Apart from being chosen as Hasselblad Master for 2007, Stuart Weston also has another thing in common with March’s Master, Raya – he too is a big fan of Vogue Italia. In fact, his initial interest in fashion photography was sparked 20 years ago, as he says, by “simply enjoying fashion and flicking through the pages of Italian Vogue.
” But that initial interest developed into a full-blown passion and he eventually gave up his career as an engineer at British Aerospace to take up fashion photography as a full-time professional Since then, Stuart, whose favourite pastimes include riding his motorcycle and playing the drums, has built up an enviable client list, including Toni and Guy, Trevor Sorbie, Wella, Clynol, Harrods, GQ, Elle, Vogue, Tatler, Grazia, Harpers and Queen, Virgin, EMI, Adidas, Arena Sportswear, and Robbie Williams. With no formal photographic education to speak of, - he is “self-taught and proud of it!” – Stuart attributes his success to a combination of talent, hard work and determination.
It’s also arguable that his desire to produce ever better and more creative images could also be added to that list, for, as other Hasselblad Masters have admitted, Stuart is not yet satisfied with his photographic achievements and states: “There is still a lot more that I want to do.” Dedicated to fashion photography – he wouldn’t want to work in any other area – Stuart admires and is inspired by photographers such as Stephen Meisel , Javier Vallhonrat, Sarah Moon, Nick Knight and Cecil Beaton.
He is currently concentrating on building the multimedia side of his business and particularly enjoys larger scale projects, which can at times include being involved at all stages: from concept, design and photography, through to interactive media and print. As Stuart comments: “The gamut of skills required for such projects makes for a far greater challenge - and the end result consequently delivers a far greater sense of satisfaction. A good example is my recent involvement with brands such as Jean Marc Joubert of Paris.” To achieve the best results from an assignment, Stuart likes to work closely with his clients to understand what they’re looking for and to develop a mutual trust between them. As he explains: “First I get a feel of exactly what my clients needs are, I let them tell me what they want, and then we brainstorm ideas and I offer advice on location and models. I like to work with clients who can trust my judgment when it comes to choosing models, for example. My P.A, Sarah, generally understands my preferences and she then works to organise the logistics of a shoot. Post-shoot, I show the client images with my advice as to which shots are best and then we make a final edit.”
Knowing that he can also trust his camera equipment is also crucial to getting the best results, so he uses a Hasselblad H1 system, which he chose because “its specifications outperformed all its competition at the time of release of the camera model. I need a digital camera system that has good build quality and that’s easy to use without too much fuss. The H1 provides all that and more, and the Hasselblad brand offers me the reassurance of reliability and great image quality. It’s a name I can trust.”