Winners Profile: Alt Studio NQ

Here is another instalment of our winners showcase from our awards back in October… Feels like ages ago to us and we are already planning 2013’s edition!

Over to Simon from Alt Studio!

I started Photography about ten years ago when at Wigan & Leigh college and then followed this with a degree at De Monfort University, I didn’t make much effort while studying. All that studying did not prepare me for my first job at the family portrait studios “Venture”, this is where I learnt the foundations of the skill set I would need to move forward in my career. I photographed all kinds of things, dogs, cats, parrots, snakes and the dreaded toddler. It was fun.

When the recession hit, the studio I worked in closed down, this is when I decided a bit of sun was needed, so went to work on a cruise ship for six months. Fourteen hour shifts and 56p an hour made me miss Manchester a heck of a lot.

I eventually got back to Manchester, and started to work in make-over studios, I loved the make-over work; ladies would come in all shy and nervous and leave feeling a million dollars. Something didn’t feel right though,  the “factory” way of working, wasn’t for me- the studios I worked in could have me photographing over ten clients a day, far, far to many to actually do a proper job. I decided to start up my own studio and do it the right way, More time to get to know my client, more time to enjoy the whole experience, for the client and myself, and a happy photographer is a better photographer!

I have loved the alternative scene ever since I was a punk growing up on the mean streets of Wigan, face pierced, spiked hair, The Clash on my portable CD player… So naturally I wanted to include this in my work. My influences have always been documentary photography, mainly music photography, album sleeves and such, everything was real and helped paint a picture of the artists you where listening too. This gritty, real side directs my studio style the most.

The best bit of my job is the messages I get after the shoots, they mean a lot to me. I have never enjoyed photography so much since I founded my studio, almost exactly a year ago.

My future plans always revolve around taking my studio around the world and after a recent trip to New York, there is definitely room for an Alt Studio, there. I have won a few awards before but this is the first for Alt Studio, this one from you guys means the most as it’s the most personal to me, it means the world, and sorry I wasn’t there to pick it up, next time please??!

Follow Simon on Twitter @Alt_StudioNQ