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Here's some answers to a few questions I'm often asked by bands and their representatives, and fellow photographers too. Excuse the amount of info! I've tried to cover everything in an open manner. Feel free to ask me personally, I'm always happy to answer, but if you'd rather not get in touch just yet then this page may help...

What is the whole start to finish process of working with you?
Who owns the rights to the final images?
How much do you cost?
Who have you photographed?
What equipment do you use, and why?
What is a live composite image?

And finally...(a really egotistcial bit).

What is the whole start to finish process of working with me?

It usually starts with an email, text message, a phone call, or sometimes a chat at a gig. If there's a brief or any ideas to discuss then we'll arrange a meeting to chat it through. If it just a straight forward portrait / promotional shot required then we'll find a date in our schedules for a shoot. I always send a message a day or two before the date to make sure all is good to go with any specific arrangements or details.

Leading up to the shoot I'll make any preparations and test shots, and keep you updated if necessary. This makes the actual shoot a stress free experience, always relaxed and good natured.

After the shoot I'll develop the film and scan a set of images which I'll upload to my Dropbox online, and give you a private link for viewing. If there is a tight deadline I can do this within a couple of hours if necessary. However that does come at an additional cost and you'll need to tell me beforehand so I can set up my equipment and chemicals. I usually process all the films from all my recent shoots on one day during the week. As I can usually process several films at the same time it is more time effective for me this way (and so cheaper for the client). Therefore, depending on the shoot date, it can take up to a week to see the images, but sometimes just a day.

From the images uploaded there will be one in the set that will have some processing for colour and contrast to give you a rough idea of the final look. The rest will essentially be 'unprocessed straight from camera'. Once you have chosen the images you want me to finish properly it usually takes me another two or three days to complete. All images will be corrected for colour and contrast and have some basic retouching if required. Another set of websized images will then be uploaded to the Dropbox for you to see. If all is well I'll then forward my payment details and upload the full resolution files for you to download.

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Who owns the rights to the final images?

After I have received your full payment for the finished images you commissioned me to create I will grant you license to use those finished images for any commercial or promotional use, just as you would be able to if you held the copyright yourself. This licence covers all territories (throughout the universe!), lasts forever, and may be sold / transferred to another party too.

However, I will always retain the actual copyright in the images I create, mainly (but not limited to) so that I may freely use my right to be known as the creator of the image, the right to exhibit my work including online, in printed portfolios and in galleries, the right to freely use my work in any publication to promote my work and the right to include the image in any collection of my photographs published for commercial gain. One day I may release a book to pay for my retirement!

This enables you to fully profit from the images I create for you and allows me to work for a fee much lower than I would otherwise be comfortable with.

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How much do I cost?

My general pricing aims for a shooting and processing profit to me of £10 per hour, which I hope you'll see as being a very reasonable cost for my time. I like to offer a scaleable service which is affordable for anyone serious about their career, whether just starting up and in need of one or two press shots for initial publicity purposes, or whether they are more established and planning a commercial release with an accompanying promotional campaign. I am included in The Unsigned Guide Survival Guide offering a discount for members on my time of 25%.

All prices are for finished images to be delivered as image files only (jpg, tif, etc.). Photographic prints can be supplied for an additional cost.

Most of my work can be categorised under portraiture, live shows and documentary, or creative image making in general... sometimes incorporating all three...

Creative imagery commissions...



For creative commissions I always work to a pre-determined budget, working out a way to make every aspect of creating the final image idea possible, whatever the finances available. I am used to working with budgets ranging from as little as £100 to significantly more. Please feel free to forward me any idea briefs and I'll put together a plan for your consideration.

Portraiture...



These rates are based on a standard one hour session in my home studio space near Littlehampton using one roll of Kodak Portra 400 film (either 135/35mm or 120/6x6cm size). The costs shown remain the same for daytime, evening or weekend shoots. Studio shoots elsewhere are priced at the same base rate plus studio hire, extra time and travel costs. Location shoots are priced at the same base rate plus any location fees, extra time and travel costs.

