Archive for the ‘5 Minutes With…’ Category

5 Minutes With / LPA Style / Claire Louise

March 27, 2014

We spent 5 minutes with LPA Style Hair and Make Up Artist Claire Louise to find out about whether a life of beautifying celebs and models is as glamorous as it sounds! Claire Louise’s diverse skill sees her traverse the worlds of music, fashion, film and TV with ease as well as working regularly on LPA photoshoots. Read on to find out more…


Claire Louise working her magic on set

Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

I trained in the following areas..

Fashion and photographic, film and TV, SPFX, prosthetics, wig making and dressing and hair styling. Over the last 10 years I have worked in the West End, on music promos, fashion shows, films, TV, live performances, photo shoots and commercials. I have a keen interest in natural health, beauty and well being. I practice reiki and massage in my spare time (sometimes on jobs too). I also write health and beauty articles for various sites and magazines.

How did you become a Hair & Make up Artist?

I always wanted to be a make up artist but was never really sure how to get into it. When I was little I would use my Mum’s eye shadows to create bruises and black eyes on people (I was a charming child). I wanted to do all the gory make up you see on horror films, it’s come as bit of a surprise that I actually prefer to do beauty make up these days. I did various other jobs but could never settle so I decided to pack it all in and retrain, I haven’t looked back since.

What’s your favourite part about the job?

The amazing locations I’ve been lucky enough to shoot in and the experiences I’ve had… sometimes it feels a bit cheeky that I’m actually being paid to be there.

The constant flow of inspiring, interesting and fun people I meet.

The best feeling is helping someone feel better about themselves – I recently did a private lesson with a lady with severe Vitiligo on her face and body. I showed her how to use make up to even out the tone. She was so happy to learn how to do it she cried.


© Jasper White

Which is the more challenging part?

The long hours or early starts and sometimes (very rarely) the lack of routine.

What are the main skills you need as a Hair & Make up artist?

Discretion, diplomacy and punctuality. To be able to work as part of  team – A shoot is a team effort and everyone feels passionately about their ideas, you have to be able compromise and adapt to get the best results.

To keep up to date with whats happening in the industry and keep your skills updated. A knowledge of art and fashion and colour theory are pretty helpful too. (more…)

5 Minutes With… / Bookbinder Cathy Roberts / Delta Design

January 27, 2014

Cathy Roberts is founder and owner of the wonderful Delta Design Studio, a professional bindery in Clerkenwell. She has lovingly crafted most of the LPA portfolios and so we thought she would be the perfect person to spend 5 Minutes With… this month to get some insider information. A key sponsor of LPA Futures, Cathy will also be creating the bespoke portfolio for our lucky final LPA Student Challenges winner this year!

Cathy (second from left) with LPA Photographer Nick David (far left), LPA Futures Oliver Haupt (third from left), and Delta Design colleague Margot, at the LPA Futures launch.

- Hi Cathy. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company Delta Design Studio?

I have been in business for 30 years this year, and feel very lucky and happy to do my work everyday and meet some amazing people! it’s a small business and its all about personal service and custom made work.

- How did you become a professional Bookbinder?

I trained for 1 year at London College of Printing and set up my business in Clerkenwell, I also got a small grant from the craft council after being selected.

- What’s your favourite part about the job?

Talking with the client, understanding what they want and then giving input and using my experience to advise them as best as possible, then of course when they collect the work and the smile on their face … that is the best!

- Which is the more challenging part?

The blocking on the book is always a challenge, some foils are better than others so I very often make a sample with different colours for the client to choose from.

- What are the main skills you need to run your own company in bookbinding?

Believe in yourself and be passionate, I still learn many things and I am never bored, also patience sometimes is a plus!


Above: Example of portfolio by Delta Design.

- Why do you think having a great portfolio is so important?

- A folio represents you, your work and who you are. Its going to sell your work so its very important, and if you know its right it will give you confidence too!

- Do you think digital will take over completely from print, or do you think seeing images in print will always be a bonus?

I think it will always be a bonus … who doesn’t like to look at a beautiful coffee table book!

- What are your best tips for making a portfolio stand out from the crowd?

A simple combination of colour, a very good font for your name or logo and with that your work should do all the talking? We add little details like embossing the front page, different coloured spine …




Above: More examples of books bound by Delta Design.

- Originally from Provence, what are your favourite things about London and what do you miss most about home?

- I love London as its so cosmopolitan, and with so much diverse food, and there’s so much to see and listen to. It has a great energy, but I miss the sunshine and special light from Provence when the light is so blue. And the cigales singing when its hot!

