Samuel Geal is a multidisciplinary photographer specialising in fashion editorial shoots. Samuel uses his skills to aid the careers of emerging models and build brands an authentic identity.
At what moment did you fall in love with fashion photography?
There were two formative moments in my desire to pursue fashion photography.
The first was working with a professional model. When I got into the studio and the model arrived, she looked through the clothing options and made it her own. She moved her body and followed my lens and it became more of a collaborative effort to create great images. This sense of collaboration continued as I started working more with teams of creatives. I'll always be addicted to the moments we all put our minds together to create something great.
The second, purchasing my first lighting diagram from a professional fashion photographer. For my next shoot, I booked the studio and set up the lights following every detail. Once I saw the image appear and what had been achieved I was hooked. I then started playing around with the lighting set-up, turning one light off or changing the lighting modifier for a different effect.
These two moments pushed me so far forward in such a small amount of time. I ran with it and haven’t stopped since.
Where do you find inspiration?
A lot of my work is inspired by lyrics written by metal/metalcore bands and most of my shoots are named after the song or band I was listening to when the idea came about.
There’s something about the dark poeticism and fast beat that put a fire in me to create.
I also regularly watch films with award-winning cinematography. Watching people at the top of their game create is inspirational in itself.
Although I do follow lots of magazines and other photographers' careers, it’s more common for me to take inspiration from music and film rather than from other photographers.
I think that creative types from all backgrounds need to have different visual or auditory stimuli.
Even if you were to go out into the city and see the world moving along or out into nature to clear your mind, it’s something different from the usual.
How do you hope your work is remembered?
Firstly, I want my work to be remembered for the timeless aesthetic that I love so much—the strength and power of the female (and male) form.
I’d also like it to be remembered by all the people involved in creating that photo shoot. From the make-up artists, hair stylists and clothing stylists to the brand, client or agency.
We produce work either for ourselves or for others—I prefer the latter.
I like my images to serve a purpose and create a memory. Moving into the next phase of my photographic work, I’d now like to edge more into a political stance. Having been a listener of metal and punk since I was young, I’m now delving into my nostalgia and history to find new meaning.
We asked Samuel to share his 'bucket list concept'—the creative vision that he hopes to one day bring to life...
Dress for the revolution
I have been watching futuristic/sci-fi cinema—like the Blade Runner series and Equilibrium—and taking more notice of how they portray fashion and style in the future.
This very much ties in with my new phase of introducing a political and punk concept into my work.
I want to tell a story of the struggles between us, the citizens, and the governments and police forces that we reside under. There are so many ways to tell these stories, subtly or controversially—I feel it’s an area for me to explore and create a unique identity.
For the most part, I would like to create sets and shoot this idea in the studio. I'd need control over the lighting in order to create other-worldly shadows and harsh light. If I were to choose a location, it would be a very modern but heavily concreted area in a large and towering city, mixed with glass buildings and reflections.
Some of my inspiration for this concept came from Steven Klein and Steven Meisel. These two photographers are able to create a completely unique world—a fantasy if you will. They are able to take you away into a new dimension and they execute the image itself in a beautiful way, whether it’s raw and desaturated or heavily saturated with coloured gels on the lights.
I'd keep the styling open to interpretation from a number of different clothing stylists and brands, however I'd love to work with Tom Ford and Atsuko Kudo Latex.
I envision a mixture of eccentric clothing with exaggerated features, smart wear with clean and crisp lines, latex and bondage-type items, trench coats and clothing with interesting silhouettes. I'd want to incorporate accessories that allude to a dystopian society, such as oxygen tanks for a world where the air is no longer breathable and using police batons to create a menacing vibe.
I'd need models with strong faces that can pull off a menacing look. I like to work with new and upcoming models, but if I were to choose one model in particular it would be Steinberg—they have an inner innocence but a very metal/punk aesthetic.
I have already done some editorials moving in this direction which will help me to permanently introduce this aesthetic into my work. But this is a question with endless possibilities and this is only the beginning...
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