One finished image (colour/contrast corrected with standard retouching)... £30.
Two finished images (as above)... £50.
Three finished images (as above)... £70.
Four finished images (as above)... £85.
Five finished images (as above)... £100.

* Please note these prices relate to quick and therefore relatively simple set-ups offered as a low cost but high quality option. For images that require a more significant creative involvement (such as set design or location scouting / test shooting, or additional post production, etc.) then I will need to agree a budget beforehand (see Creative imagery commissions above). Remember these prices are for ONE roll of film. If you feel you'd like more shots to select your final images from then additional rolls are charged at £10 each.

Live & documentary (behind the scenes, etc.)...



Photography of on stage action and general crowd / atmosphere shots (please note I am NOT a club style people photographer). Also, behind the scenes shots and stills on video shoots, etc.

I have photographed a huge variety of gigs from large festival stages and big venues like Brixton Academy, to small capacity rooms in basement clubs and all shapes and sizes in between. I have worked for bands, magazines, websites and venues... from well known national publications such as Rock Sound magazine, commissioned several times for print publication (including double page spreads) and web galleries... to international branded venues such as more recently for Brooklyn Bowl, in London's 02 Arena complex. I have photographed behind the scenes at video shoots, and music studios at recording sessions too.

As each client has different photography requirements (amount of images, for print or web use, advertising or editorial, etc.) a price will need to be tailored to suit. It can range from as little as £20 for a small set of shots for a band at a local gig to significantly more for something like large scale composite images at a large venue. On occasions I am happy to shoot for websites and some magazines in return for advertising space.

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Who have I photographed?

Mostly guitar bands of a touring level, some very well known, and others more underground. The underground rock / metal / punk / alt / indie scene is one I have been very much involved with. Have a look at my archive page to see a list of bands that I have images available to see.

I'm always interested in working in other genres to expand my horizons and I'd be keen to hear from actors / actresses, models
too.

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What equipment do I use and why?

My main requirements with any equipment is that it should work reliably in the way I expect it to, with the settings I have chosen, in the conditions I am working under, and that the final image created is of a certain quality as envisaged in my mind.

I have chosen my equipment carefully over several years so it suits the way I work, the kind of photography I like to do, and feels nice to use. This allows me to concentrate on making photos, and not be distracted or hampered in any way by the gear I'm using. Consequently my equipment is not new, some of it is VERY old (!), but rarely has it let me down, if ever. Here is my current selection of cameras/lenses that see regular use...



Most of my portraiture is done using film cameras, particularly older vintage equipment. Many people ask "why?" when a digital sensor is capable of creating images with higher resolution and greater dynamic range. Well, when it comes to photographing people, film works well enough, even better in my opinion because it has a look and feel that is ultimately less clinical and more... "human". Some of the lenses are specific to the older cameras. I spent much of 2014/2015 running film and digital cameras together on shoots and the film shots were nearly always chosen by clients over the digital images. Of course digital files can be made to look like film with various computer applications but that just seems rather contrived to me, adds even more steps to the digital workflow, and isn't always fully convincing anyway. Besides, if it is a film look you want then why not just use REAL film? For many decades the world's most iconic images were captured that way! My favourite film to use is Kodak Portra 400.



Of course, I do use a digital camera too. Its main use is to aid me with lighting setups and to give some immediate feedback to a client on set. I also use my digital camera for live work when a quick turnaround of images is more of a priority (to catch an early morning review deadline for instance).

I am a great fan of natural perspective in portraiture so my preferred lens choice is nearly always based around the 50mm focal length on 35mm full frame cameras (or the equivalent size on other formats). I do use wider angle lenses such as my 24mm Sigma (pictured below - 2nd from the left) for full length portraits when seeing more of the background is preferred but I rarely use it when the subject is close.

