Will Donnelly`s Photo Philosophy

All of us, no matter how unconsciously, tend to glamorise what we see. This is for me what fashion photography is all about. It is the combination of light, form and texture on the material side, and lifestyle, taste and sensitivity on the emotional side. When properly balanced, they harmonize to achieve an image of an artificial reality that is so strong the viewer is compelled to accept this image as true reality.

For me fashion is fun to shoot because it changes so quickly. Fashion today is truly big big business, but I don't believe that a good photographer can let himself get caught up in the paperwork jungle. He has to free himself from these considerations and become more involved in fantasy, personal statement and persuasion. I see the photographer's job as one of a storyteller. His vocabulary is light, design, composition and emotion. The skillful use of this vocabulary communicates powerful images that are immediately understood not only by the fashion professionals, but also by the people in the street. When this is skillfully done, the photo is a success not only on the visual level, but also commercially. I try to accomplish this in my assignments by using a "classic" form of design and lighting, employing as few "tricks" as possible. I think tricks tend to date a photo very quickly.

The fascination of this profession is that there isn't just one right way to do a good picture. Give five photographers the same fashion collection and the same models, and in the end you will have five completely different results, all of which are valid "true reality". Fashion photography changes so rapidly that a good photographer must constantly be alert to new directions and trends. When we learn to sense where these trends are headed, we have the possibility to explore new ways of expression. This is what I feel, when I think of the creative side of the profession.

In my work I sometimes use elements of hand colouring, silk-screening or video effects to stylise the photo to bring about a new reality. But we as photographers, as opposed to illustrators, can't work completely from fantasy. We can only take a photo of what is really in front of the camera.lf we want to go beyond reality, we need a team: models, stylists, visagists and hairdressers and very importantly a great postproduction grafic designer. All have to be "keyed in" to exactly the same "image". When this team is in harmony, the photo "sings"

The photographer's image is in truth only as good as his communication with the team he has put together. And on this note I would like to thank all those who have worked with me to help produce the images that you see here.

With the advances in digital techniques we now have almost unlimited possibilities to produce images in an "altered" reality .... I am really excited about the fantastic images that the future will bring. Visit our site in the future and I hope you will find images here, that will cause you to view our world in new ways, that a few years ago were impossible to imagine in a true photographic sense.

My Codex

"The Quality of Light"

"Photography is simple, it´s all about the quality of light ... Take a ball, a cube or a pyramide, any object .... place it in front of your camera ....

What counts now, is not your equipment, but the quality of light you create. Its your personal interpretation of the „reality you wish to create.

The photographer is the key figure in visual communication. He is the translator between objektive visualization

and subjektive "reality" 

Thanks  to Mr. Charles Potts

Photography Dept. Chairman

Art Center College of Design

Pasadena, California