Name: Glyn Dewis
Occupation: Photographer, Retoucher, Trainer
Location: Buckinghamshire, UK (soon to be Devon)
- Glyn Dewis’s Web Site & Blog
- Glyn Dewis on 500px
- Glyn Dewis on Google +
- Glyn Dewis on Facebook
- Glyn Dewis on Twitter
Favorite Color: Blue
Describe yourself in three words: Focused, Adaptable, Bald
Hidden Talents: I seem to be good with numbers: remembering them and working out sums quickly. Apart from that and being able to do one handed wheelies on a mountain bike, I don’t really know. Oh, I can’t drink a pint of beer without feeling the effect; don’t know if that could be classified as a talent but it certainly makes nights out cheap
Irrational Fears: Latex horror masks; long story but from the age of about 6 they just freak me out.
Andrew: Glyn, the pleasure is all mine. Thank you for taking time for this interview.
Glyn: Hey no problem at all mate; thanks so much for asking.
Andrew: To get everyone on the same page, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Glyn: Sure thing. Ok I describe myself as a photographer, retoucher, trainer and Photoshop World instructor based in the UK. I work both in the studio and ‘on location’ and my main area of work sees me shooting promotional and commercial material for musicians, bands, physique athletes, up and coming actors and other industry professionals.
I also run a series of workshops where I teach Photoshop specifically concentrating on compositing and retouching techniques as well as the basics of Photoshop and camera skills plus I’m a compulsive blogger; what started as a 2-3 times a week posting schedule has now become almost daily…it’s my only addiction though honest
As for me, well I’m 40 years of age (I used to follow that by saying ‘just’, but my birthday was back in September and I can’t really do that anymore unfortunately). I’ve been married for 13 years, have 2 cats and in the not too distant future plan to move to Devon…how’s that?
Andrew: Perfect. Did you always plan on being a professional digital imaging guru?
Glyn: Guru? … lol, not at all. When I was a kid at school I wanted to be all kinds of things from a stuntman to a pilot in the Royal Navy. When I was 13, I went to drama school for a short period of time but had a change of heart and decided it wasn’t for me so knuckled down and studied for my GCSE’s. I was actually in the first year of pupils that did the GCSE’s and I came out with 9, with my A’s being in languages (French & German) and computer studies so then I wanted to be a systems analyst.
Anyway, long story short I eventually relocated to London at the age of 17 where I eventually became involved in the security world before moving away from doing that. I’ve always been a bit of a geek and interested in computers so one day when my uncle showed me this piece of software he was using called Photoshop, that was it…I was hooked.
Being the kind of person I am I couldn’t just play at it, oh no…I had to study it and get as good as I could which saw me joining the N.A.P.P. from day 1 of opening Photoshop and that very same year traveling to the USA for Photoshop World (best decision I’ve ever made). A relatively short while later I started editing other photographers work and eventually set myself up in business. The rest as they say is history
Andrew: So, you entered the Adobe arena in 2004, now you’re presenting at Photoshop World, on the cover of magazines, and involved with the guys at Kelby Media. How did you climb to the top so quickly?
Glyn: Hey l’m certainly not at the top, not by a long way. As corny as it may sound I’m just pushing to improve myself, what I do and be the best that I can be.
Up until about 4 years ago I used to compete at bodybuilding and during all the time I was doing that I remember my training partner saying to me that there will always be someone bigger and stronger, so just be the best you can be; and that’s how I see what I do today.
As for doing it quickly well that all depends how you view it. I spend a lot of time using Photoshop; I’ll use it every day and have done since I started. I’m always hungry to learn more and each day I’ll make a point of setting aside 30 minutes to study from a book, a video or forums.
Andrew: You seem like quite a self-motivated guy, tell us about what drives you.
Glyn: Just wanting to be the very best I can be, and wanting to provide the best I can for my wife is what drives me…it’s as simple as that.
