Richard Dewehirst, chief creative photographer of Radical Snaps represents the convergence of a deep-rooted passion for photography and a commitment to unique, memorable, high quality imagery.
Tagline: Give yourself and your work a tagline.
You’ll remember when I shoot you.
Rest: How do you spend your time off?
I like to re-charge by visiting my family and friends back in the UK. While I’m over there I’ll often take in other parts of Europe. Before moving to the US I loved Europe but was so accustomed to the ancient architecture and rich history everywhere that the relative newness of America seemed fresh, brave, exciting, and appealing. After 18 years in LA I look at Europe through fresh eyes and the complacency has now worn off. I appreciate both equally.
Influence: What would you like to share with our audience and what effect do you hope to have on us?
My preferred genres are portraits, headshots, cityscapes and landscapes. I really hope sharing these samples of my work will inspire people, whether it’s as the catalyst to pick up a camera and become passionate about photography or to visit and enjoy the locations I was lucky enough to shoot. Of course, I invite people to check out my website www.radicalsnaps.com and Instagram @radical_snaps to see more of my work, start a dialog or discuss a project they might have. My goal is high quality, eye-catching, memorable pics.
Back: If you could choose a past literary/art/music movement to be a part of, which would you choose?
Honestly, I’m happy to be where I am. It’s an incredibly eclectic time and it seems like inspiring creativity is more diverse and accessible than ever. While virtual reality represents an exciting new digital frontier we have artists like Andy Goldsworthy and Banksy who are tapping into something more primal. From a photography standpoint I like the convenience and creative possibilities granted by digital. I appreciate the work of film aficionados but the extra time and cost associated with it are, at least to me, limiting factors. If you forced me to pick a past movement then I’d say the Land Art movement of the 70s, pioneered by the likes of Michael Heizer, Walter De Maria, Robert Smithson, and Nancy Holt. They rejected the commercialization of art and the limitations of gallery settings in favor of connecting their art with nature and in particular the vast emptiness of deserts. A few years ago I visited Spiral Jetty, Sun Tunnels, and Double Negative, three of the most famous installations, and it occurred to me that the journey to reach such pieces of art becomes part of the work itself.
Energy: What fires you up?
Well it’s no longer caffeine. I cut that out about a year ago. Hearing positive reactions to pics from a shoot I’ve put a lot of effort into is extremely rewarding as is seeing my work on display. Pretty much everyone has a camera in their pocket these days and pro-equipment is better than ever which makes it increasingly hard to cut through the clutter and stand out. I work hard and go the extra mile (often literally as well as metaphorically) to achieve ambitious goals and it’s really gratifying to get positive feedback.
Los Angeles: Where is your favorite place in Los Angeles? Where would you take visitors? If you could defend the city in one sentence to someone who doubts it, what would you say?
Griffith Observatory. The Venice canals remain a hidden gem and I really like the story behind them. It’s strange that I have to defend LA but I often find myself doing so. I really believe it has something for everyone and for those who dislike LA I would suggest they haven’t explored it enough.
Advice: What is the best advice you’ve received? What is the best advice you can give?
“Never give up”. It was one of my Welsh gran’s words of wisdom for future generations of our family. She passed away last year at the age of 99. RIP Nain.
The best advice I can give is “Never give up.” Unless your goal is to land on the sun, in which case give up.
Aura: How would you describe your energy, style, etc.?
My demeanor is positive. In fact, I’m streaming a web radio station called Positively Happy as I type this! I should point out that I’m not blindly optimistic and I’m human so things will get me down, but I tend to look at life through a positive lens. There’s a quote along the lines of ‘Being positive won’t guarantee you’ll succeed but being negative will guarantee you wont’ and that sentiment works for me.
Room: Where in your house do you work? If not in your house, where do you feel most compelled to create?
My favorite type of shoot is outdoors on location but they’re usually the most demanding. You learn to think on your feet and improvise with whatever is available, whether it’s the natural light, backdrops, people etc. There are so many variables that it’s inevitable you will come away with something creative and unique. LA has so much to offer photographers that I’ll never get bored with it and its proximity to breathtaking natural beauty like the deserts or along the PCH is a huge bonus. The sheer variety of available options is hard to beat. However, this time of year can be challenging due to the harsh murky light so I try to start shoots just after sunrise.
Tools: What do you prefer to work with, physically and otherwise?
My kit bag is typically packed with my Canon DSLR, lenses (F2.8 24-70mm and F2.8 70-200mm are my workhorses), tripod, speedlite, reflector, and various filters. For post-production I lean on Photoshop CS6.
Indulgence: Do you cook? What is your favorite food indulgence? What is your favorite restaurant in LA where you indulge yourself?
Yes and I’m getting more adventurous too. Tough to call so I’ll go with two: 1) Authentic Spanish Tapas, 2) Indian Food. OK, you twisted my arm so I’ll add Sees Candies and In & Out as my guilty pleasures.
I’m going to have to say The Kings Head in Santa Monica. It has provided consistently great times for me over the years and it satisfies my occasional cravings for an authentic full English Breakfast or Cornish Pasty.
Special: Who or what holds a special place in your heart? How does this factor in to your process?
I’m now a proud American but at the same time that doesn’t stop me from being proud of my British heritage. The two countries have so much in common while at the same time being so different. It’s a fascinating contradiction that I’ve spent years dissecting from my vantage point of having lived in both countries for decades. In fact, moving to another country is one of the best ways to discover your original country because you see things very differently when you step away for a while. It’s like the expression ‘you can’t see the wood for the trees’.
Time: What is your all-time favorite piece of writing/art/music you’ve created?
Ever since I was a kid I’ve been fascinated by spaceships and exploration (hence my earlier choice of Griffith Observatory for favorite place in LA). So, when I found out about the penultimate mission for Space Shuttle Atlantis (aka STS-132), I jumped at the chance to see it by reserving a viewing spot at the Kennedy Space Center and flying to Florida for the take-off. I saw another Orbiter just after it landed at Edwards Air Force Base and then finally the Endeavour as it piggy bagged a NASA 747, circling LA on its lap of honor. At the time I worked at Fox, so I was able to get access to the helipad on Fox Plaza to capture the once in a lifetime occasion. The series of pics across these events probably ranks as my favorite to date.