Interview With Commercial Photographer Alex Wallace

*This class was recorded live & now available for replay.*

In this live photography talk show Karl is joined by top commercial and industrial photographer Alex Wallace. The pair discuss Alex’s career as well as review a selection of members work and take a light-hearted look at the latest industry news.

Alex shares his experience moving to New Zealand and setting up his photography business from scratch. In just eight years he’s built a successful business, shooting a variety of campaigns and projects for a number of globally recognised clients, from the All Blacks rugby team to Audi and major industrial firms.

Alex, who predominantly uses speedlites for much of his work on location, reveals how he brings out the best in what many would perceive as ordinary scenes, the thought process behind his more creative portrait images, his experimentation with LEDs and his love for landscape images. Karl also chats to Alex about his techniques for location lighting and how he won the Geographic Landscape Photographer of the Year Award.

Topics covered in this live photography talk show:

  • Starting and maintaining a successful photography business
  • Marketing yourself and your business
  • The art of industrial photography
  • Using speedlites on location
  • Photographing with LEDs
  • Working with clients & understanding the brief

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments box below.

Links:
www.alexwallace.co.nz

Comments

  1. It’s interesting to hear about Nikon’s woes but I’m curious about your perception of where Hasselblad is headed. It’s been a few years since they have produced a new camera and 35mm DSLR’s are becoming more and more competitive with MF and Phase has a lot of bells and whistles which always market well. How does their future look?

    1. Hi Loop1, I think Hasselblad are in a very strong position. They are owned by a hugely profitable billion dollar company, the X1D and X1Dii have been very successful for them, so much so that they can buy 50mp sensors from Sony at much better prices than Phase because of the quantities. I don’t know of any more ‘features’ that Phase offer but if they’re just fluff they are largely irrelevant to pro users, we just need manual control and it to tether. Medium format cameras like the H6 haven’t really changed much since the H1 they are essentially manually operated tools for studio use and have many options for component use such as Tilt and Shift, technical camera attachments, various viewfinders and a good choice of lenses. The H6100 is the best camera I’ve ever shot on but they could do with re-working some of the lenses to match the quality of the sensor and avoid any diffraction issues that start occurring at f16 with the 100mp but in saying that I still find their lenses better than the Phase ones. I think the problem is that the top pro end market is shrinking which could cause a problem for both companies but I’d expect if any were to sink it would be Phase first as Hasselblad have other areas of profitability and good business with the X1Dii and strong financial backing as well as other new joint venture. My other guess is any upgrade we see to the H line won’t be until after all this covid thing has gone away and we may unfortunately find more push towards mirrorless even at the pro end but who knows! Personally I’d be very happy continuing with the H6100 but with the lens line up being optimised for the 100mp sensor and a new 90mm Macro lens. 35mm cameras have got better and better, I’ve got some very good Sony 35mm cameras and lenses but they are fiddly to work with on product and still life shoots and they still don’t have the silkyness of look to the files as medium format. Of course not everyone notices the last 10-20% difference in quality or find it worth paying for but as long as I can continue for the next 10 years with what I’ve got i’d be happy. If anything I’d consider switching to a technical view camera like a Sinar, Linhof etc and putting my 100mp back on that and then use Rodenstock lenses.

  2. I enjoyed hearing Alex’s story on how he started his business. If you want it bad enough, you’ll get out of your comfort zone and do it. Contacting agencies. Start with one and then another. Thank you Karl!

    1. Hi This was by Laurent Ballesta but I can’t remember the name of the documentary you can probably find it on his Youtube channel.

  3. Maybe you could do a show using some of the more economical lighting options that are available. It would be good to see if they are any good for beginners or is it worth saving up and buying some better quality gear.

    1. Hi Peter, in Light Source on the ‘portrait’ section I stuck to using Siros mono heads which are my favourite mono heads, but many of the lighting setups could have been accomplished with alternative heads or even speedlites in some cases, it’s the modifiers that were needed for some of the shots but you can often fit these modifiers onto different brand lights.

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