This week I will begin to feature some talented and creative people discovered along the way from those countries that are in Euro Cup 2016. Meet Ricky Woodside, photographer of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Today he is rooting for his brothers of Ireland.
How did you get started in photography?
From around age 8 I would always doodle and sketch and create images from my head. I had vivid imagination from watching television and cartoons. My parents would encourage this as it kept me not only quite but out of mischief . I thank them for that so much today as I wouldn’t be the creative person I am without them. I loved art at school it was my favorite subject by far and was introduced in my final yea there to my first Apple Mac computer where I would spend every minute creating.
After school finished I applied and got into art college in 1987, there I studied fine art, print, design, photography and a host of other subject in the art world. I learned to use cameras as part of a HND in Graphic design course I did in my five years there. The photography side was a major part of the course as we would have to provide our own imagery for the design projects such as CD covers, posters ad campaigns. My tutors Dierdre and Dermot where a great inspiration, as Dermot Deirdre was a photographer and Dermot was a book designer.
Deirdre actually showed me how to set up my lights for my first fashion studio setup, I thank her for that today. Back then I shot mostly 100 Gilford black and white film back then and my interest grew there experimenting with film cameras and in the dark room developing my own . I loved using different film camera’s like the Pentax K100, Pentax MX, they where solid lumps of metal that if you dropped them you would not have to worry like today’s DSLR cameras. I also loved shooting medium format with the Zenza Bronica SQ it had its own tripod as it weighed a ton to hand hold or carry. It was funny to use and quiet tricky as the image was back to front as you looked through the top view finder but the clarity was incredible.
I started in my first photography job as a studio assistant under the Northern Ireland Photographer Chris Hill he was a commercial photographer shooting various things from people, advertising, landscapes, food, and some fashion. I worked there for a while helping set up shots in the studio and on location. I learnt about new cameras like the digital back Mamiya, getting test shots and learnt some handy tricks of the trade for shooting. From there I haven’t looked back creating images through my graphic design and photography career over the last 20 years. I made some crazy jumps in the camera world from extreme sports photography in surfing, mountain biking skate-boarding, wake boarding when running my own Irish extreme sports magazine Freeflow to shooting fashion, catwalk, advertising, editorials, commercial work, and now today being the creative director designing and running my high-end art/photography/fashion magazine called 10TEN.
What inspires you?
Life in general inspires me but the photographer’s and artists who inspired me from a young age till now are Ansel Adams with his slow exposure work. Helmet newtons grasp of the female form and light. Rankin’s awesome photographic bold style, Perou’s adventurous fashion location shoots. I also inspired by many painters and graffiti artists like Renior, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol’s cool pop art, Laurence Gartel’s amazing computer art, Jean Michel Basquite’s mix of graffiti and statement typography to today’s artists like, Sebastien Rio, Zoobs, Smates, Banksy, Martin Ron, MTO, and P183 a very cool Russian street artist. I love anything that pushes the boundaries and makes people ask a question or look twice.
What made you want to move Milan?
I have worked with some amazing people to date that have helped me create my photography work and working in Milan back and forward for the last 2 years I have fallen in love with the kind people, new friends, the model agencies, the helpful booker, the amazing food, and the fashion of course. Moving to Milan will help me push my photography style so much further, it’s the next step for me. It is a very cool city with multicultural models, designers, makeup artists and hair stylists I can work with. The light is also so incredible during mid afternoon in Milan, it’s like the best massive soft box you could find that works so well on the models skin tone. One big reason in moving there will be to push my Fashion/Art Magazine 10TEN wth my business partner and friend Marc Evans who is a great fashion photographer based in Milan who I have learnt a lot from and I thank him for that. Our team at 10TEN has grown since my plan to move to Milan and we have brought on-board the digital art legend Laurence Gartel as are new Art Editor, and celebrity Makeup artist Phoebe Dawson as our Beauty Editor. This will add great new opportunities and collaborations to the team and I look forward to working with them in Milan in the future.
Did you see any benefits from being in Euro?
Well it certainly made life easier to travel around as a photographer without visa’s for each country or whatever he plan is for the future a lot of people are afraid of change. I am excited to be honest as I’m moving on in my career full-time to Milano, Italy to shoot more fashion editorials for 10TEN magazine, designer collections, work with models and the great agencies there at the end of July. My main concern is that I have upcoming photo shoots in Scilly, Berlin, France, Monaco, London and back in Ireland and hope it doesn’t affect my client’s to much. I certainly wont let it affect me, but embrace the change as it keep’s life interesting.
What you think of N Ireland and Ireland being in knockout round
I think its amazing best thing that has happened to our wee island in years, it’s a dream for me. I can’t believe we have made it into the last 16, with a chance to go further in the competition. I remember as a boy the team doing well and the place going crazy with excitement but this is something else. It’s really bringing the best out in everyone in Ireland north and south as you can see from many videos online of our super traveling fans. We have shown the we have courage, fire, and loads of heart in all our games playing against the world champions Germany was a tough match but we battled through. I hope Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland go far in the competition especially against the other big teams of Europe including Italy as I will be living there if we get to play them. Come on the green army “Will Grigg’s on Fire”.