It’s unbelievable to think that at one point fashion meant nothing to WILLIAM GARRETT. Thank goodness that changed because when you see his work you know it was fate! William’s successful career started because of mere coincidence that lead him to become a model and opened the doors to fashion photography. Throughout the course of his career he has worked with companies like Adidas, Talbots, Marshalls, Ugg Australia, New Look, and Boden, to name a few. If that type of success comes from coincidence, we’d like three orders of coincidence, to go. But in all seriousness, William Garrett is definitely a force in fashion photography and has built his career on sacrifice and hard work. We are honored to feature him as the first photographer on our blog. We spoke to William and got a candid glimpse into his artistry and learned a little more about how he captures “life’s magic”.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR ART AND HOW YOU GOT INVOLVED WITH PHOTOGRAPHY.
I first became significantly involved with photography while living in Paris in the late seventies. These were exciting times, and photography was an amazing way to explore them. At that point in my life, fashion meant nothing to me, but by an amazing coincidence, I was given the opportunity to model, which I did for a couple of years and so came to know the fashion industry.
WHAT WAS A PIVOTAL MOMENT FOR YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY CAREER?
The pivotal moment in my career came when a modeling client, Michelle Aujard, saw some of my pictures and asked me if I'd like to shoot their campaign on spec, which I did, and which they loved.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE SET TO WORK ON? WHY?
If you mean which has been my favourite shoot, I couldn’t say. Each has its own merits and I’m not one to rate things like this.
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS IN YOUR CAREER?
My proudest moment was the opportunity to do a portrait of Jacques Henri Lartigue for Interview Magazine just before he passed away. I have such a clear memory of the experience; he was, even then, one of the most alive people I’ve ever met, and his portrait hangs on a wall in my office, next to one he took of me during the same session!
What are some other things you enjoy when you aren’t shooting?
The list of things I enjoy when I’m not shooting is long: going to the cinema, to the Tate Modern, the V & A, writing, cycling, swimming, taking long walks with our dog, Coco, on Hampstead Heath, over which I’m looking as I type this, hanging out with my wife, Cherie, and traveling to Scotland to fly fish for salmon, usually on the Tweed River.
What is your favorite part about being on set?
My favorite part of being on set is the way its dynamic plugs me into a bigger energy, sort of like the Force in Star Wars, only sexier. I love making pictures, getting lost in it, like directing and acting in a movie at the same time.
What does #createmoments mean to you?
For me, making pictures is a process whose culmination is a playful embrace of chaos, a structured invitation to the magical random beauty that’s always waiting to happen. When I’m taking a picture I like, I’m only there, everything about me is only there, and I cherish these moments because they affirm my life and the joy it offers me. Creating these moments often involves research, self-reflection and planning, in order to set the stage for the model, location and team to interact in ways fertile to such events. But obviously, these moments are ALWAYS a surprise, by their very nature, which is why on good shoots, most of us are smiling.
What is one thing your fans may not know about you?
When I was a kid, I could barely speak, I stuttered so badly. Even today, I sometimes struggle.
WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU PROVIDE FOR FUTURE PHOTOGRAPHERS?
If photography is your passion, you need to follow it. Think about pictures you want to take, and take them, over and over, until you find the one that speaks to you, and then do it, over and over and over, not literally, but fundamentally. You need to find your voice, and once you do, refine it so that it speaks to others as it does to you. Good luck!