When you start out wanting to be a rock star but end up being a photographer you could say that your ambition in life has been thwarted but it rather seems to me that in the case of Paul Hughes (our speaker this October recounting his Journey into Photography) that he had photography thrust upon him.
Having always had a strong aesthetic sense Paul seems to have been in the right place at the right time – that being a Kodak lab at Moulton Park when a Daily Mail photographer asked him if he could load a Mamiya RB67 – and he ‘winged it’ to land a job as his assistant.
This led to travelling the world on various assignments and continuing to learn the tricky business of photographing things whenever and wherever.
Paul shows an amazing sense of detail and planning in his approach to his work as everything he does is shot on location with portable studio equipment but often he has planned out what to do in advance with regard to the distance and power of his lighting.
One of his top clients is The Guinness Book of Records so he has been asked to photograph some pretty weird and wonderful things, often just in a car park outside but you would never guess it from the results.
He laments that while he has met some celebrities in his work he hasn’t really got to know them as it has been a quick handshake, get the shot and move on. He has however sometimes spent a little more time with some real rock stars mainly through his work with amplifier manufacturers such as Blackstar who set up in Northampton and Paul wasted little time in approaching them with his desire to photograph their kit.
Most annoyingly Paul seems to be a thoroughly decent and easy going chap with no big ego about him. Perhaps if he had become a rock star that might not be the case but as it is if you are a rock star and want your picture taken quickly and professionally then Paul Hughes is your man.