For closer portraits with a wide angle lens I like to use my vintage Jupiter 12 lens (4th from left) as it has a protruding rear element design that minimises image distortion for a more natural look. Shown either side of that is the collapsible Industar 22 lens (the silver one) which gives a vintage look, and the Jupiter 8 lens which I love for its classically smooth bokeh with circular highlights. Both those lenses offer a standard angle of view. These older lenses have a lot of character that their modern equivalents lack. As you can see they are also significantly smaller (like the cameras they fit on to!)!



Of course, modern lenses have their benefits, especially when there is a need for a camera with autofocus. I use the Canon 50mm pictured far left and the Sigma 30mm pictured far right on my Canon EOS cameras. The Sigma gets used a lot for live work as it has a wide aperture of f1.4, which comes in handy when shooting in dark venues. I rarely use flash in a live environment, using it on just a handful of occasions over the years.

All of my cameras serve a purpose. Together they give me the ability to use a huge range of photographic equipment from classic era to modern retro to contemporary technology. I am always looking for ways to enhance my options and my next addition is likely to be a 6x6 medium format SLR. Here's my current camera lineup...

Nikon F3 (35mm film SLR)

The F3 is one of the most popular manual focus professional 35mm SLRs ever made, in production for over 20 years all through the 1980's and 90's and into the 21st century. During it's heyday the Nikon F3 was very popular among photojournalists and its reliability under extreme conditions saw it used extensively by war photographers and even by NASA astronauts too. Not only is it a superb tool capable of doing absolutely everything a photographer should ever need it to do, but it is also a design and manufacturing work of art, with silky smooth controls and a feel of precision.



It's main advantages to me are it's 100% viewfinder (removable too), easy multiple exposures, timed exposures, mirror lockup, it's ability to use nearly every type of Nikkor lens made, and battery power that lasts months. It is also much smaller than most pro-level cameras so is good for carrying around without making me look "overdressed". By adding the motordrive the camera turns into another beast altogether. The sound it makes powering the film onwards is iconic. No other camera sounds the same! It is a great tool and good fun to use too!

Nikon F801s (35mm film SLR)

I keep this camera as a backup for my F3 or in case I ever have a need to use autofocus with the Nikon lenses. I have rarely used it. It was produced throughout the 1990's and has a more contemporary setup with menu buttons and a LCD display.

Leica iiif(c) (35mm film Rangefinder)

This camera is one of my favourites to use, enabling photography in the purest sense. There are no electronics, the camera is fully manually controlled and fully mechanical in operation, essentially a light-tight box with a shutter and lens attached. A wonderfully crafted camera, smooth and quiet in operation. A design classic.



The lack of any unnecessary features means this camera is small enough to fit in my jacket pocket. For photographing people and places, with a minimum of fuss, it is ideal... some call it the original street photography camera. Mine was made in 1946 (originally a iiic that was converted by Leica in the 1950's to a iiif). I usually have a Jupiter 12 lens (35mm f2.8) or Jupiter 8 lens (50mm f2) attached. Like the J8, the J12 has a lot of character too and is great for when I want a little more space around the scene. I also use both these lenses on my Canon P...

Canon P (35mm film Rangefinder)

This is my second camera for the Jupiter lenses alongside the Leica. I love using it just as much, if not more. Like the Leica it is small enough to take everywhere making it ideal for street photography. It is also a simple elegant camera, beautifully made with precision, and incredibly smooth controls. It has classic looks similar in ways to the iconic Leica M3 and M2 which were also in production at the time, the late 1950's.



The Canon P is a fully manual and fully mechanical camera. Unlike those early Leicas it has a swing back for loading film easily, and a rewind crank for quicker rewinding, it syncs flash with a pc lead without needing an adapter, and has a standard cable release thread too. These standardised features makes it an easy camera to get along with. I love the 100% paralax corrected 1:1 viewfinder. It shows virtually no loss of brightness and can be used with both eyes open (the framelines seem to float in your normal vision). Multiple exposures are easy on this camera too. For Leica Screw Thread (LTM / M39) lenses this camera is a real gem to use. In many ways it is the equal of, and in some aspects superior to, Leica's own.

