Cameron Prentice is a freelance editorial photographer and Exclusive 500px Licensing Contributor based in Edinburgh. He travels and photographs different areas within the United Kingdom, while also working predominantly within the creative industry.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself—how did you start in photography, and what is your current focus in the creative industry?
A: I grew up in a small countryside town called Dollar in Scotland, which is surrounded by impressive hills, rivers, and forests. Spending time outdoors during my childhood definitely shaped where I am today and what I enjoy. The accessibility to nature meant I was always out mountain biking with friends and building things outdoors. I began photographing my friends biking across Scotland, at various events, and this meant upgrading from a point and shoot to a basic Canon DSLR.
While studying at the University of St Andrews, I joined Lightbox, which is a creative media service provider that covers student events, weddings, balls, and corporate events. Being able to have an outlet and join a group that allows an artist’s work to be recognized within the community (monetarily and visually) was an exciting opportunity. Alongside studying for a BSc degree in Geology, I became more involved in the running of the company, shooting events, multiple weddings, and organizing trips away. This led to implementing a legal and financial structure within the company to ensure its longevity for future students to join and shape in their own way.
My current focus is on building and developing an all-inclusive minimal aesthetic identity company in Edinburgh. We are working with a variety of start-up clients in London and across the UK, helping to elevate their brand for future growth. The minimal design process implemented is inspired by the love for simple, beautiful, and natural forms.
Q: As someone who studied geology, do you find this influences your photography when shooting landscapes?
A: The understanding of the natural world I have gained studying geology at the University of St Andrews has translated into my current work not only in landscape but also across commercial and editorial.
Studying geology allows you to consider and question scale at all levels, and this is ever-present when I am shooting. This can be interpreted from the viewer’s perspective, and how they connect and receive the image, by conveying a certain sense of scale (macro or micro) when I am standing in an immense landscape.
Q: What has been the best learning experience for you working in the creative field?
A: It has definitely been reaching out to people in a similar field, whether that is photography, design, or the freelance space in general. It provides a great sphere of friends and acquaintances to bounce and share ideas with, meet up with, and connect with clients. It is important to maintain a healthy mental approach and attitude in the sometimes lonely world of freelance work, and this enables that.
Q: As a managing partner at Lightbox St Andrews, a creative services agency in Edinburgh, you must see a lot of creative content. What advice would you give to creatives looking to stand out and work in the creative industry?
A: As simple as it may be, I would recommend reaching out to small companies, brands, charitable organizations, or social causes. This could be a favorite coffee roastery, small scale clothing label, or a friend’s local business.
Where you would stand out from others is by approaching a brand or business with examples of what you could do for them like a set of images of their product or space, a revamped logo, or a flyer for a future event they could host to bring creatives together. I believe well thought out proactivity will pay off in the long run if you are serious about entering the creative space in your local area and further afield.
Q: What’s the photography scene like in Edinburgh currently?
A: There is a great and ever-growing group of artists in Edinburgh. The photography scene is certainly not as saturated as larger cities across the world, but it is not without its competition. Working with companies across the UK allows me to travel out of Edinburgh to places such as the Lake District or London.
Leith, an area of the city to the north of Edinburgh, hosts an ever-increasing number of creative events, meet-ups, and pop-up shops. I am currently working with Kestin Hare, a functional and technical menswear clothing company that is based in Custom Lane—a collaborative co-working space for designers, architects, photographers, and alike that is a melting pot for creativity. I am excited to see the growth of this area over the coming years as tourists and visitors discover it and experience what it has to offer as a place of work and leisure.
Q: Where do you find cinematic inspiration for your photography?
A: A large part of my visual aesthetic is inspired by classic design from the past. I tend to look across all mediums, including architecture, graphic design, film, and magazine. Ultimately, I believe I draw most of my inspiration from the shapes and lines within the natural world and our inherent interconnectedness with it.
Q: What inspired you to initially begin licensing your content on 500px?
A: I wanted to showcase my images to a wider and global audience online, and 500px offered a simple and easy-to-use interface for Licensing exclusively online.
Q: What have you enjoyed about licensing your content on 500px?
A: I have enjoyed the process of considering all images in my back-catalog that would be suitable for Licensing purposes. It is sometimes about finding images I would not think of in the first instance. It has been helpful to go back through and edit older content with my current style of editing to rediscover and use.
Q: You recently sold this image (pictured below). What do you think the commercial appeal behind it was?
A: I believe the effortlessness and simplicity of the image appeals to the commercial audience. It shows the pure joy of being by the ocean with no other material possessions or distractions around!
Q: What is your next project?
A: I am currently working on a magazine called CMD+i with my good friend and business partner. It is a designer’s color guide to Scotland, and we hope it can be one of many volumes allowing us to travel and sample colors across the globe.
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