Create Something New with Richard Wood
Episode 53: Richard Wood
In Episode 53 of the Portrait System Podcast, Nikki Closser talks to Richard Wood about his process for creating unique and stunning ideas in his photography. You’ll get an inside view into his two-story studio set up, his ever-changing lighting choices and photographic pursuits, as well as tips to achieve the highest awards in the Portrait Masters competitions. Be sure to listen to the whole podcast to hear about Richard’s ways of continually finding something new and maximizing his chances to sell with unique reveals.
Keep reading to find links to even more of Richard’s enchanting work on the web as well as additional Q&As that you’ll only find here!
Get to Know Richard Wood
Q: Most artists have a point in their life when they knew this was meant for them? Do you have that moment?
A: Yes. When I was around 20 years old, I didn’t really have any interest in photography at all. However, my girlfriend did. Whilst we were visiting the London Natural History Museum, she got sidetracked by the winners gallery of the International Wildlife Photography Awards. I walked through with her and almost suddenly fell in love with what I was seeing. I spent hours there and was eventually dragged away. But I had a strong sense of what direction I now wanted to take my life. Ironically, I never did end up shooting wildlife, but rather fell in love with people and creativity instead.
Q: Making a connection with your subjects is one of the most important parts of a great portrait. How do you make lasting connections with your clients?
A: By creating a quality product. My best portrait clients end up taking home an insurable family heirloom. In New Zealand we call this a ‘taonga’ ( a treasure). A weighty, high-end product that is going to last generations and be fought over by the grandchildren is a product that my clients are connected strongly to. And because of this, the client is also connected strongly to me. All of this, alongside great service and a positive experience, of course.
Q: For someone starting out on their photography journey, what advice would you have for them?
A: Instead of stressing about whether you’re good enough… smile about how good you are going to become. I still do this. I’m very excited to imagine how good I’ll be in another year!
Q: Everyone has a favorite shoot – tell us about yours and why it’s your favorite.
A: My most favorite shoot would have to be my Battle of St Michael. It’s 10 years old, and I do not show it in my galleries as I believe my skill is different now, and I like to display what is current. However, it’s definitely my favorite as it was such a giant exercise. The shoot involved over 100 models, and I’m proud to have achieved it in a day, when it was much earlier back in my experience and skill set. It proved to me that I was capable of so much. It features Saint Michael the Archangel spearing the Devil amongst a massive battle. The battle scene was photographed in segments of about 40-50 models at a time, and then they were all stitched together. It was a great feeling to witness how excited all these stylists and models were to be involved in my vision. It hangs here at home in a gold frame at around 25×50 inches.
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