Enterprising Day with Yves Salmon – Busy London photographer

Yves Salmon (left)  busy directing the shots
Yves Salmon (left) busy directing the shots

Whether going out on a shoot or spending time at home preparing for the next shoot, Yves Salmon, the busy London photographer’s day starts very early, at approximately 6.30am or earlier if she has a job, ‘then I’d like to be on the road by 7.00am because you never know what the traffic is going to be like and anyway I need to unload, set up and make the most of the day on location.”
Based in East London, Yves has been working as a photographer since 1997 when she finally pursued her passion by setting herself up as an independent after working at the British Film Institute. “Many of my clients are corporate. I am frequently called to do portraits of staff members for inclusion in financial reports or brochures. I also have commissions by the Historic Royal Palaces and British Waterways to produce a series of promotional photographs. I also do portraits for press communications and work as house photographer at film festivals, parties and receptions. My portraits of actors and directors are distributed by Eyevine Picture agency.
In the past, a red carpet job has led to photographing man of the moment Steve McQueen, the Director of this year’s multi awarded film, ‘12 Years a Slave’. Yves has McQueen’s portrait on her business card – a testament to her fine portraiture skills. “He actually sat for me during the Toronto Film Festival in 2008, when he was presenting his first feature ‘Hunger’ for which he also won the 2008 Diesel Discovery Award.” Yves remembers McQueen to be very gracious and accommodating.
“I like working on projects that are people centric. I like the variety and meeting and interacting with new people. I like to be creative in presenting people in new lights.’ Asked about her dream person to portray, Yves responds that she would like to capture different
personalities ten years after they have left the limelight like photographing Obama sometime after he has left office.
“I have a list of people who I’d like to photograph. I guess they would be my ideal dinner dates ten years on after their days in the spotlight.”
On days she is not shooting, Yves works on updating her monthly newsletter which she posts on her website: www.yvessalmon.co.uk. Since she doesn’t own a studio, she might catch up on post-production of personal projects, as she says, “I have come to specialise in environmental portraiture (shooting people on location). It provides me with creative challenges to figure out how best I can present the work under sometimes restrictive conditions.”
At present Yves is enjoying having her work exhibited at the Hackney Museum, under a project partly funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation called ‘Side by Side: Living in Cazenove’ – Cazenove being a typical street in the borough, taken as an example of how people from all over the world live side by side in diverse Hackney. The exhibition continues until 17th May 2014.
Given her frenetic workload, does Yves ever get a moment to herself? “It depends how long I have to turnaround a job. I might work on editing to meet a deadline or upload photographs online, then I work at all times and well into the night. On evenings when I do have free time, I enjoy DIY, taking bike rides and even salsa dancing, watching movies and reading. I also collect photographic books for inspiration but usually on most non shooting days, I’m out like a light by 11pm.

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