Interview Tobias Wortmann Photos by courtesy of Freddy Bulmer
When we first saw his portfolio, we were surprised to find out that the photographer behind all this is as young as 19: Freddy Bulmer, self-made freelance photographer from York, aiming and preparing for a career in fashion photography. We decided to find out more about him and his work.
You’re quite young for a freelance photographer. Since when did you know you would walk this way?
Ever since I was about 10. On family holidays, my dad was always happy for me to use his camera to take some snaps. Also, I used throw away cameras for as far back as I can remember, purely because they were fun to play with! So photography has always been a part of my life, and coming from a very creative family has definitely aided my progression. However, I did not decide to get serious about photography until about 2 years ago when I realised that it was something that I enjoyed doing and could be good at.
What kind of photography is your favorite, and is it your plan to go full-time some day?
I take photos of people. I do quite a lot of work with up-coming bands and musicians at the moment, and I try to be involved with as many projects as possible, whatever they may be. In the long term I would love to purely do fashion photography, but in the mean time I am happy to take on any challenge that is thrown at me.
At the moment I am working in a bar in order to save money for a photography business, and the plan is to eventually do fashion photography full time.
Did you teach yourself or did you go to any school for photography?
I have very arty parents, so I have always had a creative side and the basics of photography came to me naturally. I have tried photography courses at 2 different colleges but neither interested me or helped me to the extent that I would have liked, so I decided to give further education a miss and go it alone! I have always found that teaching myself has worked best for me.
Can you name any idols?
My main idol is Mario Testino, and I can only wish to become as successful as him. I also like Annie Leibovitz’s work; she is a very inspirational artist and has an attitude to photography that I very much admire. Quentin Tarantino is also a massive source of inspiration to me, his films always leave me full of ideas for photos. I always look out for eye-catching photos, regardless of who took them.
What was your best shoot and why?
It was one that I simply did to add to my portfolio, right after realising that fashion photography was something that I wanted to get into. Although the photos are far from amazing, the shoot was a confidence booster for me, because I saw it as a stepping-stone. One of the photographs from this shoot can be seen on my website. It is the one with a blonde girl wearing a white top and a scarf.
What was your worst shoot and what did you learn from it?
I have had one or two terrible shoots, for all sorts of reasons, but you just have to try not to feel bad about it and make sure the next shoot is more of a success!
Good preparation is the key. I don’t like to plan poses, but planning things like locations and lighting and some sort of concept/theme I find vital. I have also learned not to photograph someone just because they are your friend, but take time to find someone who can really add to the photograph.
Do you remember your first camera? What has changed since then and what does that mean for your work?
I guess my first personal camera was an EOS 400d that I got about 2 years ago, before then I used my dad’s film cameras. The camera I have now is a Nikon d90.
As I look back, I think my work has changed hugely over time. My early photos were very standard and normal but I think that I am now starting to get a slightly more unique style. However I am sure that will change and develop long into the future.
What does fashion photography mean to you? What experience do you have?
For me, fashion photography can be photography at its most creative. I like ballsy photos with an attitude, not necessarily in the ‘bad ass’ sense, but daring and new and with a unique, special feel.
I am just starting out with fashion photography, but I think that it has always had influence on my work and life. There has always been Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines laying around my house for as long as I can remember, and I always loved looking at all the perfume and label adverts in the magazines.
How do you feel about the hype around street style photography?
There are always phases that photography goes through. At the moment, street style photography is big, but there is no doubt that in the near future we will all have forgotten about it, that is just how it works. Personally I don’t aim to follow any phases too closely; I just take photos of what I feel like taking photos of.