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Conversations with Alexander Gilkes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexander Gilkes. 

Hi Alexander, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My journey into portrait photography truly started when I was 15. I’d always had an affinity towards cameras growing up, but what actually pushed me to want to take up a career in photography wasn’t a desire to capture images of people or places, but rather to understand the technical aspects of photography. My older sister has been a fashion model for most of her life and outside of her commercial work, she’d hold photoshoots at her home and I’d sometimes be present at those shoots. They were my first real experiences with professional portrait photography and they left me with a deep desire to understand how images were taken and how to get the results of the professionals I was observing. That was my initial experience, but the more understanding of photography I developed, the more I grew to love the craft. I started off taking pictures of the world around me to learn the basics. I soon began taking pictures of friends and family and that’s when I knew I wanted to photograph people. From there, I threw myself into almost constant research. Mostly YouTube videos, audiobooks, written articles, and I got help from friends from within the photography industry. Afterward, I’d apply everything I learned by going out into the field and testing the fruits of my labor, if I wasn’t satisfied with the results, I’d jump back into the tutorials and see where I could improve. This cycle repeated itself for years until I decided I was ready to do photography professionally. 

From that point forward I began reaching out to models in my area for collaborations. This was my first attempt at building up a resume and portfolio to showcase my work and it worked wonders. Photographers and models generally collaborate early on to build their respective portfolios through a process known as “TFP”, or “Time For Prints”, but nowadays we use “time for photos”, where essentially a photographer provides photography services and a certain number of images to a model in exchange for their modeling talents and time instead of money. This helped me greatly in the beginning with networking, building my portfolio, and most importantly, it helped to improve my craft by placing me and allowing me to photograph in professional environments. From there, my name started to circulate around my area and people from SD, LA, and even people out of state began reaching out to book photoshoots with me. After that, I decided to make a website and started putting efforts into promotion, pricing, and other aspects of starting this as a business. Although it is a business these days, my love for the craft is what truly inspires me to continue to create images through my camera and I don’t see an end in sight. It’s been an incredible ride to be able to photograph people and bring their concepts and vision to life through the art of photography. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It’s been a fairly smooth ride. The hardest part of my journey has been learning to love my own work and not compare myself to others. You get to a point where improving is all you can think about and it can overtake your love for the craft. You want to be “the best” but when you’re scrolling through social media and seeing top-tier professionals putting out consistently incredible work, it can have you doubting your own abilities. Another major challenge is continuing to do the work even when you’re discouraged. For example: when you don’t get the likes you wanted, the money you thought you’d make, the response to something you put your blood, sweat, and tears into. Many artists when faced with criticism and a sometimes-harsh reality that everything won’t always go as planned walk away for good. It’s a very difficult obstacle to overcome, but it’s truly a gift in disguise. Once you learn to love your own work, gain confidence in who you are as an artist, and create for the enjoyment of the art, it’ll strengthen your resolve and you can truly begin to make your mark on the world. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’m a Professional Portrait Photographer and I specialize in Fashion, Boudoir, and Cosplay photography. I’m known for my professionalism, creativity, and high quality of work. I’m most proud of my consistent dedication to my craft and how far I’ve improved in my photography. In a relatively short period of time, I’ve been able to put out work that stands side by side with the best in the industry. I like to believe what sets me apart from others is my unwavering dedication to putting out only the highest quality of work. Pushing the boundaries of photography and putting together creative concepts that raise the bar for what we can do in photography. 

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
A favorite childhood memory of mine was reading comics. It was an amazing experience to get lost in hundreds of different worlds, watching these characters and stories unfold on the pages in front of me. At some point they became more than comic book characters, they were an ideal. They represented the best of humanity and that to me was inspirational. Concepts like courage, sacrifice, and responsibility are ideas that still resonate with me to this day. 

Pricing:

  • Classic Photoshoot $200 (Per Hour)
  • Couples or Duos Photoshoot $250 (Per Hour)
  • Mini Photoshoot Session $100 (30 Min)

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Alexander Gilkes Photography

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