Getting to an age when I can’t do something is one of my biggest fears in life…that in itself motivates the heck out of me to move forward.
Andrew: Here’s a fun one, what’s your favorite Photoshop keyboard shortcut?
Glyn: Favourite shortcut? That would have to be the Monster Shortcut…CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + E
Andrew: Ever completely botch a photo job for a client? How did that play out?
Glyn: Thankfully I’ve never completely botched a photo job but there have been some pretty memorable shoots.
One was fairly recent when I was taking some promotional shots for a theatre company. The location was a stately home in the grounds of a rather exclusive golf course and as is usual I turned up smart but casual wearing jeans, shoes and a long sleeved shirt. As soon as I walked in, I was quickly ushered to one said and asked who I was…I mean, who dare walk in to such a venue dressed in such a way? After explaining who I was, why I was there and been excused for wearing jeans I made my way inside to scout locations for the shoot. Well…the look on the face of everyone inside when the cast and crew of the production Cinderella turned up was priceless; suddenly me wearing jeans was the last thing on the staff’s mind when the 2 Ugly Sisters came crashing through the doors.
Andrew: What are your goals for the future?
Glyn: I’ve got lots of goals for the future, both personal and business and I review these as regularly as I can to make sure I’m doing the right things but as for what they are…well, I’m gonna keep those to myself but when I reach one I’ll let you know…how’s that?
Andrew: Fair enough, I look forward to the updates.
Many people, myself included, are inspired by your work and helped by your teaching. Where do you look when you want to get inspired or expand your boundaries?
Glyn: All kinds of places…DVD covers, movies, magazines and the work of others that I greatly admire both as people and artists: Scott Kelby, Calvin Hollywood, Tim Tadder, Joel Grimes and Uli Steiger to name a few.
Andrew: Your portfolio images all have a cohesive style. How did this develop?
Glyn: Style is one of those things you can’t force. I’m a big believer that you don’t find your style, your style finds you. By continually shooting and working on images over time your style will show itself even though at first you’ll likely be trying to emulate the work of others. That’s not a problem…in fact I’m sure everyone would encourage it, but by constantly pushing yourself and practicing your style will appear.
Everyone wants to have their own style but it’s not something you can cheat or force. The more you shoot and the more you edit, your own style will show itself.
Ok, so just to throw a curve ball into the mix here though…your style will continually evolve so don’t become complacent and never think you’ve arrived because we all can improve and we all have much more to learn and consequently our styles will reflect this; does that make sense?
Andrew: Completely. Great advice. In that vein, what advice can you give to others pursuing a career in the digital imaging industry?
Glyn: Don’t just use Photoshop every now and then and expect to improve; it’s something you need to practice every day. Think back to when I mentioned bodybuilding earlier; it’s the same…to improve and develop their physique, bodybuilders don’t just go to the gym every now and again..they go every day. Do something no matter how small to keep you in the learning curve.
Make use of forums, find people who’s work you love and try to copy it; that’s not a bad thing because the more you do this, over time your own style will come out as I mentioned earlier.
Invest in training: books, DVD’s, online training and so on. I get no money for saying this but from day 1, I signed up to the N.A.P.P. and later Kelby Training. I very much doubt I’d have continued using Photoshop let alone picked up a camera had I not done so. I’m still a paid up member, always will be and also subscribe to other teaching material.
Enjoy it! Photography and Photoshop is a lot of fun and all too often people become stressed and start taking it too seriously…probably because they’ve set themselves up in business way too soon mind you. I find that by constantly having time booked in to shoot my own projects keeps me motivated, keeps me excited and keeps me wanting to push myself further.
Ask others for their advice and opinions, but when I say that I mean to ask those whose work you admire and are doing the right things, AND when you do get their advice don’t just listen to it…act upon it. Those closest to you won’t always tell you what you want to hear, but rather what they think you want to hear for obvious reasons.
Andrew: Thanks very much Glyn!
Glyn: Not at all; it’s been a pleasure. Thanks.