With a little help from Instagram, Dean Martindale’s photography career has grown rapidly over the past few years. After taking the plunge into the freelance world, he used a true passion for his craft to push his work out there and now shoots regularly with brands such as Adidas, Coach and Puma. We caught up with Dean to reflect on his journey so far and find out what advice he has for aspiring photographers. Follow our Instagram page where he will be taking over this week to share his favourite shots.
You worked in retail before making the move into photography. What was it that made you decide to pick up a camera and start taking this seriously?
With working in retail I’ve always been interested in how brands portray their lookbook and styling. Also, being an avid reader of certain sites such as Hypebeast and Complex, the photography element of brands caught my eye.
What was the most challenging thing about starting a career in photography?
The main challenge is keeping motivated and to never stop knocking on doors. But passion creates drive so I was determined to do my best to make this transition work.
You began working with well known brands quite soon into your career. How did you make this happen?
I have had a bit of luck with brands coming to me wanting to work with me which I’m very grateful for. I would say that I never stop taking photos and have constant content on my social media channels. I guess I thought that I need to get into peoples heads and work hard at this to make a name for myself.
Photography is a constant learning curve. I’ll never reach the top as I’m always chasing that. That’s the fun in it.
Has social media been important to the growth of you career?
It’s been huge. Instagram has been a great platform for me to get my work out to the masses in an instant hit.
Do you think London is a good place to be based as a photographer?
London has changed me completely. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. Being surrounded by so much talent and so many like minded people has given me such a drive. There’s a lot of creativity in the city and I’m constantly inspired.
What advice would you give to young photographers trying to get noticed in this competitive industry?
Work hard at your craft. Never stop and try and push out your best content. Networking is also key.
Do you have any techniques you swear by when taking a portrait?
I like to make the subject feel at ease. Have a laugh with them, get to know them. I go off feeling. I feel most comfortable letting the subject be natural and do their thing. That’s when I get the best out of them.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Music mainly. The style of music I listen to changes on a daily basis so I guess it’s the mood of music I’m listening to. It can influence what I want to shoot or even how I edit. I also gain inspiration from other photographers. Instagram is a great source for this as there’s so much great talent out there. Inspiration is everywhere.
What makes a good photograph to you?
Getting that buzz off a shot. There’s not a better feeling than when you get that exact shot. You could take a thousand more after and you could never reach that shot you already had. Being in the moment and getting lost also leads to some of my best work.
Is expensive equipment essential to start a career in photography?
If you have a good eye for it then you can take a good picture on an iPhone. As time has gone on I have upgraded my equipment and I feel it helps me hugely as I’m confident in the gear that I’m working with and it never lets me down.
What do you hope to achieve with your photography in the future?
Photography is a constant learning curve. I’ll never reach the top as I’m always chasing that. That’s the fun in it. I hope to be working on bigger campaigns and I want to improve my skills in studio photography.
Written by: Amie Galbraith