Case study

Professional photographer — David Lineton

David's love of photography led to him pursuing the BA Commercial Photography at Arts University Bournemouth, before going on to set up his London studio

How did you get your job as a photographer?

I studied photography at school and also did it as a hobby, finding I had a real passion for it. I then studied commercial photography at university, where I could hone my craft as a commercial still life photographer.

To begin with, I assisted photographers while I was also shooting some editorial content myself. This was a great way to learn about life as a professional photographer. I also picked up retouching work, figuring out when to save time and fix in post-production and when to address it in camera.

What's a typical day like?

On a shoot day, I start with a coffee and a playlist of songs. I like to get into the studio several hours before the clients turn up - to get ready for the day and finish off tasks, as I find my mornings are more productive.

Once the client arrives, we often have a quick catch-up about the day ahead, and we then get going. Working in my own studio, I have all the tools I need to hand. It's like having a really large kit bag with you all the time.

What do you enjoy most about being a photographer?

I get to work with brilliant brands, collaborating with stylists and set designers, and being entrusted with capturing products/creatives according to the brief agreed with clients.

What are the challenges?

You need to stay current in a social media-obsessed, instantaneous world where content is everywhere. It's about innovating, constantly staying nimble and having your finger on the pulse.

Also, there's sometimes the danger of overcommitting to make sure you get the job done.

How has your career developed and what are your ambitions?

I would say it's been a constantly evolving career so far. As social media has become more prominent, I've tried to find ways to bring photographs to life, through video, stop motion and cinematography.

I don't think I will ever have a destination, but working with brands that I admire has always been a pivotal part of my drive. For example, I love everything about Apple products. So, to shoot a new product for an Apple campaign would be a career highlight for me.

Another ambition is to make sure the excitement of being a photographer stays with me - when a client reaches out with a great project, that feeling is addictive.

Why's it important to join a professional body and network with others in the industry?

With lots of talent out there, it's important to affiliate yourself with established bodies - to be represented.

And collaboration with other professionals is vital, because two ideas are always better than one.

What are your top three tips for becoming a photographer?

  • Passion - Having a good eye for images is obviously important, but passion can't be faked. It has to be there and must be nurtured.
  • Commitment - Make sure you're always committed to everything you do as a professional, and make sure you never under-deliver.
  • Self-belief - There are lots of highs and lows when it comes to being a photographer, including pitching for work, operating on social media and the general stresses of running a business. But keep in mind that you have a creative voice and a purpose, and trust that sharing work you love will allow you to be a successful photographer - one that people admire and want to work with.

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