Photography seems to be a huge interest within the creative disciplines and it would appear these days that everyone who owns a smart phone (99.9% of the U.K population) is some sort of ‘Photographer’.
It’s a complete misconception that being a photographer is an easy click of the button and watch the money come rolling type of career. Photography is a skill that requires a creative eye, camera knowledge and the networking skills of a social butterfly. I sat down with professional photographer and photo manipulator, Robert Borbely who has worked with global brand Jägermeister to get the real chat on what it’s really like to make a living from his own photos.
Name – Robert Borbely
Discipline – Photography and Photo Manipulation
Location – Bradford
Studied – College & Self Taught
Instagram – @rsb_photography
Website – https://www.robertborbely.com
Roberts creative talent developed from a young age, he says he loved to draw and even managed to win an art competition at 7 years old: “I never was into art at school but my Nan would always get me drawing, I would spend most weekends with her and I would draw all the time.”
Flash forward some years, Robert moved away from his sketching ability and started to get into online gaming. He quickly started to earn money and before he knew it, he was completely addicted. Although making a fair amount of money, he remembers it all coming to an end in 2007 when his account got hacked and he lost absolutely everything. “When that happened I decided it was time to take a step back, I wanted to get away from it. I had always had a camera so I decided to pick it up and I haven’t looked back since.”
Robert enrolled onto a Photography course at a local college and here he would learn the skeleton of a camera that led to him picking up some photography gigs within the North of England. Shortly after graduating Robert went on to explore some more advanced techniques and discovered photo manipulation: “I do everything on Photoshop. I really enjoy taking ‘normal’ photo-shoots and making them into fantasy compositions. It’s time consuming but the outcome is amazing.”
Robert states that he never sticks to a set creative process and he likes to let the ideas naturally happen: “I never go into a shoot with a set plan, the creative process just kind of forms depending on location and the team you’re working with that day.”
Looking through Robert’s impressive portfolio, his work can be described as fantasy, semi dark and very detailed. He says, “I am definitely inspired by my online gaming days, I love the whole fantasy style. I do a lot of Comic Cons and that way I can get a lot of amazing pictures of people already dressed up – Plus I get a free pass for the day, so if you’re a comic fanatic it’s a winning situation.”
Although it’s clear that Robert has found his feet and own distinct style within his discipline, he did confess that the biggest struggle as a photographer is money. Photography equipment is expensive and equipment is forever upgrading. Investing in a strong camera kit is essential if you have any aspiration of becoming a good photographer. I then went on to ask him what advice he would give to an aspiring photo taker and what he thinks makes a successful photographer’:
“You need to be good within sales, I see amazing photographers not doing great because they don’t have the character to sell their work and then I see what I’d consider average photographers making a good living just off the fact they can talk about their work and really sell it to their clients… When you first start out don’t expect too much, clients will come and go but you just have to keep working hard and if it’s your passion just love every minute of doing what you love for a living.”
Already working with the likes of Jägermeister and other brands, I couldn’t help but ask what was next for Robert Borbely:
“I don’t have a set plan but I find that photography has become very saturated and I am wanting to push my creativity within manipulation as well as broadening my work. I would like to go into ecommerce and product photography, I have already done a few shoots and I really enjoyed it.”
Watch this space. If any creative would be interested in collaborating with Robert, follow his work and get in contact.
QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS
Nikon or Canon?
Studio or Location shoots?
Three MUST haves on shoot day?
Camera, Ipad and Speedlight
What’s your favourite piece in your folio?
I don’t really have one, but if I was to choose I guess my piece that illustrates a bottle within the sea, it’s very detailed.
Your next project?
I’m going to Hull soon and then to London to hopefully get some exciting work done.
What other discipline are you keen to collaborate with?
Open to work with anyone within the creative industry, if you have talent then why not.
Who would be your dream client?
More international brands.
Last piece of advice to our readers?
You will experience some negativity from some people, your work can’t please everyone unfortunately. But keep your head down and work hard… these negative people are just jealous anyway.