Photographer Felix Russell-Saw shot the Ghost Club Co SS20 Lookbook, which really set the tone for our brand when we launched. We wanted to delve into his style and equipment, how he's maintaining creativity in quarantine and his views on film vs digital...
Ghost Club Co (GCC): How do you describe your photographic style?
Felix Russell-Saw (FRS): I ask this question myself every day haha. Im going to go with vintage, aesthetic grainy mess mixed with fine tuned lifestyle and branding. An amalgamation of styles that shouldn’t work together but I’m gonna die trying to make it work.
GCC: What equipment and software do you use to create your images?
FRS: It totally depends on the job at hand really, I like to dabble with a bit of everything. For digital I use a Canon 5d mk4 which is kinda boring but the industry standard. Just a real workhorse and I know its gonna bag me results I need. For film stuff I shoot a mix of cameras because Im just a camera hoarder, but my usual go-to’s are my beloved Leica M6 for 35mm and Pentax 67 for bigger medium format. All my images are edited with Lightroom and photoshop.
GCC: What can't you live without, when shooting (or editing)?
FRS: This ones a hard one as I feel like I can get by shooting and editing on basically anything these days because rules of photography and good images never change and you shouldn’t ever rely on equipment or software to get a good image. If I had to chose though it would just be my digital camera (5d4) and Lightroom as its just a staple for me getting the job done.
GCC: You shoot both digital and film. Gun to your head... pick your favourite and why?
FRS: The nostalgic arty part of me wants to say film, but it’s just not viable long term. Film is expensive and you can’t shoot 1000 images a day and then deliver them anywhere near as fast and as refined as digital. With digital images you can always rough them up using various techniques to make them look vintage, but you can’t do it the other way around.
GCC: What are you currently obsessed with and how is it feeding into your work?
FRS: As we are currently making our way into week 4 of quarantine I’ve starting go go a bit crazy and just exploring new avenues of what to shoot. Ive been looking at more documentary journalism with everything thats coming out on the news. I've been taking my camera with me literally every time I’ve been outside the house, be it dog walks or trips to the shops. Shit like this is important to document, maybe not now, but definitely in years to come. So the short answer, classic journalism of historic events on black and white film is really inspiring.
GCC: What do you think your unique skill(s) is that has helped you become successful?
FRS: I feel that I’ve never really just shot the one thing, I’ve kind of bounced between styles and disciplines quite a bit. Being able to turn my hand at any photography style is really important. Shooting moody grainy film for something one day then going into a studio and confidently lighting it perfectly and shooting on digital the next. It’s good to adapt.
GCC: What advice would you give to someone wanting to enter the world of photography?
FRS: Literally just keep shooting and putting your work out there. Don’t copy but mimic people styles that you look up to, in the process of working out what makes their style theirs, you’ll find your own. Taking inspiration from everything and not stopping. You’re not going to create amazing work without creating some crap first. It’s just a right of passage.
GCC: You've worked with a wide range of clients, shooting a variety of events, products and people - what makes an iconic brand?
FRS: Is this a trick question haha, I don’t think there is a right answer for this. There are a handful of massive “iconic” companies that I think are branded like crap, but they are kings of their field. On the other hand I’ve seen tiny companies that are branded amazingly with such a great vision flop. It sucks but it happens. I think having a vision and mission from the start followed with consistency and persistence. Not sure if thats really answering the question but I feel thats the bigger picture at least.