- Do the eateries of Clerkenwell live up to the standards of French cuisine?

- Haha, well when I arrived in London the only things there was Indian and Chinese food… things have changed and the food is amazing now, we can eat anything at any time!

- Who/What are your biggest sources of creative inspiration? Any favourite blogs?

- Art books, special fairs where I source new materials and textures, exhibitions but very often the client has a specific idea and I need to search to make it work and its always a challenge I really enjoy!

- What’s the most unusual request you’ve had for a portfolio?

Formica cover with name hand engraved or fully padded cover in leather with specially made leather buttons to look like a Chesterfield!

A slip case with an old Aston Martin seatbelt buckle for enclosure!

5 Minutes With…. / Team LPA

October 25, 2013

After spending 5 minutes with everyone in the business from model agents and stylists to art buyers and even animal agents, we thought why not spend some time catching up with Team LPA. Here is what everyone had to say…

© Nick Daly

1. What do you at LPA?
Lisa: Good question. As the LP in LPA my job is very varied, I get a bit involved in everything from marketing to shoot production to taking on new talent, recruiting and helping the team to general office stuff. I guess my main job is quality control, trouble shooting, delegating and moving the business forward.
Lauren: I estimate, negotiate and produce shoots.
Tom: I look after all PR & Marketing related issues, from taking folios to clients, to running the website and arranging events.
Jonathon: I’m a Producer.
Bryony: I assist the team with marketing, PR and client meetings and with producing shoots.
Georgina: Look after the accounts.


5 Minutes With… /Jean-Michel Massey / The Forge

July 26, 2013

Jean-Michel works with LPA Photographer Iain Crockart, amongst others, on post production work. With his own company The Forge, and years of experience working in the industry, we thought we would ask him more about what is involved. Thanks very much for coming in Jean-Michel…




- Tell us a bit about yourself, and what’s involved in the post-production process…

My name is Jean-Michel Massey… I run a company called The Forge, based in a converted church near Camden. I’m half French, half English. Born in London, but moved to live near Bath until I was 14, my mother and I went further South West to Totnes in Devon. By the age of 19, I was back in the big city.

Post-Production is basically giving images a bit of polish, and rolling them in glitter. Each image we produce would combine all or some of the following; Focus comps and pulls, comps for additional elements, removing elements and for beauty images; intricate skin work. We’ll remove anything unsightly or anything that detracts from what the image is focusing on. Then each image is colour corrected and if required, given a “look”…

We can achieve anything with post production, given enough time and elements to use. I’ve made mountains rise from the sea, bucking horses from hundreds of frames of water splashes, I’ve made apples explode and created stunning editorials with some of the great photographers working in the UK today.

- How did you enter a career in post-production?

I basically grew up in photographic studios. My father, Ray Massey,  is a well known photographer; in the 80′s & 90’s he was shooting incredibly complicated multi-exposure images onto a single sheet of 10×8 film, which even to this day bemuse most as to how they were shot without using any kind of post-production.

My first job in London was at Primary Colour, a film processing lab – I worked on E6 & C41 a little, but mainly worked scanning film, spending hours a day “dust busting” – I loved that job, it was so therapeutic. The experience of working with, and learning from, Mark Foxwell & Steve Macleod, has been invaluable to me.

I then went on to work for the fashion label Maharishi, to work on their fantastic DPM book – which  involved a lot of scanning and furthered my knowledge of colour; we had to match swatches to images, some of which were from the early days of colour photography, this proved pretty tough and sometimes very time consuming.

At the age of 21  I went freelance; it was a huge decision but one I have never regretted- suddenly  I found myself working for  agencies such as  BBDO, McCann’s, Saatchi & Saatchi to name a few, I also worked for great  design agencies such as Harrimannsteel.

- Do you work regularly with certain photographers, and do any of their styles particularly inspire you?

I work with numerous photographers from my generation & my father’s generation, I love working and helping young photographers define a style and exploring the limits of what post-production can do with them. I really enjoy working with photographers that have come from the film era too – they generally get more things right in camera, and are usually less reliant on what we do in post.  I find their approach to an image very different and inspiring. I wouldn’t say that any one of the photographer’s styles inspire me per-se, but I love to learn and find that style so we can keep producing consistently great images.



© Matthew Beedle photography, The Forge retouching

- Are you able to put your own emphasis on the work you post produce?

