Dave Hynes, winner of the 2019 Spotlight Awards for the Beauty Photography Category, gave us some insight regarding his winning image, getting started behind the lens at an early age and really believing in your work.
Production Paradise: Tell us about the winning image – the idea behind it, how was it shot?
Dave Hynes: The image was shot in my apartment living room on a background that one of my artist friends made for me. The light I used was a really large soft umbrella camera on the left and a large scrim reflector camera on the right. With portraits like this I like to shoot @ F11 to F13. This image is a part of a four-image series that revolved around the idea of royalty, class, and elegance.
Production Paradise: How do you feel about winning the Category Prize of Spotlight Awards 2019?
Dave Hynes: It feels really good considering all of the beautiful work I was up against from around the world – I mean they were all so spot on that anyone of them could have won, just really inspiring work. It’s nice to see photographers who really care about their craft and continue to push their style to the next level. Bravo to everyone.
Production Paradise: How would you describe your style?
Dave Hynes: I think I would describe my style or work as a cross between beauty, portrait, and fashion. I mostly like shooting beauty editorials; that has been my main focus for some time now – there’s something about shooting faces up close that feels more personal and engaging to the viewer.
Production Paradise: Name three photographers that have inspired you.
Dave Hynes: Oh, this is a tough one – haha! Only three?
Well, I want to go with the first person who’s really inspired me and my photographic journey and that’s Clay Cook. I feel as though there is nothing he can’t shoot and no style he can’t nail – he’s like the chameleon of image-makers. Next would definitely have to be Formento & Formento. They’re a married duo who make the most beautiful cinematic work – of any creatives who can tell a story with just images alone it’s them, truly breathtaking. And last but definitely not least – Annie Leibovitz. I can’t say enough good things about her work – flawless, effortless, and with purpose.
Production Paradise: How did you end up behind the lens? Tell us about your career path.
Dave Hynes: I believe it started when I was just a kid. I remember my grandmother always had a camera around and wanted to take pictures of everyone. She always used to have the whole family over for dinner and all I can remember is her snapping pictures constantly. She loved taking pictures so much that I feel like it just rubbed off on me.
I never knew growing up that I would really pursue it as a career path. I went to college for Graphic Design for four years – it was fun and challenging but I realised in the end that it wasn’t for me. Two years later I decided to drop everything and really dive into photography – I haven’t looked back since.
Production Paradise: What do you think is necessary to become a successful commercial photographer?
Dave Hynes: I don’t really know what defines being a successful photographer but for me, I am constantly shooting – every spare time I have – I shoot. When I’m at another job – I’m thinking of shooting. If I don’t have a paid gig shooting, then I will shoot a creative. There are always areas to improve, no matter what, so I just think to become “successful” you have to just work hard and love what you do and put in the time.
Production Paradise: If you weren’t a photographer, what would be your alternate career path?
Dave Hynes: Well, as mentioned before I went to school for Graphic Design so that would probably be it.
Production Paradise: We believe you are not resting on your laurels – what are you working on now?
Dave Hynes: I’m shooting all the time haha…I have beauty editorials every weekend this month.
Production Paradise: The Spotlight Awards had a judge’s panel composed of potential clients for commercial photographers – did that influence your choice of image(s) selected for your entry?
Dave Hynes: I chose the images that I’m most proud of. Ones that took a lot of thought and planning. In the end, you have to produce the work that you would want to see…work that YOU love. It’s funny because I have work on my social media that no one really likes but I do – I post it anyway because I’m proud of it. These days anything it’s commercially viable and everything has a market.
Production Paradise: What made you want to participate in these Awards?
Dave Hynes: I’ve never really submitted anything for an award and thought that I might give it a shot.
We would like to thank Dave for taking the time to share his journey with us! To see more of his work, visit Dave’s page or website. If you wish to become a Production Paradise Member, click here for more details.
Production Paradise has published a special edition of Spotlight Magazine featuring all the winners. Make sure you subscribe to our blog and Spotlight Magazine to stay connected with top creative talents and services in the international commercial photo & film industry.