Alumni Interview: Photographer, Danny Lowe
Alumni student Danny Lowe studied a UAL Diploma in Photography at our Middlesbrough campus, he’s now shooting for global brands and publications such as GQ, Esquire, Vogue, Interview Mag, L’Officiel and more. We sat down with Danny to chat about his time at The Northern School of Art in hopes of inspiring future careers!
Can you tell us a bit about your creative background?
I was very hands on at School with art and creative subjects. I’m dyslexic and I struggled academically but had a real passion for painting and then moved into photography through exploring my direction in fine art. With that I took a lot of photos and began working on it all the time. I’d see a spurt of water coming out the ground and use different settings to capture until the photo was really good. That was my first couple of steps. Then when I went to The Northern School of Art, my photography improved and I learned so much about the craft and techincalities of photography. The facilities were amazing, we worked a lot in the dark room, we could hand print and loads more. I found direction, and really got to understand the basics of analogue photography too, which I feel is important for anyone interested in photography to understand.
Can you talk us through your photography style? Who were your influences?
Ian Macdonald was an influence in the local area because I wanted to get into fashion. I was never really wearing designer clothes or followed trends and I spent a lot of time in the north east shooting locations rather than fashion. But I wanted to explore the world of fashion documentary/ documentary style photography and portraiture.
What’s your advice to any students looking to follow in your footsteps?
I would say, embrace what you’ve got around you, test out all the cameras, experiment, test what works for you. Being technically knowledgeable is a very important thing. I test shot a bit of medium format purely for the fact that you can really see the image. Explore as much as you can, use some amazing locations of the north east, there’s so many backdrops aesthetically that are amazing for shooting. Try not to be stuck in the studio. Utilise different natural lights, during golden hour, go for a walk, embrace the situation and use it to better your work.
I’d also say, shoot as much as you can while you’re here and studying. The area we live in is absolutely beautiful. I feel it has really inspired me, editorially.
I feel, what’s smart is utilising your time. I could go on the xbox and waste a day or use my photography skills and create something to better my craft. At that point, it becomes a love rather than a chore. Anyone can take a lucky shot but to push your work you need to be constantly at it. Feeling the moment and capture the shot.
Can you tell us a highlight career moment?
Well it’s a real tough game and a very saturated sector, but when I started making a living from my photography, that’s when my hard work, effort and graft paid off. Something changed but it’s about survival. Other than that I recently did an exciting 3 day commercial campaign which will be out later in the year.
Can you tell us how you kept busy and inspired through lockdown?
I shot portraits of people through windows! I was going a bit nuts and I wanted to document what was going on. It was a week’s project and these opportunities don’t come round often, so I just grabbed it.
If you’re looking to study a course in Photography, be sure to check out the courses we offer at our Further Education Middlesbrough campus! Head to the link to find the course.