Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Photographer of The Day: Simon Le
Often when I profile a photographer, I like to focus on one subject, or one model. In the case of the wonderful Simon Le, I chose model Khan Porter. Of course in Simon's case I could not narrow it down completely, so had to add a part 2.
The Model: Khan Porter
Like Simon, Khan also hails from Sydney, New South Wales Australia. After becoming one of the top 6 finalist for Men's Health Magazine's 'Man of the Year' in early 2009 and appearing in both the March and April issues, decided to give modeling a try. I would say that was a wise decision for the 20 year old. Besides his love of sports and experience in both acting and singing, there is something simply likable about Khan. Yes, some of his shots with Simon are incredibly sexy, but there is also something endearing and sweet that comes forth in his work. I am sure is going to help create a successful future. When viewing Simon's portfolio, Khan jumped out at me. Great work!
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 170 lbs
Shoe size: 10
Hair color: Brown
Hair length: Medium
Eye color: Hazel
Skin color: Tanned
Experience: Some Experience
The Photographer: Simon Le
'Taking photos offers the opportunity to recreate a feeling, share an experience and make a connection.'
When I profile a photographer I want to ensure that I highlight what sets a particular artist apart from others in their field. It is not that one style is better or worse, it is that one style fits for some and not for others. The word 'connection' quoted by Simon above is a word that lept out at me, even before reading it on his site. Simon's work is all about connecting, firstly with the subject and then of course with the viewer.
Some photographers have a style that instantly lets you know their work. Simon's style seems to me, to be about using the 'four p's' he discusses on his site: Those P's; 'Patience, Perseverance, Positive Thinking and Passion' are used by Simon to bring out the best in those he is shooting. Simon shoots with a goal to make those he photographs look and be the best they can. He certainly succeeds! Simon is an incredibly supportive guy, not only in his work, but in his life. This positive thinking has led work that brings joy and connection to those who view it.
I through a couple of questions at Simon about his work and his answers only confirmed what I had already thought. A photographer as interested in connection with his subjects and using that connection to bring out their best.
Q. When you have a shoot coming up with a model, what is your thought process for the creative outcome?
A. I hardly work with any model without getting to know the person in advance. Trying to study the model's body form as well as the personality so I can come up with the ideas, styles & composition to suit the model's better.
If I haven't got a chance to get to know the model in advance, during the first half an hour before the shoot I normally try to engage in a conversation with the model. By doing so, it will help the model to feel more comfortable & trying to take away the tension, the nervousness as well as forgetting about the time. At the end of the shoot, it's all about having fun & getting the best result out of it.
Q. Do you welcome a models input?
A. Definitely! If the model has an idea what to achieve, I always welcome their thoughts. Having a discussion before the shoot with the model & exchange the ideas always helps me to create more diverse & interesting shots.
Besides connection and support, three other words, ones more directly associated with photography also appear to be themes in Simon's work. Detail, color and composition. Simon's use of composition and symmetry is some of the best I have seen. His subjects always look like the shot was carefully planned to make them look amazing.
Detail and color go hand in hand in Simon's work. I absolutely love the small 'details of color' Simon inserts in his shots. It is not usually a big splashy background, but a small detail like the choice of bathing suit color (like in the second to last picture below), or a small splash of color in the background (like the green in the third shot). Not distracting, but enhancing an already beautiful image. Sometimes color can be overused, and can take away from a shot. Simon knows how to use color as a tool in his work. While many photographers use color as part of a theme, Simon uses it, appropriately, as a support. Simon's work I truly respect. Simon's support of others and positive attitude is something I truly love.
Check out more of Simon's work
At his official site HERE:
His modelmayhem page HERE: