An interview with... Photographer Joe Galvin | Realm & Empire

An Interview with... Fashion Photographer Joe Galvin

Posted on September 25, 2014 by Realm & Empire

Joe wears the R&E Officer Trench Coat in Beige &  R&E Cable Knit Crew in Loden Green

At just 22, Joe Galvin already has a smashing portfolio under his belt , balancing his time studying for a finance degree with shooting portrait photography for girlfriend Olivia's hugely successful fashion & lifestyle blog, What Olivia Did. We thought it was about time we urged Joe to step out from behind the lens to talk to us about photography, inspiration, London, style... and burgers! 

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R&E: Hi Joe, great to have you here. So fill us in, what have you been up to lately?

JG: Not much really! Liv and I have been really busy shooting, and I’ve got a year left on a finance degree so I suppose making the most of my last ‘proper’ summer!

R&E: We're big fans of the images for WOD. What fuelled your interest in photography, was this a natural progression from helping out Olivia or has this always been an interest?

My only artistic experience pre-WOD was getting a U in GCSE art, so it’s definitely not something that I thought would ever interest me! I first started shooting Liv literally because I was there at the time, so she would place me in a position, set the camera and tell me when to shoot, but it didn’t take me too long to get the hang of it, and I think I now enjoy shooting more than she does! I think it’s always important in a long term relationship to have genuine shared interests, so unless Liv get a QPR season ticket, it looks like photography’s going to be ours!

R&E: When you're shooting, what is your thought process and at what point do you say, 'I've got it'?

It’s a bit difficult to say really! To be honest, the most difficult part is the technical side i.e. getting the lighting/contrast right etc. Once that’s done it’s fairly easy to get what we want! I must have shot Liv about 20,000 times over the last 4 years or so, so she knows what works and what doesn’t, and I know what she’ll like and won’t like, and I obviously know her well enough to just say if her legs doing something weird or whatever! In terms of a ‘eureka’ moment, you can usually tell almost immediately if it’s perfect, but if not, you just keep shooting. There have times when we have taken 200+ photos and been a bit meh about them, but sometimes that eureka moment doesn’t happen until its up on the big screen and edited, so you just have to have faith that if you keep trying, you can get THAT shot.

R&E: What about cameras, what's your weapon of choice? 

I’m currently using a Canon 5D Mark III body with a 50mm f1.4 lens. It’s a relatively new body so I’m still getting to grips with it but the lens we’ve had for a while and it’s such a useful and affordable lens to have, and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to shoot full length body shots like I do!

R&E: The majority of your images are on location, where do you begin choosing a spot to shoot? 

When we shoot we usually try to make a day of it, be it going to museums, getting a bite to eat somewhere that you haven’t before or even something as simple as taking a bus route that you never have before. This means that we’re always able to stumble across some cool backdrops for future reference, and once you have a list of potential places, it’s simply a case of matching it with the perfect outfit!

R&E: London features prominently as a backdrop in your photographs – what do you think makes the City such a special location to photograph?

Having had the pleasure of going to other big cities such as Paris and New York, I think what makes London so special is the sheer diversity of it! There’s the perfect combination of traditional and iconic British architecture, new and innovative skyscrapers and beautiful parks and green space, which means that you’re never more than 30 minutes away from what you need!

R&E: On the subject of London –  where's the best place for grub? Any hidden gems we should know about?

As lovers of Italian food, Liv and I never really look further than Franco Manca (although Pizza Pilgrims is a close second!!), and Hawksmoor is the perfect place for a decent steak! 

R&E: We've noticed from your snaps that you guys share our love of the burger. So, what's the best burger joint of them all?

You’ve put me on the spot there!! There are some amazing places in London, but the best of the best has to be Honest! I had my first taste of an Honest burger about 3 years ago and I’ve never looked back.

R&E: Aside from shooting for W.O.D, how do you like to fill your days?

I’m an absolute football addict, so Sky Sports News is always on when I’m at home! When I’m not studying, I’m usually round Liv’s making lunch and trying to convince her to watch whatever box set I’m obsessing about at the time!

R&E: We're getting serious now...The big question – dream job?

I really don’t know to be honest! I think running a fashion magazine with Liv doing the content and myself doing the numbers would be great, but I don’t know how up for it she would be!

R&E: Describe your style…

I think I have a fairly simple style, there’s nothing a love more than a plain white tee, rolled up black jeans and a pair a brogues, so simple stuff fitted well is what I love!

R&E: Where do you take your style influences from, if any?

I have to say Liv! When you have someone who knows so much about clothes with you at all times, it would be foolish not to listen and take note!

R&E: Do you any sartorial essentials for the colder seasons?

I’m a MASSIVE lover of a decent coat, so whenever the temperature begins to drop I think I’m the only one smiling!! When you have a fairly simple style I think it’s important to have a staple clothes item in your wardrobe, and a good, well fitted coat is perfect for that!

R&E: Favourite piece of the R&E Autumn/Winter collection?

After my last answer, I think it has to be the beige trench coat!! It looks so well fitted and stylish, everything that you want in a staple piece!

R&E: And finally, let's finish with a quick-fire favourites round.. 'cause everyone loves a pop-quiz...

  • Book – ‘Why England Lose’ by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski
  • Movie – 12 Angry Men
  • Food – obviously has to be a burger!
  • Band/Artist - Metronomy
  • Past-time – exploring new places

Cheers for joining us!

R&E

Follow Joe on Instagram

Photography by Olivia Purvis

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