We've been having a great time visiting the UK this summer. We have Fanni Williams of Fubumedia in our series today. Fanni has an amazing background as a graphic designer which definitely lends an eye toward the fresh, creative flair she displays in her work. At one time Fanni was an aspiring ice skater. But fate intervened and she found her way into the creative world. An avid foodie, maybe one day she will mix her love of food photography with portraits. What would that be? Herewith, our interview with Fanni!
Your Name: Fanni Williams
Your Name: Fanni Williams
Your studio/business name: Fanni Williams Photography/Fubumedia
Location: London, United Kingdom
In 50 words or less, how would your clients describe your photography?
Creative, fun and fresh.
Are you self-taught or classroom trained?
A bit of both really. I studied film photography for a short time while at university but then graduated with an Honors Degree in graphic design. In 2007, I bought my first DSLR with the intention of taking better photos but only in the last year have I really reignited my passion for the art and signed up to do a Diploma in Photography via an online course.
As a graphic designer, I’ve spent many years looking through image libraries, searching for the right photos to work with magazine features and believe this has given me a great eye to instinctively know what does and does not work. I consider myself very lucky that I can take elements from my design training and channel it straight through into my photography.
Where do you want to take your photography business in 5 years?
Ideally, I would love to do photography full time, mainly capturing the beauty, emotion and the connection between people, especially at weddings. But I also enjoy shooting food and would love to photograph recipes for a cookbook one day. I do, however, still love to design so I think there will always be something I will be designing alongside my photography.
Is there a photographer who inspires your style? Who would that be?
There are several photographers whose work I really admire at the moment. Annie Leibovitz (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annie_Leibovitz) for her portrait work, she creates the most amazing lifestyle fine art portraits, that for me closely resemble oil paintings from the renaissance. I enjoy looking at Tim Walker’s (http://www.timwalkerphotography.com/) work for his vivid imagination. He creates the most fascinating and visually quirky images. I also really enjoy the work of Rankin (http://rankin.co.uk/home/) for his use of colour and motion in both his fashion and beauty photography. There are also quite a few photographers whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and who inspire me to push myself to achieve better every day! From the likes of Chloé Browne (http://caughtthelight.com/) & Kirsten Mavric (http://kirstenmavric.co.uk/blog/) for the beautifully captured narrative of their work to the wonderful awesomeness of Nate & Jaclyn (http://www.theblogisfound.com/) and Steve Gerrard. (http://stevegerrardphotography.com/blog/) (plus there’s so many more).
Favorite location to take photos?
I love to shoot outdoors using natural light, though I haven’t found my ideal location yet. I love the idea of tall grass, big open fields and rustic country houses but I equally like the look and feel of modern structures, big empty warehouses and bare concrete buildings. I guess it would depend on the mood and style of the shoot at the time.
Favorite vacation spot?
I haven’t been on a vacation for a very long time, but I’ve always wanted to go to Scandinavia. I love their architecture, style and approach to design and textiles. From what I have seen in many travel guides, it would be an amazing place to just wonder around taking photographs. Not to mention a visit to see the northern lights would be a must.
What was the pivotal moment when you decided to become a photographer?
I’ve been a freelance graphic designer in magazine publishing for about 10 years now and whilst I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work on a variety of publications across the globe, I’d been yearning for my own creative vision to be fulfilled. Being creative for others is always great, but in the last year or so I’ve felt the need to explore my own ideas and by capturing them through the medium of photography, I feel that I am well on my way to achieving this.
What’s the best marketing tip that has worked for you?
As I’m only just setting up my photography business, I can only speak from my design background. The best marketing tip that’s worked for me is…word of mouth. If you do what you do and you do it well, people will want your services. Once they know the quality you offer, they will ask you back time and time again.
Favorite print lab?
I haven’t used very many labs yet but I am pretty impressed with the results I just got back from theprintspace. http:www.theprintspace.co.uk
Are you Canon or Nikon (or – other):
I shoot with a Canon 5D MKII camera
If you could only have one lens on a photo shoot, what would it be?
My 50mm. It is absolutely dreamy for portraits.
What brand bag do you carry your camera in?
At the moment, I carry everything in a camera bag that I made myself. It’s a padded over the shoulder bag, with two pockets in the front for all the little bits like cards and batteries and of course my iPhone. Though I’ve just taken the plunge and ordered a shootsac… come on deliveryman!!!
What gear would we find in your camera bag?
I have a 50mm f1.4, 35mm f2, 24-70mm L series f2.8; I also hire lenses, as I need them for different shoots. I have a 580 EXII flashgun, extra batteries and several flash cards.
Are you a natural light fan or strobe fan?
Natural light all the way! But I have signed up to do a workshop that focuses on using flash in a creative way so I look forward to learning all that flash can offer too.
Are you PC or Mac?
I’ve been using a Mac since my uni days. I bought my first "Graphite" Power Mac G4 second hand when I was 19 and have owned several Mac’s and other apple products ever since.
What post processing tools do you use?
I initially download all the images from my card into Lightroom 3 where I may make some minor adjustments if needed then export them and finish the processing using Totally Rad Actions in Photoshop
Do you shoot in Raw or Jpeg?
I always shoot in RAW, it captures such amazing detail that it’s totally worth the massive file size.
Best advice you would give your 20-year old self?
Don’t be afraid to take a chance. We’re all unique and talented in our own way and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Best advice you would give a new photographer?
Keep learning, keep absorbing information, channel your ideas into actions and make them happen. Set up your own shoots, meet people in the industry and keep pushing yourself to that next level.* *note to self.
What site do you use for your photography and why?
At the moment I am using posterous to host my blog, but I am looking at launching a professional portfolio site either through ShowIt or Wordpress and a ProPhoto blog to accompany it. I love to see my images displayed as big as they can be on the web because they have so much more power to communicate what’s been captured.
What Else Should We Know?
What would surprise people most about you, whether it is photography related or not?
That I used to figure skate on ice for 5 years and almost….almost made it… lol but not quite… we moved!
Tell us something else you’d like us to know:
And Just Because we want to know you, kindly fill in the blanks –
Three things I can’t live without….My husband, my camera and my iPhone
I wish I had more…..Like many have said before me… Time… there is just not enough of it in a day.
The best thing about being a photographer is…Being able to capture the moments that mean so much to people.
The most important lesson I ever learned was….Only you can make things happen, no one else is going to do it for you.
My favorite time of day is…Every minute I get to spend with my Hubs.
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