Design Splat | Interviews with Awesome Designers and Creatives


Posted November 24th by Design Splat in Photographers

The third installment of ‘Photographer Week’ AND our 70th Feature is the talented young Gareth Rhys who is a Fashion Photographer from Wales. Enjoy!

– Interview

Welcome to Design Splat Gareth!

Hello! 🙂

To get the readers started tell us a bit about what you do:

I am a freelance fashion and portrait photographer from South Wales, but I mainly shoot in The Midlands and London.

How did you get into Photography?

When I was around 15, a friend of mine showed me some work by a photographer called Suzi 9mm. I had always had a fascination with the macabre, and her work was exactly this. I was studying art in school at the time which I was finding a bit boring, and I instantly became interested in photography and would spend hours looking at photographers work online. I then came across Lithium Picnic’s photography, which has a strong alternative fashion/fetish feel to it – something which also interested me. However, I didn’t pick up a camera til I was 16 and I decided to take a photography course at the age of 17. It wasn’t until a year later I started to dabble in fashion and portrait photography, and it’s something I’ve loved doing ever since my first shoot!

What aspect of Photography?

Fashion and portraiture.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Living in London and shooting editorials for magazines on a regular basis. That’s the dream, anyway!

Freelance photographer/Own business or working for a company?

Ideally I would like an agent. This means that I would be getting work, and at the same time allowing me to focus on test shoots and personal work.

What drives you/gives you the ‘go’ to keep at it and do everything?

Like most creatives, I have phases where I feel completely un-inspired and wonder if I can even be bothered to pick up my camera and go out and shoot. But then I think about how hard I’ve worked to get where I am now, and how I would be pretty much lost without photography in my life. Support from family and friends is a great help too, and always help motivate me when i’m feeling a bit low!

What obstacles – if any, have you encountered along the way?

Back last year my computer unexpectedly broke and I lost photos from about three or four shoots. It was so so so horrible, and I felt awful when I had to message the people I’d worked with to give them the bad news. It took months for my computer to get fixed and I had pretty much stopped shooting, I hated it! I’d say another ‘obstacle’, if you will, is living in Wales. There’s not a lot going on here and it can certainly suck your creativity. I also find it very hard to get the right creative teams around here, which is why I normally work in places such as Birmingham and London. I’m hoping to move very soon, actually!

Can you recall the first photo you took that made you go WOW!?

I think it was from either my second or third shoot I’d done. It was a photo of my friend emily that I took in an abandoned church. It had a bit of a gothic feel to it and it was the kind of photo I had wanted to take for a long time!

If you could photograph/have a shoot with anyone who would it be?

This is such a tough questionas there are so many amazing people on the planet I would love to work with, so I’m going to be greedy and list a few! I’d absolutely love to shoot with Lily Cole, Lady Gaga, Florence Welch, Sasha Pivovarova, Cerys Matthews and Lara Stone.

Does fame attract you?

To a certain extent, yes. I think it would be kinda cool to be famous, but I imagine being constantly followed by paparazzi would get annoying at times.

How do you feel about photo manipulation?

I don’t really know a lot about full on photo manipulation really, it’s not something that really interests me. If you mean retouching though, I think it’s fine. The media are always going on about how bad it is that photos of models and celebrities are retouched, and that it should be stopped. The truth is though, it will never be stopped. It’s a part of the fashion industry and the images need to look their best, so retouching is crucial!

How do you rate yourself as a photographer?

I like my audience to be the judge of my work 😉

What makes a good photographer?

As Lara Jade (amazing photographer, check out her work!) once told me – “The best photographers are those that strive to do better each time”

Do you think the Photography Industry is difficult to break into? Are you worried about the amount of competition with more and more people becoming photographers?

Definitely. I struggled a bit at first to get my name out there, but you just have to be patient. I wouldn’t say i’m worried about the amount of competition, no.

Three words to describe yourself?

Passionate, enthusiastic, quirky.

Hobbies and other interests?

Travelling, socialising, music, body modification.

Favourite photographer?

I adore the work of so many photographers and it would be impossible to just pick one. A few favourites are Tim Walker, Mario Testino, Mariano Vivanco, Baldovino Barani, Xevi Muntane.

Any Tips and tricks you want to share with aspiring Photographers?

Be yourself, be unique, and don’t let anyone stand in your way!

Tools of the trade?

Canon EOS 5D Mk2, Canon ae-1 program.

Best and worst photo you’ve taken?

I probably took some pretty crappy images when I was starting out, and I don’t have an all round favourite image.


Contact Details:





Deviant Art:



A selection from Gareth’s Portfolio:


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