Interview with a Photographer featuring Kevin Wylie
Cotton Carrier: Where do you call home?
Kevin Wylie: Ayrshire, on the West coast of Scotland.
CC: How long have you taken photographs for unprofessionally and professionally?
KW: I bought my first camera 30 years ago, in 1991, but only went into business full-time in April 2011
CC: How would you define your style as a photographer?
KW: Dramatic, dark, moody and romantic.
CC: Have you ever gone to photography school?
KW: No, although I have undergone formal qualification training with the Master Photographers Association.
CC: Where is your favorite place or thing to shoot?
KW: I just love working with people and pets. Bringing out the star inside a shy teenager at their prom, showing the love between a couple or capturing the spirit of the furry member of a family is what fires me up.
CC: What Camera(s) / Lenses do you use? I’ve used the Fujifilm X-series cameras since 2014, and use a whole range of their excellent zoom and prime lenses.
CC: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get “The Shot”?
KW: Man, where do I start? Climb trees? Wade into the sea or a loch? Hung out the side of a speeding golf cart? Worked with wild animals on a fashion shoot? Yup, all of the above. Whatever it takes!
CC: Who has inspired you as a photographer?
KW: The late, great Bob Carlos Clarke. Not always for his chosen genres, but his dark style has always spoken to me. I also love the work of Gregory Heisler and the painter Caravaggio.
CC: What advice would you tell an aspiring photographer?
KW: Get your camera into Manual mode. Try things and make mistakes and then analyse the shots which DON’T work - you’ll learn so much more from that than getting all the Likes from your ‘friends’ on social media. If you plan on turning pro, join a respected organisation who offer a training and mentoring service - and don’t have a Plan B!
CC: Can you share a photographic resource you personally use?
KW: There are four things which make my life so much easier: My Cotton Carrier chest harness, a Sekonic light meter (currently the L758DR). The final two are smartphone apps - one which plots the position of the sun throughout the day, and the other is a weather app.
CC: How has photography shaped your day to day?
KW: It has allowed me to spend my life doing something which I truly love. It has also afforded me the luxury of spending time with my two amazing daughters as they grow up.
CC: Where has photography taken you, and made you experience?
KW: I’ve been very fortunate that it has taken me to jobs all across Europe, including France, Italy, Bulgaria and Cyprus. It has also allowed me to meet, and photograph, a great many actors, musicians and world-leaders, including The Queen, Donald Trump and more.
CC: Any exciting photographic events in coming up you’d like to share?
KW: Lockdown has given me a great opportunity to plan some awesome workshops for the coming months. Initially, these will be UK-based, but plans are there for overseas trips once it is safe to do so.
CC: Anything else you’d like to add?
KW: Two things; For aspiring photographers - practice, learn all you can about light, repeat and keep repeating. For the guys at Cotton Carrier, I have to say a huge Thank You for choosing me as a brand ambassador all those years ago. When my business was still in its infancy, the fact that a company felt my work was good enough to ask me to represent them was mind-blowing! I doubt that you’ll ever know what you did for my confidence.