‘How to get that perfect shot for magazines, advertisements,’
reveals travel photographer Philip Lee Harvey at XPOSURE 2019
Sharjah, September 20, 2019 :From having to deal with ambiguous advertising briefs from creative directors to being under constant pressure to take iconic cover photos for a world-class magazine such as the Lonely Planet, the award-winning travel photographer Philip Lee Harvey has seen and experienced it all.
Speaking at a session titled ‘Fit for Purpose’ at the International Photography Festival XPOSURE 2019 on Thursday evening, winner of ‘Travel Photographer of the Year’ Harvey divulged the
best-kept secrets to take pictures for print and advertising media to a captivated audience.
Using a carefully created methodology and weeks and months of planning, Harvey believes that great cover pictures don’t just happen due to sheer luck. “It’s also good planning,” he adds. In his impressive body of work, Harvey has managed to find the perfect zen of light and composition to create stunning images that convey emotions and tells a story.
Giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse as to what goes into massive-scale campaigns, Harvey spoke about first visuals, client meetings, colour palette decisions, model casting, wardrobe choices and how to find the right location. To elucidate, he presented samples from the work he had done for clients such as British Airways and the Egyptian Tourism Authority.
Using his degree in graphic design, Harvey was able to aptly use his knowledge in design, page layouts and how pictures are finally used. He said: “While shooting iconic cover pictures for Lonely Planet, for example, much white space goes into the image”. When photographers are accustomed to the template of the magazine, there is awareness of where the logos go, the best way to manipulate white space and the perfect use of typography within the image.
In the case of photography for advertising, Harvey explained: “I am not in love with it as an industry, but I love the challenge. It’s harder when you have to understand what’s in the art director’s mind. Furthermore, art directors can be tough taskmasters. I once got a brief that said – the image needs to be milky.”
Showcasing examples from advertisements he had shot for the Egyptian Tourism Authority, Intercontinental Hotel, and British Airways, Harvey spoke at length on the use of natural light as a vital ingredient that helps shape the emotion of an image. The session was profoundly insightful for those who love photography primarily related to travel, but don’t know how to expand into the commercial field.
In a career spanning two decades, Harvey has worked in over 120 countries, in environments ranging from Antarctica to the Sahara Desert in Africa