that are friends and I have worked with a few times, so it’s always good fun and can’t think of any thing better.
Q: Where would your favourite holiday (vacation) be and why?
Each year I go to Fort William in Scotland. I go there during the winter when they have snow so I can snowboard Nevis. The views are amazing and never get tired of them. Also they have great whiskey up there.
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
I have a really mix of stuff. I have Ed Sheeran, Lana Del Rey and Skrillex. A good random mix, I do have some older stuff on there too and my guilty pleasures as well.
Q: Do you have any interesting hobbies?
When I have not got a camera in my hand I enjoy snowboarding, mountain boarding and land boarding. Basically any thing I can strap a board to my feet and go either downhill or be dragged by a kite. You get some fantastic views from some of the places. You have to go to do it.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
I like to think of an idea and see it come real for everyone to see. I’ll come up with the basics of my photos in my head and find it hard to explain to people. So when they finally see the finished photo they then get to see what I was on about.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
If you like to see more of my work, please check out my website.
Editor’s Note: Matt Darlington takes creative chances to make some really appealing Avant-garde inspired shots. Definitely one of Urbanity Chic’s photographers to watch!
If you’d like to contact Matt Darlington or check out more of his impressive portfolio of work just follow the links below:
Twitter link: http://twitter.com/#!/mattdarlinphoto
Web page link: http://www.mattdarlingtonphotos.co.uk