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Monday, October 5, 2015

Meet Lee Cohen-Coles, Photographer

Lee Cohen-Coles is a fashion photographer who has photographed celebrities and models, and worked in advertising in Europe and the United States. For more information check out http://leecohencoles.com or follow Lee on Instagram.

1. How did you get started in your career as a fashion photographer?

I started nine years ago in London. I literally just started to take photos straight away. I learned as I went along, shooting friends in London. It progressed more into portraits and fashion, and the rest is history.

2. When you do an advertising shoot, how do you balance what the company is looking for with your personal vision for what would make a good image?

Usually if a client books me, it's because they are already like my vision and energy--therefore, it's not an issue for me to get my ideas across. However, advertising can be difficult if there are many decision makers. Then the ideas can get confused. It's my job to keep it fresh and original where possible. There is no point making work that does not push us as creatives.

3. When shooting portraits, how do you bring out the personality of the subject?

Portraits are my favorite time to shoot. I usually talk to get to know my subject--what makes them tick?  A lot of my subjects often tell me that having their portrait taken is not easy for them, and they become shy or don't know what to do. The more I chat and click away, the easier it is for them. I also try not to make it awkward with lots of assistants or lighting. Sometimes the best shots are the ones you capture once you say "it's a wrap." The subject will relax, and you often get a great shot then!

4. What are some of your favorite jobs that you've done so far?

Working with Cara Delevingne back in 2010 was great. It was for a shoot for Vice Magazine UK, but they didn't like the photos in the end. She has gone on to bigger and better things--she is a superstar now. If only Vice knew what was ahead.

5. What is your advice to people who are interested in pursuing a career in photography?

My advice is to get a camera and shoot. Keep making mistakes, and keep shooting people, all kinds of people. Perhaps pick a little project and focus on that. There is no need to waste money on a fancy camera. Any DSLR with a 50mm lens is a very good start, and you will see some amazing results. 

Oh, and avoid the kit lens. 

Thanks, Lee!

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