Helle Frederiksen

screen grabs from a recent commercial with Nike sponsored triathlete Helle Frederiksen






Helle Frederiksen by John Hicks

Surf Portraits – ‘The Impossible Dream’

‘The Impossible Dream’ is the surreal visual journey of young surfer Will Davey immersed in a world of water, waves and wipeouts – endlessly searching for perfection and a path to his ultimate destiny.
I started out as a student shooting black and white film with the red filter – which I hand printed on high contrast paper for added emphasis. I loved the monochrome cinematography of Andrei Tarkovsky and the wide angled world of photographers like Bill Brandt so I guess with this project I’ve returned to my roots and to the people that first inspired me to pick up a camera.

will davey surfer by john hicks

will davey surfer by john hicks

will davey surfer by john hicks

Careers Advice from John Hicks in Digital Photographer

While I’ve been a professional photographer for over 20 years it always seems strange to me when I get asked for careers advice because I’ve only ever had one ambition in life – to be a photographer.
The fact that I earn a living from what I love is a privilege I try not to lose sight of but I’d do it even if I didn’t because it’s so much a part of what I am, who I am and what defines me.
I wasn’t very good at school.
I’m not the academic type.
I never assisted anyone and am totally self taught.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way.
I’ve learnt the hard way.
I’ve always liked to share the knowledge I’ve acquired so if you plan to go pro or have an interest in the working life of a photographer click on the images below for my double page Q&A Careers Advice in Digital Photographer

john hicks digital photography Q&A

john hicks careers advice in Digital Photographer Magazine

dark side of the lens

‘Even if I’m only just scraping a living, at least its a living worth scraping’
says surf photographer and film maker Mickey Smith in ‘The Dark Side of the Lens’.
Combining stunning, abstract and emotive cinematography with an almost poetic narration, Mickey has condensed in five short minutes the essence of just following your dreams and doing what you love doing and what inspires you most. It’s a luxury not all of us are willing to sacrifice for but if you do want to step outside your comfort zone, challenge the confines of social convention and embrace adventures of the mind, body and spirit then this is one of the best short film I’ve ever seen to advocate that message.
Take a look and tell me it doesn’t send a shiver down your spine.

This film makes me think of the day I was lucky enough to point my lens at world class surfer Clay Marzo
Clay was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in 2007 and getting direct eye contact with him can be a bit of a mission for a photographer.
As with most celebrity shots you rarely get given much time but portraits are all about making a connection and I knew I’d made a great one when later, sitting alone at lunch, Clay came in and scanned the room before walking over and sitting with me.
We didn’t speak once but I knew I’d got that rare moment of human contact that makes a good portrait stand out and connect back to you.
If you too are seriously into H2O be sure to check out the awesome footage on Clay after the still.