Five minutes with pro photographer Wayne Johns

(Image credit: Wayne Johns)

With The Photography Show fast approaching, we sat down with professional fashion and commercial photographer Wayne Johns for a quick chat about the talks he'll be holding at the event.

The first talk you’re doing is called ‘shooting a fashion portrait with depth and drama’. Can you tell us more?

The sessions on the live stage are quite short, but I wanted to carry my workflow across to the demonstration like I’ve done previously when I was there. I still want to show people how to capture a fashion-styled image, but turn it into a fashion portrait.

So, for the shot, I’m basically going to be using a couple of lights, the same things that I would use commercially, but try and keep the lighting quite simple. The idea being that it might be lighting that people in the audience may own themselves. 

I’m going to be using two different modifiers with the lights. The first one is going to be quite a large Octobox, as this will give me a nice soft feel. The other modifier will be a softbox with a grid, which will give me a bit more contrast and more direct light, helping me get separation and depth in my image.

Wayne Johns

Wayne Johns is a leading fashion, beauty and advertising, photographer based in London. His clients include Fujifilm, NEXT, Vogue, Marie Claire, GQ, Hasselblad, Leica, Bowens, Nike, L’Oreal, Coca-Cola, ITV, Channel 4, BBC, Rimmel

Wayne writes articles for many magazines and regularly gives lectures/seminars all over the globe.

Do you find there are some bad habits that people can fall into?

That’s a tricky one! I think the concept and the idea is the biggest thing. Most of the work is done there – working with your creative team and your model choice. From there forward, I think a lot of people try to make their lighting too complicated sometimes. 

Try and know what you want the final image to look like before you shoot it, rather than just winging it. 

Your other talk is titled ‘A day in the life of a fashion photographer’

For this one I’m going to be talking about what goes into the planning and setting up of a fashion shoot, and how it all comes together.

So really taking it from its initial idea, how we organise that, how to pick your creative teams (stylists, hairstylists, make-up artists etc) right through to the finished images.

Are you going to use specific examples? 

I did the launch over here in the UK for Fujifilm’s new GFX 50S. I was one of the main photographers on that, and my talk is going to be based around the original launch imagery. I shot with a prototype GFX 50S at Althorp House, and I’ll be looking at how that day came together and be discussing some of the hurdles we had to overcome on location.

Wayne shoot the launch image for the Fuji GFX 50S

Wayne shoot the launch image for the Fuji GFX 50S (Image credit: Wayne Johns)

If you get time, what else are you looking forward to seeing at The Photography Show?

The bar?! I haven’t had time to go through the schedule yet to see what’s going on, but I always like to have a good look around, and meet up with commercial contacts, suppliers, trade and other people who I deal with on a regular basis. It would be nice to see someone else’s talk – it’s always interesting to have an appreciation of other people’s work. And I'll been keen to see if any new gear has come out that hasn’t been announced yet.

Do you have any tips for people who haven’t been before?

If you can get to see any of the live shows, then do it. You’ll learn so much – they’re a wealth of knowledge. And take a big wallet, because there’s always offers on and a lot of temptation! But mostly just enjoy the atmosphere and the event.

The Photography Show is the must-visit event of the year for anyone who loves photography, and is brought to you by Future Plc, the publishers of TechRadar. The show runs from March 18-21. To book your tickets and find out more visit The Photography Show.

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.