Bradley sorts his images by applying a rank of one through five stars. For images with three to four stars, he creates an online Web gallery for private client access, which is part of his liveBooks website. “I’ll send everything to the client and say, ‘Here are the original captures. Take a look then we’ll talk about which ones you like.’ They’ll give their opinion about which ones should be retouched; I’ll go back and retouch some more.”
Bradley creates custom Photoshop brushes and concentrates on blending different elements from different captures. He will soften and smooth textures in the background, then add contrast.
“I’ll give a separate contrast to the dress than I will to the face, and a separate one for the hair. If the hair is dark, I’ll usually lighten it to bring out some detail. If it’s light, I’ll darken it to give more depth of texture.”
After he introduces contrast to an image, Bradley starts painting shadows and manipulating colors and textures to simplify the scene. “Photography, in particular, is the opposite of painting, where you start with a blank canvas and add things. With photography, you start with a complex world and simplify by bringing it down to simple geometric patterns, shapes, and textures.”
The Passion of Business
Having been a marketing strategist in corporate America for six years before transitioning to full-time photography, Bradley manages his business with the same fervor and ingenuity he applies to his photographs. He maintains that clients hire photographers for two things: creative vision and their ability to execute that vision.
“That is one area where my professional marketing background is helpful. It gives me credibility in that I can manage a corporate team. One’s ability to oversee a business and the practical elements of a shoot, as well as deliver something beautiful, are the central things clients look for.”
Contrast, a recurring theme in Bradley’s work, is also an apt description of the artist himself. An MBA business strategist turned fashion photographer, he validates the adage about art reflecting life. A complex man with a simple passion for photography, Bradley produces imagery that is at once provocative and aloof, spellbinding and disquieting.
For more Bradley images, visit www.augustbradley.com