Having been an Artist in Residence at the Glasgow School of Art, he has held shows and also had work published in American Vogue. His portraits are what stand out most about his work, with the careful consideration of lighting being a key factor in the success of his images.
Many celebrities and artists have had their portraits taken by him and no two photographs look the same as there is a careful consideration throughout each individual shoot as to what would work best for each subject.
Understandably, most of his images probably use studio techniques and lighting in order to achieve the flawless desired effect rather than ambient or available light, but the light that strikes the faces of his subjects creates sharp, well defined and beautiful representations of his subjects.
He has photographed both men and women, and I particularly was drawn to the way in which he doesn’t just do the standard headshot, but he turns his subjects or takes full body portraits too. It creates a different layer of imagery to his work. Compositionally his use of blank space is good, defining the outline of each individual but not distracting from the main focus in the frame. Primarily I noticed all the lighting is tonally correct and there is no unwanted colour cast or anything that would make the images less perfect. No matter the location, internal or external, he has been able to create well balanced photographic portraits, with attention to detail surrounding their personalities paid attention to.
All Phillips-McLaren’s subjects are relaxed and at home in the front of the camera. There are no broad smiles, but there is still a sense of comfort surrounding those being photographed, whilst at the same time they appear very professional and well considered in terms of positioning and stance. Lighting is used in a way that gives the best reflection of those in the images and creates an honest representation.
As my project is steering towards taking portraits, his techniques in composure are particularly relevant, and it proves a portrait can be composed in several different ways to build effect and still convey a message about the particular person that you want it to. Making sure someone is comfortable is also a very important point before you photograph them or else this can lead to uncomfortable photographs, which isn’t what I want to produce at all.
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