Interview & Craig Macleod
Where are you from Originally?
I am from Glasgow, Scotland.
Give me a brief description of your career trajectory – professionally trained or not, opportunities that led to breakthroughs. How does your background affect your work?
I moved to Southern California in July 2014. The move saw my profession change, from working as a commercial business lawyer to becoming a self-trained freelance photographer.I’ve always held a passion for photography and had been using it as a way to stay creative whilst still in a legal career. Now I find that my business experience helps me get a great understanding of clients’ needs and visions during collaboration.
What makes an image iconic?
It connects emotionally and captures an exact instant that can never be captured again.
What is the single most important outcome of an image when creating a campaign or editorial story for a client?
That the image is interesting and sparks curiosity about the story.
In your free time, what kind of pictures do you like to shoot and which ones do you avoid?
I love shooting surfers. I live north of San Diego where there are beautiful beaches and a strong surf community - indeed the Beach Boys reference one of the beaches near me in “Surfin’ USA”! I tend to avoid landscape photography as it doesn’t spark the same interest for me as people.
How does having worked under legendary photographers (if any, please list) sort of hone your eye for what is relevant and in your case award-winning?
I have been mentored by Mark DePaola. He’s shot numerous Vogue covers and has helped me develop my style: wide open lens, existing light, no flash. Working with him provided reportage opportunities such as access to behind the scenes at New York Fashion Week. Mark’s years of experience in shooting with no flash helped me find unique opportunities to capture.
Who’s work inspires you to push the envelope creatively and why?
I love Peter Lindberg’s work because his images are beautiful and authentic - he uses minimal retouching and, indeed, sometimes none at all.