Stuart Miller – “Hugh Laurie was a complete gentleman to photograph”
We talk to Sydney based photographer Stuart Miller about alcohol, Hugh Laurie and the photography industry.
This week The Creative Chair is in Sydney, Australia, talking with professional photographer Stuart Miller. Stuart’s work has sent him all over the world to photograph people, places and a lot of booze!
We caught up with him to find out more.
How did you get into photography?
My father was a photographer. I spent hours in the darkroom with him as a child, intrigued by the process of it all. I grew up imagining I would be a photographer one day also. While our style is very different, it’s my father who inspired me from a young age.
You’re based in Sydney, but a lot of your work is for products hailing from elsewhere in the world (such as the Scotch whiskies). Do projects like this see you travelling to places like Scotland or are the products generally sent to you?
Yes, I’m based in Sydney Australia, although my work thankfully takes me all over the globe. I shoot a lot on location and feel creatively energised when I get to immerse my photography in different locations in different countries; it’s one of the things I love most about my job.
I used to live and work in London, and still have a number of advertising clients that like my style and get me over for jobs. In particular, a lot of alcohol clients. I have spent a lot of time photographing products on location in different distilleries.
As a follow-up to the last question; you do a lot of work with alcoholic beverages. Why is that? Are you the industries go-to guy for alcoholic beverages?
I’m a little different to a lot of photographers in the industry. I have grown up photographing people. Fashion, portrait, and advertising. Around five years ago I happened to shoot a few alcohol jobs and created a unique more natural style of alcohol photography. I think the fact that I never really assisted still life photographers, or was technically trained in alcohol work was an advantage, as it was self-taught, which helped create more of my own unique style. The photography was really well received, and before I knew it, I had shot a large amount of alcohol campaigns around the globe.
I have come to really love alcohol/liquids photography. I still love photographing people more than anything, and when I get the odd campaign that brings alcohol and people together. It has been a good skill set to have.
You photographed Hugh Laurie. Tell us a little more about that.
Hugh Laurie was acting in an independent film in Papua New Guinea. The New Zealand director Andrew Adamson had noticed some portrait work from a personal series I had photographed in Papua New Guinea a year prior. The director commissioned me to come to the location on the small Pacific island of Bougainville, and photograph the cast of the film in a similar style to my recent personal work.
Hugh Laurie was a complete gentleman to photograph. When I met him for the first time, he mentioned it was my personal portraits of the Bougainvillian people that drew him to the film. I took that as a huge compliment.
Finally, if you died and got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?
Fuck Forever – Babyshambles