Alex Finch is a British photographer based in Seoul. He shoots mostly street style for himself and for brands, such as Stella McCartney, AMERICAN APPAREL, NIKE and REEBOK. Since 2014 he has been covering Seoul Fashion Week for VOGUE and STYLE.COM.
As our first interview of Discover, we are privileged to have the chance to speak to Alex Finch. He has been covering Seoul Fashion Week annually and his work with various international brands has been adored by many fans all over the world.
How did you first develop an interest in photography?
It was about eight years ago when a friend of mine who was shooting for himself told me that I should get out and shoot a little on the street (I had just bought a new camera.) I decided to give it a go and for the first few months it was really slow and because I’m as shy as I am, I ended up waiting around a lot and not really asking anyone for a photo. I would be happy with one shot every few hours in the beginning.
Can you describe your personal style of photography?
I like to shoot street style but where the model is unaware of me (like at fashion week) but I also like shooting landscapes or architecture with my Leica Q. I’m not sure I can list my style, but I try to keep it clean?
You have worked with many different brands, magazines, and companies over your career. What are some of your career highlights thus far?
Covering Seoul Fashion Week for Vogue US and working with Stella McCartney have been two of my biggest achievements but I’m shooting less and less outside of fashion week and I’d like to maintain some kind of relationship with the people that I shoot with and meet often. That’s my new challenge.
Have you always been into the fashion world?
Not at all. I’ve always tried to look alright when I go out, but it’s only been in the last couple of years where I’ve even found my own personal style. I’m still embarrassingly ignorant of fashion.
As for advertising work, do you find you enjoy it as much or less as editorial?
I wish I could do more editorial work but I also recognize that I have so much to learn. Ideally, I’d love to collaborate with another photographer on something so that I could observe and learn.
What gear do you use nowadays? Has your setup changed at all as you’ve progressed?
I’m using a Nikon D5/85mm and a Leica Q these days and while I’ve jumped from Canon to Nikon, I’ve mostly kept to the 50-85mm range for my street style shooting. Can’t see much more changing this year.
What are you trying to do differently in 2021, lifestyle-wise, style-wise or otherwise?
Take my time and stop rushing. Also, I want to do some more work with a stylist before the end of the year. Too nervous to contact people a lot of the time. Need to break out of my bubble a little.
What projects do you have that we should look forward to?
Aside from Seoul Fashion Week in October, nothing at all. The weather has been terrible for the past few weeks since I got back from my holiday back in England and I’m still waiting for it to even out so that I can get back out and shoot in the sun.
Do you have any words of advice for aspiring photographers?
Don’t be as shy as me and if you want to shoot something, go and shoot it. Of course, it takes the time to work up a portfolio to approach bigger models and brands, but it’s so easy to find people or even friends to shoot with and help you build a portfolio before you start marketing your work.
Finally, how do you like Seoul? How are you settling there and was it difficult to make the transition?
I’ve been here for 10 years and I’ll be happy to stay for another 10. That being said, have to get out and be more sociable instead of just enjoying it on my own.