Swain Joshua, a highly acclaimed London-based photographer,
has made significant strides in the industry with his remarkable photography projects in Dubai over the last three years.
Renowned for his creative approach to global brand campaigns and high-profile photoshoots, Swain consistently delivers exceptional photography services both in London and Dubai.
I began my journey in the visual arts as a photographer for modeling agencies, conducting test shoots for models. I was fortunate enough to shadow some of my favorite photographers, which was a fantastic learning experience. In the early stages, I dedicated a lot of my time to doing free work for aspiring brands. This not only helped me to gain valuable experience and grow my portfolio, but it also gave me the opportunity to establish connections within the industry. Over time, these experiences paved the way for my transition into videography and TV production.
My approach to ensuring uniqueness for each project starts with meticulous pre-planning. I spend time researching and visiting each location prior to the shoot, evaluating its potential to create the right atmosphere and aesthetic for the brand. This phase includes crafting a detailed shot list, specifying lens choices, shot frames, and considering the nuances of light and composition that each location offers.
To visualize the final result and set expectations, I also create a teaser highlight video. This helps both me and the brand to imagine how the final product will look and feel. It’s an iterative process, where we fine-tune our concept and execution until we’re confident that it’ll deliver a unique and impactful representation of the brand, whether it’s Charlotte Tilbury, Gucci, or any other client we are working with.
My most memorable project that made its way into a top-tier magazine was my first assignment for Elle Arabia. This project was particularly special because it was the first one I embarked on post-Covid, after having stayed at home for over three months. The anticipation and excitement I felt to finally get back to doing what I love was unparalleled.
The project was both challenging and fun as we were shooting face masks to be featured on the magazine cover – a sign of the times we were navigating. It was a different kind of fashion statement, one that recognized the global situation while celebrating the resilience of the industry. It was this unique blend of fashion and significance that made the project so memorable for me.
Yes, one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences I’ve had was during a shoot in the desert for Djula Paris. While the location was breathtakingly beautiful, the combination of sand and jewellery presented quite a unique challenge. We had to deal with the heat all day, ensuring the jewellery pieces were protected and properly maintained in the harsh conditions.
In addition to this, we had to ensure that the model felt comfortable and enjoyed the shoot, despite the physically demanding task of climbing and posing on the randomly high rocks in the desert. Despite these challenges, the entire team pushed through, and the end result was truly worth it. Every moment of this project, despite its difficulties, was enjoyable and fulfilling, further solidifying my love for what I do.
Maintaining creativity after producing over 300 videos and managing more than 50 TV productions is all about constant inspiration, teamwork, and brainstorming. I truly believe in the power of collective creativity. Collaborative brainstorming sessions are often the birthplace of the most innovative ideas.
We’re not necessarily trying to reinvent the wheel every time. Instead, we aim to take inspiration from what surrounds us and then give it our unique spin. We draw from our favorite combinations of advertisements and branding ideas and transform them into something fresh and impactful.
This constant pursuit of inspiration and collective ideation keeps the creative juices flowing and ensures that every project we work on has its unique flavor, standing out from the rest.
One significant lesson I’ve learned from working on large-scale advertising campaigns is the immense importance of planning down to the minutest details. Every element, no matter how small, can significantly impact the overall outcome of a project.
Capturing the essence of brands or celebrities in my work begins with establishing a mutual understanding and clear communication. The first step involves a detailed discussion where we listen to all branding requests, get to know their style, their brand values, and their vision.
In these discussions, we not only listen but also provide expert suggestions based on our knowledge and experience. This might include recommendations on locations, production hires, model suggestions, types of branding, and broad conceptual ideas.
Once we’ve gathered all the necessary information and discussed various options, we create a detailed plan that outlines all aspects of the production. We then finalize the budget and, with everyone’s approval, kickstart the production work.
This comprehensive approach ensures that the resulting videos and productions truly reflect the brand’s or celebrity’s identity, delivering content that is both authentic and compelling.
For those starting in the beauty and commercial sectors, one of the most important things to focus on is building a strong portfolio. It is your portfolio that showcases your talent, style, and range of capabilities to potential clients.
Collaboration is a key aspect of this industry. Working with the right models can significantly enhance the results of your projects. Always strive for collaborations that will help create high-quality work, elevating the overall aesthetics of your portfolio.
Another crucial advice is to consider your projects as investments towards your future. Putting in the time, effort, and resources to generate amazing results will pay off in the long run as your portfolio grows and improves.
Working with talented makeup artists and designers is also paramount. They can bring in their expertise and creative vision, adding unique elements to your projects. The beauty and commercial sectors are collaborative fields, and the more you can successfully work with and learn from others, the more you can grow and excel.
Looking towards the future, I am particularly excited about expanding my portfolio work for upcoming brands and models. Every new project brings unique challenges and learning opportunities that I thoroughly enjoy.
Moreover, I’m thrilled about the prospect of integrating more AI technologies into my work. The potential of AI in videography and TV production is vast and largely untapped. I am particularly interested in creating a video portfolio that showcases the combination of traditional filmmaking techniques and AI technologies.
Such projects will not only push the boundaries of what we can achieve creatively but also open up new ways of storytelling, and that is an exhilarating prospect. I’m eager to explore these new technologies and their applications in my field.