LIVING·SHOOTING–The living circumstance
of British photographers
生活·攝影——英國攝影師生存現狀


As photographers living and working in London, we have been being engaged in commercial photography for all these years. While managing our studio, we have the chance to meet various photographers and photography related agencies
and organizations. And ART.ZIP is providing such a great opportunity for us to talk about the development and current status of the photography industry, and the circumstance of current British photographers.

I was studying fine arts and found great interest in technology and photography. Approximately ten years ago, when I was still studying at university, it was a time when photography mingled with technology, and the start of its rapid development. As I have long been interested in both art and photography, I went to university to study photography at a professional level.

After graduation, I did not start a photography career straight away, but engaged in an office work, which I quickly quit. Eventually I got back to what I really loved, photography. In the UK, there are mainly two ways to start a photography career. One is to be an assistant of established photographers to learn relevant knowledge and gain work experience; the other is to start as a freelance photographer. Neither of them is an easy choice. One has to fight to fulfil the dream, and at the same time to find the way to make ends meet. We are quite fortunate to know a lot of fashion professionals while working, who gave me my first job, and set me on the right foot in the industry since then.

作為在倫敦工作生活的攝影師,我們這些年來 一直在從事商業攝影,在經營我們自己的攝影 工作室的過程當中,接觸了很多形形色色的攝 影師以及攝影相關的機構和組織,這次正好能 有這麼一個機會通過ART.ZIP這個平台來和大 家聊一聊攝影產業的發展和現狀,以及當下英 國攝影師的生存狀態。

我以前是學美術的,自己對科技和攝影都非常 感興趣,當我上大學的時候也就是差不多十年 前,正是攝影技術與數碼科技相結合并開始飛 速發展的時期,由於我一直對藝術與科技的結 合非常感興趣,於是便在大學階段選擇了攻讀 攝影專業。

後來,畢業以後其實我并沒有直接開始做攝影, 而是從事了別的行業,不過很快我就決定放棄 朝九晚五的辦公室生活,做回我自己喜歡的攝 影。在英國,開始攝影師生涯一般有兩種方式, 一種是給其他的從業攝影師做助理,學習相關 的產業知識和積累工作經驗;另外一種就是直 接開始做自由攝影師,這兩種都是非常辛苦的, 一方面要堅持自己的理想,同時也要想辦法支 付自己的生活費用。我們算是比較幸運的,由於 工作的關係,結識了很多時裝界的人士,從他們 那裡我接到了第一單的生意,從此也就正式進 入了這個行業。

In my opinion, photography is supposed to be a career with actual functionality. But with the development of technology, it is very easy for people to get the images or photographs they want. Therefore, the demand for images and the number of photographers are unbalanced. The number of photographers has greatly exceeded the demand. So I think it is a great opportunity now to discuss contemporary photography and the industry, to explore the difference of “photography” and “photograph taking”.

In this issue, we will introduce some outstanding photographers and their works to let everyone get an initial general understanding of the historical development of photography. We also take this opportunity to express our respect to those great masters. Then follows interviews with a selection of highly representative British photographers, who represent the decently quiet side of contemporary British photography. Different from many of those photographers who establish themselves through the alike celebrity promotions, the photographers we interview here are the ones only dedicated themselves to their works, not in favour of fame. I assume
in the future there will probably be fewer and fewer of such photographers, as more and more attention will be drawn
to those easily noticeable celebrity photographers. Thus
it is necessary to share the stories of these fundamental photography devotees, to restore the essence of this industry.

在我看來,攝影本來應該是一個職業,一個具 有實際功能的職業,但隨著科技的發展,人們 可以非常容易的獲得他們所想要的圖片或者 照片,所以在對圖片的需求量和攝影師數量之 間的配比已經失衡,攝影師的數量已經大大超 過了需求量,因此我覺得現在也是一個非常好 的時機來描繪一下當下攝影和攝影產業的一個 狀態,來探討一下“攝影”與“拍照”之間概念的不同。

在這期專題裡面,我們先是給大家展示了在攝 影史上一些傑出攝影師和他們的作品,讓大家 對攝影的發展歷程有個直觀和概括的了解,當 然也是藉此機會對大師們表達我們的敬意,後 面我們挑選并採訪了幾個極富代表性的英國攝 影師,他們展現了當下英國攝影非常沉靜的一 面,因為當下很多攝影師都是通過像炒作明星 一樣的套路來包裝自己,與他們不同,我們採訪 的這幾位攝影師都是在業界兢兢業業的工作, 不屑於獲得虛名卻著力于做好自己本職的一群 攝影人。在我看來,這樣的攝影師可能以後會越來越少,因為更多的目光都會被吸引到那些光 環閃耀的明星“攝影師”那裡去了。我覺得很有 必要來分享這些真正在做“攝影”工作的從業者 的故事,來還原這個行業的本質屬性。