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To be born Belgian and to love cheese, beers and chocolate is great but probably not unique enough :) Hmmm... Let's say I was very fortunate to travel a lot and live in several Countries all around the World. This, not only, opened my mind but allowed me to discover other cultures and that's an awesome experience in both the individual human and photographer sides.
Jeremy, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
Well, this is very easy... Photography has always been my passion, and after so many years of practice, it still is. My previous travels and discoveries of people and cultures have opened my mind but also my desire to do more, go further and see more different cultures. This is just so amazing, teaching you so much, that it becomes really addictive and... you also have beautiful opportunities to create lovely images.
Who is your inspiration in life Jeremy? How do you keep inspired?
My wonderful wife for her kindness, her lovely and perpetual motivation to support my photography passion and business. Every time I'm creating more beautiful images, meeting great people, stunning locations, it brings the sparkles I need to push me to want and to do more and more... This is something very difficult to explain by words; it is more like a very strong and internal feeling.
We all make mistakes Jeremy; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Photographer; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I do respect people a lot, and I'm always very careful when working with others but under stress and pressure, unfortunately, things can happen. I don't have a very specific bad experience to share, and I'm lucky for that. The only thing I've noticed in the past and I'm now very careful about is when dealing with models. As a photographer, when I see the model and the location where we are shooting, I usually don't need to look through the viewfinder of my camera to see or create the image. It's already on my mind, and then I simply use the camera to replicate the picture I "saw". This is the big problem... The model cannot "see" the picture I have on my mind, and I must admit I'm better at taking photographs than giving directions to the model so it might sometimes take a little while and a little stress to make it happen.
Jeremy, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritising your clients’ needs?
I'm not actually working for a large number of customers as the same time so not much stress on this side for me. I always prioritise the customer service and satisfaction, the artistic side of my photography activity before thinking about an industrial money income way. Working as I do, I don't think I could ever be good at working for more than 2-3 customers at the same time.
Please tell us, Jeremy, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
This week, for example, I had a Fashion Designer shooting in a beautiful and historic venue in Central Scotland. This is business inactivity (Hotel, Restaurant and Spa) so to be allowed to do the shooting there is already awesome but you need to keep in mind you are not alone, and while doing your work you must also watch not to disturb too much the customers. In another hand, you must give to your customer (Fashion Designer in this case) your maximum to make this shooting a successful one and to create beautiful images. We had three models, the designer, the make-up artist, the hair-dresser and myself for this session. Added to this number of persons, we also had the portable studio lightning accessories so when moving from one place to another it is difficult always to make a move as discretely as expected. So, yeah, in a case like that, it takes some thinkings and strategy skills to end-up the day with no troubles... And believe me, a day like that, the time is flying fast and the session always end-up too early.
Jeremy, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
When ringing the bell for lunchtime, I guess? Just kidding. Well, most of the time, I'm the creative one making the decisions for the resulting images we want to achieve, so I don't have to persuade anyone else to see things my way. But, still, I'm always working in an open discussion way with models and customers so any suggested ideas are always good to listen to and might even change a bit the direction of the workflow.
Jeremy, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
There are many, and I'm so thankful for all of them, but the most impressive one for me was the first time my work was published in a magazine. It wasn't about money but because of the recognition and appreciation of my work.
Jeremy, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I do believe every time I'm creating an image. If I shoot a landscape, it will be about filters used to correct usual light troubles but also, the angle of view, composition... If I shoot modelling and fashion, every single image will go through post-processing. You just can't snap an image and handle it like that to a final customer... Even when shooting Street Photography for fun, there is always this little thing which needs to correct, changed or removed to make the final image as you want it to be. Other than that, I'm not going into huge and heavy post-processing as I'm not a fan of it. I want my images to be lovely but not plastically surreals.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
Network, network, network and just in case I forgot to say it... Network. In these times, where anyone with a "smartphone" is labelling himself as a photographer, you must show the world what a difference it can make to be a real photographer, with a real camera and with a passion for artistic photography. Be honest with yourself (and with your customers). Don't take jobs you are not sure you can accomplish well. Digital photography is evolving fast so you'll have to learn, this is a perpetual learning curve, a never-ending learning curve. Motivation and Passion (with capitals M and P) are what will drive you through this artistic life. Be nice and respectful to anyone you are working with and never underestimate about listening when others speak freely with you and share ideas. Work and process your images to deliver to your customers in an acceptable timeframe. Be nice, be friendly, be creative, be professional, have fun and enjoy your artistic life.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes, I'm indeed looking for anything related to fashion, modelling, brands, make-up artistry, designers, editorial... I'm available to hire as a photographer for any of the above.
All images = Photographer: Jeremy LavenderCover: Model and Make-Up: Doris Magenta - Designer: Toco FashionImage 1: Model: Sabina - MUA: Sammie Hayes - Hair Dresser: Marianna Coletta -Designer: Toco FashionImage 2: Model: Emma - MUA: Sammie Hayes - Hair Dresser: Marianna Coletta -Designer: Toco FashionImage 3: Model: Gemma at my StudioImage 4: Models: Mya and KaitlynImage 5: Models: Michelo and BeenzuImage 6: Model:Jorgia - MUA: Julie ProwImage 7: Model:Jorgia - MUA: Julie ProwImage 8: Model:LaylaImage 9: Models: AstarÃ© and AyeshaImage 10: Model: Clare Allan