Amongst the droves of New York City Fashion Photographers, there is one who wants you to not only see, but “touch and taste his art”. Meet Seth London. With a hardly contrived confidence, unabashed approach, and an eagle-like eye for sexiness, Seth is seamlessly maneuvering through the rugged terrain we call the fashion industry. Always keen on highlighting the uniqueness of a garment, the nuances that make every woman beautiful, and the subtle vulnerabilities of his masculine subjects, learn more in this exclusive Quintessential Gentleman interview below.
QG: How did you begin photography?
SETH LONDON: I have always said I would have three stories of how I began my career in photography. One I would tell my friends over drinks. Another I would tell Oprah Winfrey and the last I would tell on my exclusive interview by Diane Sawyer. I actually just picked up a camera and learned how to shoot. I was in high school and didn’t want to spend $150 on a senior yearbook so I brought a film camera and got some film and started shooting my friends. Once I got good at it I took photography 101 as an extra credit class, however my mom thought it was too expensive and wanted me to focus on college…”. This is what I will tell Oprah.
Over drinks I would tell my friends what only my friends know, that I met a model from Ford NYC who really hated how the fashion industry treated male models. I set out trying to make a difference in menswear and men’s fashion and this is the story I would tell Diane sawyer.
QG: Why did you become a photographer?
SETH LONDON: I started photographer in high school; as a means to capture my friends and my activities. When I went to college, my academic studies was forensic science. I became oddly turned on with how people could photograph dead bodies and crime scenes. So one thing lead to another. Did I every think it will end up like this – not in a million years!
I photograph because it is a creative outlet. I am not a painter or sketch artist, but with my film and camera I, can display visual art. I am happy being able to provide people with a picture; a document that can never be repeated. I also enjoy helping models achieve their goals and dreams.
QG: How do you describe your style of shooting?
SETH LONDON: Sexual. Intimate. Personal. Gritty. Raw. These are all accurate ways to capture the emotions of my photography and who I am as a photographer.
“Seth London” is not just a name or a person. It is an idea, a feeling I evoke in the models I meet and the people I pass. I am not just a man with a camera – I am a visionary pushing the boundaries on what is safe and accepted.
QG: Having crossed the “color barrier” experienced by many photographers seeking acceptance in the competitive NY market, what do you think accounts for your success?
SETH LONDON: When I find out I will make certain to tell you. I am not a trend. I try to stay ahead of the ball and never getting boxed into one style or one point of view. I am like a roller coaster. You just have to stay tuned and enjoy the ride. Once you think you know what to expect from my studio…I change it up.
QG: What are some of the challenges do you face being a photographer?
SETH LONDON: Jobs. I feel it’s harder to find clients who want to actually pay real money for a shoot. People just think, “hey you have a camera and it’s just a picture; why are you charging me 600 dollars?”. It’s hard to fight with new photographers who will do your job for 13 your rate or for free. And I can not fight with free.
The circle. Some clients being agencies, designers, magazines and etc. only book people they know. The invisible circle; and you can be the best in your craft but if you are not in the invisible circle you’re not going anywhere.
Editing. I am not the best editor. I do not like to over process my work. I study photography in the dark room and film. So I have a very “what you see, is what you shoot” mentality. I want my audience to see the beauty in the un beauty of what I see. Not, what my apple and my Photoshop can create. But I feel that’s the new thing. To edit some one beyond recognition
QG: Where do you gain your inspiration from?
SETH LONDON: The streets. I love the streets. It’s so young and in your face. Social media + Magazine and blogs: These three to me stay on top of the trend and trends. I believe to better yourself as a photographer one must do their homework.
QG: What is in the immediate future for Seth London?
SETH LONDON: At this rate, I hope Botox and a walker. But I really don’t know what next month will bring. I just try to perfect my team and my skills. So when the next big event or client comes I am ready. One of my mentors said..”you are not as good as your last job. but you are only as good as your next job”. The next job forces you to do it all over again so people know it is skill and not sheer luck.
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Here is some of Seth’s work:
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