Each brief that comes in will usually be fairly well defined by the art director & photographer, occasionally I’m asked to add some flare, my creative twist, the main challenge on more complicated images is to translate the Art director’s concept, the photographer’s idea of how to shoot that concept and supply something that they are both happy with.

- Do you have your own photography projects aside from post-production work?

My personal work is the antithesis of what I do as a retoucher; when I travel I shoot landscapes, simple, barren landscapes. I don’t retouch them, I sometimes desaturate or contrast them, then print them 60×40 and mount in a simple frame. I’m also worryingly addicted to instagram.


© Iain Crockart photography

- Describe the high and low points of your job….

High points would include simply looking at where an image started and where it’s ended up, it’s always very rewarding. Seeing work in print, on billboards and on blogs is always pretty fantastic too.

Words of thanks from photographers I respect are always very nice, and even more so is receiving a phone call or email saying that they’d recommended me, there’s no bigger compliment.

The lows are usually due to my own inability to supply anything I’m not happy with, or my willingness to help photographers with tight deadlines. – these two combined usually mean I’m working late or working weekends when I’d rather be out and about! I do however make up for it by taking long weekends and holidays….


© Chris Mosey photography, The Forge retouching

- What is the biggest challenge in post-production?

The biggest challenges I encounter are usually due to lack of foresight or impossible tasks in production or on shoot, but with good communication about the project before and during each shoot, this rarely happens anymore. Most things can be done, I’ve learnt how to deal with most situations and problems…

- Would you say technical prowess or creativity is most important in post-production?

I’d say it’s a blend of both, along with patience and a keen eye. I certainly started out as a technical operator; I was very nerdy in the early days – having a firm grasp of the techinical side of things is very important and it in turn has allowed my creative side to grow. The creativity isn’t just to do with the aesthetic of the image, it’s the approach to problems on the route to achieve the finished article.

- What are your other interests outside of photography?

I’m an avid cyclist, Mountain biking and cycle touring are my two favourite activities,  my mother lives near Dartmoor, Devon, which is perfect for mountain biking. London based activities – I took up indoor climbing about two years ago, nothing quite gets your mind off a days work and stress like hanging 20 feet up by your finger tips.


5 Minutes With… / Rich Hendry / Great Eastern Bear

May 24, 2013

We recently spent 5 minutes catching up with Rich Hendry, photographer and owner of the Great Eastern Bear where our LPA Futures exhibition is currently on display. Here is what Rich had to say…


- Can you tell us a little about what you do?
I work freelance as a photographer for editorial, advertising and design clients. I also own a gallery in Shoreditch which I set up to promote fine art photography.

- How long have you been a photographer and what made you decide to become a photographer in the first place?
I’ve always wanted to be a photographer since I was a child, I undertook my first commission for an agency in Edinburgh when I was 17.

- What inspires you and your photography?
Most of my inspiration comes from people I meet and stories I hear, as well as books / films / music. I’m keen to try and produce work that conveys a certain emotion rather than a distinct graphical style or technique.

© Rich Hendry


5 Minutes With… Will Hudson / It’s Nice That

March 28, 2013

We recently had an opportunity to catch up with the lovely Will Hudson, founder of It’s Nice That, on TWO occasions. In addition to being one of our ‘magnificent seven’ which comprised the LPA Futures judges, we also spent time catching up with him this week, finding out more about him and his work. Here is what Will had to say…

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 10.34.17
© It’s Nice That

- Thanks for joining us Will, can you tell us a little about what you do?

I’m founder and director of It’s Nice That, a London based publishing platform focused on championing creativity across the art and design world. We do this by publishing work online, through our quarterly magazine and programme of events. I’m also co-founder and director of INT Works, an independent creative agency all about understanding brands to deliver creative solutions with meaningful results. Clients include Nike, Channel 4 and MTV.

- It’s Nice That is one of our favourite websites here at LPA, how do you see your site within the cultural sphere?
We try and cover a real breadth of creative work, from graphic design, illustration, photography and art to fashion, film and product design. I think it’s really important that things things can be seen side by side and more importantly that we can stick a second year illustration student next to an established ad agency. It’s Nice That has never been about saying “this is the best” it’s much more about something that resonates and makes you look again.


5 MINUTES WITH… Jordi Ruiz Cirera

March 1, 2013

After another incredibly successful year of LPA Student Challenges, we thought it would be fun to catch up with one of the winners from last year.