Canon EOS 1v (35mm film SLR)

Canon's top of the line most technically advanced film camera, and built for all conditions. It's a professional workhorse with great autofocus (it practically sees in the dark). I use it mainly for live work when lighting conditions and action can be incredibly fast moving and settings need to be changed instantly with the press of a button.

Canon EOS 40D (Digital SLR)

I use this camera mostly with my Sigma 30mm lens for gig shooting and also as my main studio setup camera for testing lighting. In the old days studio tests were done with polaroids. Obviously this camera makes the process quicker and cheaper. I do use it for portraiture too as the lens is really nice. It isn't the kind of camera I like to carry around though as it is fairly large. Considering the treatment it has received at gigs, (drink spillages, kicked, elbowed, stood on, and generally knocked about on a regular basis) this camera has performed brilliantly. When I'm working I carry a backup camera just in case, a Canon EOS 350 (pictured below right)...

Left: Canon EOS 40D. Right: Canon EOS 350D.

Canon EOS 350D (Digital SLR)

This was my first digital camera for gigging with. It is now my gigging backup camera for the Canon 40D. I haven't used it in years but regularly test it to keep it shipshape. It is small and light so happily sits at the bottom of my bag.

Haiou / Seagull 4a (6 x6 120 film TLR)

This is a square format camera with a nice lens that can be used to create swirly bokeh if desired. Because this is a medium format camera the resolution and tonal graduation in the images is superb. I like using this for shots that may be significantly enlarged or for when any film grain needs to be almost non existent. The square format is ideal for getting a feel for a shot for Vinyl or CD release work.

I have swapped the original focusing screen in this camera with one that is significantly brighter so it is much easier to use. This is another camera that is fully manually controlled and fully mechanical in operation. It has a shutter that can sync with flash at all speeds, a great advantage over SLR cameras when using flash in daylight whilst wanting to keep the aperture wide open.


Olympus XA
(35mm film Rangefinder)

This is a compact rangefinder camera so small it will fit in a trouser pocket. The shutter operates only by aperture priority metering but the metered shutter speed is shown in the viewfinder so it can still be used for creative shots. An excellent street camera with a 35mm lens which is well respected for its sharpness.

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What is a live composite image?

It's an image created by putting together several photographs specifically taken to produce the final picture. The process of creating a Composite Image means that there is a huge amount of control over how the final image looks. On the more intricate pictures everything that makes up the final image is photographed seperately... with a live setting that might include various lighting set-ups, individual band members, various on stage details such as setlists and a dry ice layer if it was used in the show... everything needed to capture the overall feel of the show. Because each part is photographed individually several times to get lots of options, the final image can also have far more depth of field than is usually possible in low light concert photography and lots of creative control over perspective viewpoints and general scale. With this kind of image making there is freedom from the limitations of a split second shutter release and any visual restrictions of the lens in use at the time. In fact it is possible that a final image could use several different lenses and angles of view.

To put it in music terms a Composite Image is kind of a visual version of a multi-track recording where each part is recorded seperately and then mixed together to create the final song, or in this case... image. Hope that makes sense!

Here's one of my favourite live Composites... We Are Knuckle Dragger.



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Finally...

I'd like to say... and with the geatest of respect... If you feel a photographer is someone who just turns a dial to 'auto' and presses a button, or that all photographers are as 'interchangable as their lenses', or you've "had trouble" finding someone who will give you the 'Testino with just a hint of Bailey' look... then to avoid wasting your time and mine it's probably fair to say I won't be interested thanks :)

Every photographer, like every musician, has their own invidual style. I wouldn't go to a Slayer show and ask the band to sound like Justin Beiber, and by the same token please don't expect me to copy another photographer's style either. (bit of rap for ya there... ish :D)

If you like a particular photographer's style... use that photographer. They'll give you exactly the results you want! However, if you like the look of the images that I create... thank-you, I would love to hear from you :)

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© GREIG CLIFFORD. ALL IMAGES ARE SUBJECT TO COPYRIGHT LAWS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.