This week we sat down to speak with one of Ireland's top photographers, Alex Hutchinson, to talk all about the exciting Irish photography industry, his career and jetting around the world for fashion shoots.
How did you first get into the industry? I didn’t initially set out to get into fashion photography to be honest, I just loved taking photographs of people and over time my work with various designers & models was noticed by others in the industry, which helped push my career in this direction. My work was never about the fashion, it was always about the person in front of me. Just simple realistic images with a strong story behind it.
Can you describe a typical work day? One of the best things about my job is that there is no “typical day”. Every shoot is different and every day has something new and exciting. I’ve started to travel a lot more with my work which amazing - last week I was in the Austrian Alps for a 4 day shoot, then as soon as I arrived back to Dublin I was off again for a 3 day campaign in Donegal. There are then obviously slower days that involve organising locations, emailing clients and editing digital images.
What motivates you? What motivates me is the constant battle to create something better every time I pick up the camera. I have always been a competitive person and my biggest rivalry is with myself. I feel I am learning something constantly, and I take what I learn on each shoot and adapt it to the next. Also having a wife who is creative is a massive help, she is brilliant and keeping me on the straight and narrow and helps with all my concept ideas.
How do you integrate social media into your role career as a fashion stylist/creative?
Social media is a really important part of any creatives career, as the general public move more towards reading articles and looking at shoots online it’s become imperative that I update my Instagram or Facebook page as often as possible..... but to be honest sometimes I thinks it’s all bullshit. Every few years there’s some new social app or platform that we should all join or be left behind – it’s a pointless race for online fame that really doesn't mean anything in the end. I think in the end talent speaks for itself and it’s more about getting some one on board who can bring a new idea and push a brand in a better direction visually.
What has been your biggest career achievement to date? My biggest career achievement to date is just having clients hire me for my style not because I own a camera. Being able to travel the world with my job is a pretty amazing achievement too.
Have you any advice for people thinking of entering the industry? Some advice for people looking to enter the industry is to practice every single day, try new lenses, different cameras, get to grips with what style suits your personality and develop that. Don't compete with others, find what’s uniquely yours and focus on it, find something to be obsessed with and then obsess over it. Take your knowledge of photography and adapt it to your life - no matter how boring you think your life is there is always something unique that you have over others.
Is there anyone that influenced you to take this career path?
My influences have been people like Ryan McGinley, Tamara Lichtenstein, Tim Barber, Jason Lee Parry, all of these photographers have helped me stay motivated to shoot. I do love getting lost on Flickr and finding some amazing amateur photographers.
Where do you hope to see yourself / your business in 5 years?
There is no solid 5 year plan, I just want to keep shooting and developing my own skills and style. I have a number of projects in the works but they will take about a year or two until completion. I don't look at myself as a business, I’m an image maker first and a business second. If I concentrate on making myself a better photographer then I will grow as a business.
What is your pet peeve about working in the industry?
Having too many people on a shoot all with different ideas. For me having a small crew on shoots allows myself and the model to connect and make something that works for the client in the end.
What do you do to relax and unwind after a long days work?
Recently I have been working so much that my relaxing time after work is bed. But sometimes when I get home after a shoot I would read, or lay down and listen to music. The new Tame Impala album is amazing by the way, go check it out if you get a chance.
Keep up to date with Alex's work and get in touch with him if you'd like to book him for a shoot.