Photographer and Co-Founder of Cutaway Magazine; Dave Schofield

Dave Schofield is a first class Art graduate who specialised in printmaking and painting but now works mainly in photography. He co-founded Cutaway Magazine and the first issue has just gone on sale; he is also part of the team at Structo Magazine based in London. He is a widely-published story writer and poet and works for a special needs support company at Bolton University.

“I remember doing a module of photography when I was at university and it being ‘very old school’. The lecturer made us use black and white film only, which we developed ourselves – I don’t remember ever picking up a digital camera even though they’d been popular for years. I loved the developing process and still shoot in film but the emphasis on the module was technical purity and exactness. I can’t work like that, I like to experiment and make a mess. I prefer to make mistakes because I find the limits of what I am doing and can then experience the whole medium, rather than staying in one spot and only knowing a fragment of a skill. I failed the module and hung up my camera bag for several years to focus on drawing and print. At university I did however find a huge amount of inspiration pouring through the library of heavy photographer’s folios. From Bill Brandt to Jeanloup Sieff, Edward Weston to Toto Frima, Dorothea Lange and Jan Saudek. Nowadays Julian Humphreys, Corwen Prescott and Vara Pappas amongst many others.

Since I took photography up again a year or two ago I have begun to focus on shooting with people. I did a 365 project and found that landscapes, cityscapes and ordinary things just didn’t keep my attention after a while – yet working with a model they can make a hundred different poses, and the light can change in subtle ways. I shoot outdoors with models who trade their time for content for their portfolio. Unlike many creative paths there is a lot of money in photography – whether shooting children and babies, weddings, pets, family portraits or one of the millions of everyday applications. I’ve built a portfolio up and regularly post my pictures on websites like 365 Project Chewy Teeth, Flickr and my own blog Manchester’s Artistic Son and I’ve had offers of family portraits, actress head shots, commissions for people’s homes and shoots with children aswell as sales through my blog and facebook. I don’t really drive too hard to make money though as I’m happy having a certain amount of separation between what I do to earn money and what I do for enjoyment.

My writing, art and photography keep my mind buzzing and that’s how I like it. I do shoots with models between 1-4 times a month and it’s great to gather a team together, makeup artist, model, hair stylist, maybe fashion designer – all inputting their various skills and working together to make a great set of images. It makes photographing sunsets, macros and countryside seem a lonely and unchallenging pursuit for me. The northwest has some great locations for shoots, and some great models and photographers. http://www.modelmayhem.com is a portfolio website where models and photographers can meet and build up their body of work. Most of all I enjoy seeing my own progression, whether it’s my writing, photography or drawing, if I can see my newest work is stronger than my older stuff then I keep my head down and stay focused. I hope I don’t get too good at anything, I think I’d lose interest!”

Follow Dave on Twitter @daveschoie and read his blog at Manchester’s Artistic Son.

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