Friday, October 5, 2007

Steve Wells Photography: A Kiwi in Paris

Photographer Steve Wells is living out a dream. He was born in Zambia, moved to New Zealand when he was 10 and then crossed over to Australia in 2001 where he worked as a musician and then a professional photographer. But in Sydney in 2006, the Kiwi fell in love with a French woman – "at a pyjama party" – and therefore, France, where he moved less than a year ago.

"For a number of years I had been thinking of exploring France and Europe, so i decided to sell everything, and come too. After a few months in Lyon with family, we moved to Paris," says Wells. "I love it here, there is a gritty energy I adore."

Wells has spent years shooting fashion, film stills, music/club documentaries and has just arrived in Paris, ready to take on the Gallic capital. Lalande is helping Steve put together his marketing portfolio, printing up cards and other materials to help him hit the ground running.

The photographer is currently working on Paris, but avoiding classic tourist spots, and attempting to see Paris from a new point of view. A tall order as Paris is one of the most photographed cities on the planet. But Wells does have a fresh take. His photos of Rikka, a dancer, in Lyon is but one example (above). "We had the luxury of time for this particular shoot," he says. "We played with red - lipstick, shoes, a towel, a tomato. She was staying in a great apartment in lyon, so we explored the space, and with minimal direction, I simply documented what I saw. This is one of my favorite images from the shoot." Another fashion shot of raw coffee on a model's lips makes you want to rush for the expresso bar! (below, right).

Lalande asked Steve about the basics for shooting digital these days. Here's the Steve Wells Bible:

1. Get it right in camera: Use a grey card for the color temperature, clean your sensor & clean the image before you take it.
2. Always shoot raw, it's the most flexible format. 3. Push the exposure, there is more information recorded by the sensor in the 'bright half'. 4. Don't spend too much of your shooting time looking at the preview. Once you are happy with the levels, etc, get on with shooting - like you used to with film. 5. Most important: Always always back up your work. I have 40 gigabyes of photos sitting in a corrupted disc. That's 40 gigabytes of nudes, portraits, an entire trip through New Zealand... Can anyone help? Contact : Steve Wells.

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