Jordi Ruiz Cirera won our 2012 LPA Student Challenge Number 3 and named the LPA ‘One to Watch’ which couldn’t be more true! Since winning the LPA Student Challenges, Jordi has gone on to win the AOP Student Awards 2012, the Deustche Bank Award for Photography 2012 and the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2012.

Here’s what we gleaned from him in our ’5 minutes with…’.

⁃ Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

I’m a documentary photographer from Barcelona based in London. At the moment I’m combining personal long-term projects with editorial and corporate assignments.


© Jordi Ruiz Cirera

⁃ You had an incredible 2012, what was your personal highlight?

Indeed I still can’t believe it, I had a year full of celebrations and good moments. It started just graduated from my MA, and not long after that I was on the Sunday Times Magazine which was fantastic. Just a couple of months later I was named the AOP Student of the year, another really good highlight widely celebrated. But of course the best was winning the Taylor Wessing portrait prize, I am truly honoured of getting such a competitive prize considering the high level of the entries.


© Jordi Ruiz Cirera


5 Minutes With… A Stylist / Charlie Cave

January 28, 2013

We’ve spent 5 minutes with people in every area of the photographic industry, from model bookers to animal talent agents. For our first chat of 2013, we thought we’d stay a little closer to home and caught up with the inimitable Charlie Cave of LPA Style. With a wealth of experience in the fashion and retail industry, Charlie is one of the most creative stylists in the business. Here is what she had to say….


-­ Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I am a stylist for both stills and TV commercials. My work involves researching, mood-­boards, props, set builds and wardrobe. I am also a mother to two amazing little girls. Unfortuately both work and children have been most unkind to the bags under my eyes.

- ­How did you become a stylist?
Whilst at university, I did work experience for the jewellery designer Tom Binns in New York where I met several fashion stylists. I become really interested in the idea of styling, but found the fashion industry incredibly scary. So I decided to try and get experience in interior styling. After graduating, I worked at Habitat and Liberty department stores doing visual merchandising and window displays. During this time I also did lots of assisting, then after several years I started getting my own jobs. I was very lucky to work with two brilliant stylists/journalists who took me under their wing, Vinny Lee & Margaret Caselton. They taught me so much – I am very grateful to them.

- What are the main skills you need to be a commercial stylist?
You need to be extremely organised, with good knowledge of all the prop houses, stores etc. An ability to get on well with people and most importantly understand the brief is key.

Charlie with fellow LPA Style Ellie Tobin


5 MINUTES WITH… Creative Director of Metro Imaging / Steve Macleod

December 3, 2012

We were delighted to announce LPA Futures 2013 ‘Call For Entries’ earlier this week.  The success of the competition would not be possible without the support of sponsors and we’re chuffed to be partnering with Metro Imaging this year.  So when ’5 mins with…’ came round again, one of our sponsors seemed an obvious choice and who better than Steve Macleod, Creative Director at Metro.

Here’s what he had to say…

Can you tell us a little about Metro Imaging?

Metro Imaging (MI) is 35 years old and has always been regarded as one of the great innovators in Professional Photographic Production. Over the years it has adapted to manage clients expectations as we continue through the analogue and digital transformation.

It is always an exciting challenge, we have introduced digital B&W silver gelatin, large mural Ctype, framing and Metro-Print online services over recent years and now provide a comprehensive end to end solution – we help edit, print, mount, frame, ship and install.

© Steve Macleod


5 MINUTES WITH… An Animal Talent Agent / Gerry Cott

October 26, 2012

We often use animals in our shoots here at LPA and have worked with the legendary Gerry Cott, founder of animal acting agency A-Z Animals, many times over the years.

Gerry is always a pleasure to deal with and it was fascinating spending 5 minutes with him – what an interesting life!

Can you tell us a little about your company, A-Z Animals?

A-Z Animals was founded in 1983 – I was asked to do some filming with my Border Collie, Marley (named in honour of Bob Marley) and it slowly grew from there. Our first major project was training three pigs for the feature film ‘A Private Function’ with Maggie Smith, Michael Palin and Richard Griffiths which was funded by George Harrison from The Beatles

As the founder of the business, how have you seen the industry develop over the last 30 years?
Working with animals nowadays is very much more considered, controlled, and regulated which I am very happy about.

What’s the strangest request you’ve ever had?

Filming with Russian Squirrels in Ukraine.

People always say ‘never work with animals’, how would you convince them otherwise?
We have helped build the portfolio of many photographers and show reels of many production companies – these are the people who know best about working with animals – when they come back to us, we know we’ve made “working with animals” easy for them.

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