Chimp and Butterfly
EWW: I am curious to know if someone was asked to make a comment about your work, what do you think they would say?
PAUL: That’s a hard question to answer, art is subjective and a very individual process. For me, art is anything that provokes thought or feeling so I guess I can’t say for sure how others view my work I can only hope that they feel something or some type of connection to the subject when they do.
EWW: How did you get started as a photographer?
PAUL: I started quite late in life, I picked up my first camera at the age of 30 as a birthday present to myself. I began with a little entry level DSLR, a Canon 1100D, and found myself pointing it in every direction I could think of. I spent the next year or so taking what I would call “snaps” of anything I came across, flowers, landscapes, people, animals. You name it I do it. One day after finding myself at a loss I decided to visit my local zoo and that’s where my fascination with photographing animals began. I found I was noticing similarities between human and animal behaviors and decided that was the direction I wanted to take my art.
Now here I am 6 years down the line, multiple magazine and website features, book covers, international sales and shooting with my dream Hasselblad rig. I know it’s a cliché, but I truly feel blessed to be in the position I’m in.
EWW: One of your portfolio series is black & white instead of color. What does this achieve that color would not? How do you choose whether an image should be black and white or color?
Paul: When we view an image in colour we tend to concentrate more on the colours themselves than the subject. With a monochrome or black and white image, there’s nothing to hide behind, the thing that draws the viewer to the subject is the impact it has. I feel a black and white image needs to be taken with that in mind, so you really need to concentrate on the composition and tones more so than with a colour image.
My aim is to convey feeling in all my work and sometimes the only way to get my message across is to shoot it
PAUL: My main theme that I try to retain in all my work is emotion and a human connection. As I said previously, humans and animals share many similar traits but sometimes we seem to forget that. Animals laugh, they get excited, they grieve the same as we do and that’s what I try to capture.
EWW: Do you think it is important for photographic artists to have their own website, in addition to another gallery they appear on?
PAUL: Of course, websites are fantastic tools and nowadays as an artist, you are competing against hundreds of thousands just like yourself, a website is a great way of letting people know who you are and what you can offer.
EWW: What have you experienced, as the most effective way for you to market and promote you and your work?
PAUL: I’m a big fan of social media, you have an unlimited audience, everybody is on social media now from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter, you name it people use it. It’s a platform that opens the doors to millions of potential clients, you just can’t get that type of exposure anywhere else.
PAUL: Yes, I’m an avid social media user, as I said there are millions of people looking at social media pages every minute of the day so for me, it’s a no-brainer. I have found the best platforms for me have been Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
EWW: Just to wrap up this interview, do you have any final thoughts about you and your work that you think would be important for others to know about?
PAUL: My aim is to capture my subjects in such a way that it reminds the viewer how closely related we are to our animal counterparts. If a viewer can look at one of my pieces and feel something or say to themselves “Yeah, I get that “then I feel I’ve done my subjects justice and that’s the most important thing to me.