friday feature: james baigrie

South African James Baigrie has been shooting stunning editorial, commercial and catalog work for more than 15 years with clients like Pottery Barn, Martha Stewart Living, Crate & Barrel, Food & Wine and more.

James splits his work time between New York City and San Francisco -where he now resides with his wife and two sons. (The surf is much better over here.)

(I was able to assist James a few times in NYC and he was wonderful to work with.)

Here is our interview, for you:

01. What is your favorite camera to shoot with?
Hasselblad 6x4.5 with P30 back

02. What is your favorite subject to photograph? Why?
Food. Food can be a beautiful and interesting subject to shoot. Whether I am shooting food in a street market, at a dinner party or in the studio, it is always challenging and ultimately very rewarding.

03. What equipment do you shoot with? Do you use artificial lighting?
I shoot with a medium format digital system (Hasselblad and P30) and a Canon 5D Mark II. Yes, I use artificial lighting when I need to. I always try to make my artificial light look as natural as possible.

04. What makes a photo shoot go well?
Good collaboration and clear communication between art director, stylists and photographer. An art director who knows what she/he likes is very helpful too.

05. Children always look like they are having a good time in your photographs. What's your secret?
I am a goofball on shoots! Also, kids need to be photographed quickly or they get tired.

06. How did the switch from film to digital affect you?
I love digital and jumped at the opportunity to switch. Digital files are far easier to archive and digital workflow has had a huge impact on my ability to "capture the moment". My clients clearly enjoy the ability to see the images so boldly and clearly during the shoot. Digital has taken a lot of the risk factor out of my job.

07. What sources (photographers/artists/media/etc) inspire you?
The photographers who I assisted have been my biggest source of inspiration: Mike Donnelly and Simon Watson. I also love the work of Irving Penn and Annie Liebowitz among many others.

08. Have you ever thought of changing careers?
Yes. Sometimes I get burned out by commercial photography. I probably need to make more time to shoot personal work.

09. Describe your perfect day.
A mixture of food, kids and interiors in a beautiful setting. Talented stylists and a competent art director. Stunning natural light. Done by 5PM.

10. What advice would you give beginning photographers?
Assist photographers whose work inspires you and do your time in New York City.

Thank you, James! Show your love for this feature by leaving a comment here!

add to sk*rt


KJewell said...

What a guy! His work is so exciting and vibrant. I bet he brings good energy where ever he goes. Thanks for this Friday Feature.

Kate said...

I love this Friday series and I especially love this particular one. I think I have seen all of those images before. It was fun getting to know a little about the man behind the shots. Love it. Thank you.

Jen said...

I love this feature, too. I can see similarities between his style and yours. Both extremely talented.

Ksenia said...

Love the photos and the information. Thanks for the feature!

Jinnie N. said...

I really enjoy the interview you do with the photographers. Its so interesting and helpful to someone like me. :P Thank you~

jordan said...

Wow. I love these photos.

Chellese said...

I love your work, James. One question: How does one go about making connections with photographers with whom you'd like to work?

Diana Hulme said...

Gorgeous photos. I love the natural, clean look to all of his images! Simply beautiful. I wish I could go to New York & "do my time" by assisting photographers. :) For now I'll just look at James' photography!

JulieD said...

I love James' work! I would love to follow his advice and work with photographers whose work inspires me, and spend time in NY, but how do you get into that?

katelines photography. said...

your photographer spotlights are so inspiring. (as is your work)

thank you, thank you!


p.s. how about a up and coming photographer spolight? :) okay, totally kidding. i can dream.

katelines photography. said...

oh, and the third set of pictures down is my favorite. so fresh!

james- your work is breath-taking.

Molly W. said...

Great info! Thank you!

Jana Neser said...

There are such beautiful colors captured in these shots!

geoff said...

you rock, dude!

(his surfing's not to bad either)

emily said...

WOW. The hair brushing? AMAZING. Love it all. Thanks for the interview!

AlliSMiles said...

stunning. i love the stacked chairs and the cats.

JaNae said...

I'm loving all your friday photographer interviews. The information shared is great.
Maybe one day you could do a behind the scenes look at how photo shoots are done. I'm always interested in what the other side of the camera looks like.

Dana said...

I LOVED this interview! Very inspiring. Thank you!

esther lee said...

This is incredible work and so very inspirational.

Thanks for hosting.

Brooke Reynolds said...

Having been on many shoots with James and kids, I can confirm he IS a goofball (in the most delightful, sweet way!) Kids love him so the photos always look natural.. (it also helps that he is a great photographer!)