Who are you and what made you get into photography?
My name is Ramon Gazhang, I am a creative who is highly ambitious, spontaneous with the way I shoot and I put my passion into anything that I do. I will always believe that I have the ability to create something from nothing.
This plain image of the white wall and natural light coming from my window, is the space I used to pratice getting into photography. 2013 was the year that instagram started to become popular, so I picked up a camera and took time out to learn how to shoot self portraits.
Natural light from my window, a tripod, canon remote control and my Canon 400D. Is all I needed to start shooting Self Portraits. Below I will show you my journey and the steps I took to get to where I am today. Here are a few of my self portraits that got me some recoginition.
Working behind as well as in front of the camera comes with its own set of challenges, during your self portraits you are going to experience alot of trial and error, however learning how to overcome problems and perfecting set-ups to help improve your technique will make a you great photographer.
What you will need is a camera, remote control, tripod and natural light if you do not own any strobes or LED lights. Taking self portraits will force you to learn how to use your camera on manual mode. Learn about exposure, aperture and ISO settings. Once you understand the basics, it's time to explore and be creative with your self portraits.
The self portraits I taken has helped me build up my confidence in terms of shooting other models and being in front of the camera. There are so many benefits in terms of shooting self portraits at home especially if you have the space to do so.
The benefits of being able to produce self portraits as an aspiring model and photographer can open up doors of opportunites for you, as long as you post to the right platforms you will eventually be seen.
I started to post my self portraits on a website called Model Mayhem as a model, I never really looked at casting calls, I just left the site alone to focus on instagram.
A few Months later I got a message from a stylist named Simon Foxton requesting to book me for an editorial magazine shoot for Re-bel and photographer Simon Thieselton. I have never modeled for anyone other than myself, so I most certainly had to take this opportunity to learn from another photographer and watch everything he does from lighting, directing me and anything else i could learn from the whole shoot.
I ended up being on the front cover and having an 8 page spread in the magazine. This boosted my confidence as a model and also as an aspiring photographer.
To become a better photographer you must learn from others and I was fortunate enough to shoot with some top names in photography. I used modelling as a way to learn from the photographers that were shooting me. I was watching every single move from how the photographer would set up their lighting, taking direction, what camera lenses and equipment they was using and most importantly I asked questions.
All this experience in front of the camera as a model gave me the confidence to start shooting models. I used model mayhem the most in terms of sourcing models who I could shoot on a TFP basis. I fell in love with photography once i was able to shoot more models and I used this opportunity to create my photography portfolio.
I got to a point in my journey where I couldnt be asked to shoot at home anymore, I took a break and began to focus on other things like writing a book, travelling and spending time with my friends.
I am big on spirituality and manifestation. A photographer by the name of Simon Thiselton who I modelled for gave me advice.
"In order for you to progress with photography you need to build connections that could lead to paths you cant find by yourself".
"I have found the perfect creative director who will allow me to create their vision" a few months later I met a girl named Jordan. She is a highly creative being who co owned a photography and film studio as well as having her own modelling agency.
As we got to know one another, she insisted me to shoot in her studio, I was adanment at first and then I realised that she was the person who I manifested in order for me to grow. Jordan set up my first shoot in her studio with one of her new models named Sian.www.FashionOutlaws.com
2017 was a great year, I had a chance to shoot with Fashion Outlaws new models and build up their portfolio, as well as mine at The Artsroom LDN. On this journey with Fashion Outlaws, I was able to meet some great models & creatives from Make Up Artist, such as Make Up By Gerri. Photographers, such as DarkhorseVinn and most importantly their creative diector Jordan Amywww.FashionOutlaws.com
TheArtsRoom London is such a beautfull studio. I learned so much just being at this studio, I had no knowledge on how to use strobe lights, most of the time I was using continous light. The moment I taught myself how to use strobe lights in the studio and switched up my style from using continous light. I realised that being an in house photographer doesnt gurantee you work, you still have to gain your own clients through promoting yourself on social media, filming behind the scenes for your shoots and gainig work from recccomondations.
As I was building up my portfolio in THEARTSroom london, I always kept my eye open for other photographers in my field on social media. A photographer by the name of Labelle London specialised in beauty shoots and that was the type of photography that I was focusing on. I always take time out to support those who inspire me and her beauty photography is top knotch.
I had a client who booked me at TheLoungeStudio and to my suprise Labelle London was the owner of the studio. After my first shoot we discussed about collaborating with each other as we both respected each others work and since then we have continued to work and show love to each others craft. Love to labelle London
I find value in supporting great creatives and during my time as an inhouse at TheArtsRoomLDN I have come across so many creatives, one beinga videography by the name of Jevetta Boyce.
Jevetta Boyce created her own studio space, a photography & film studio based in North London, Cloud Green. Jevetta had the filming sector down in terms of anyone needeing a videographer, however she didnt have a photographer & guess who was chosing to be the in house photgrapher. RGZG
Its important to keep in contact with creatives that you vibe with aswell as inspired by. This opportunity was giving to me due to my relentless ambition, work ethic and skills. Love to Jevetta Boyce for the opportunity.
What is life without a few setbacks?
During my time at Cloud Green Studio, I was able to become a co partner with Jevetta Boyce. After a year of working along side Jevetta Boyce. She had other ambitions away from being a studio mananger and videographer to spend more time being a new mother to her beautiful son. Which left me with the decision to step up and take over the studio space and create my own buisness within the space. I made the choice to create RGZGstudio in the same studio space and this was beginning of my rise in photography.
Now that I have my own studio space, I was able to use all my past experiences to start taking self portraits at my studio, RGZGstudio. I was mainly doing self portraits to learn new lighting techniques that I could use for my clients as I had no interest in modelling any further.