Drew has assisted world renown fashion photographers; Steven Klein and Mark Seliger.  His new venture is his book and exhibition "Slow Road to China".  Drew's work has been featured around the world.

Exclusively Fashion Magazine: How did your career as a fashion photographer begin?

Drew Doggett: After four years of working as an assistant in the industry, I felt it was the right time to begin shooting.  My goal was to shoot as much I could afford and work with as many people and model agencies as possible. After a while, I had built a team of people that I really trusted and liked to work with (and still do). Before I knew it, my shoots were being published.  It kind of all happened overnight, actually!

EFM: Describe your style as a photographer?

DD: To be completely honest, I don’t think I can claim to have my own, unique style yet.  I think that this process of defining a style that you can claim to be your own takes several years of shooting, problem solving, and reflection.  At the moment, I am just focused on shooting anything and everything that inspires me, without limiting myself to a particular subject matter, lighting technique, or underlying theme.

EFM: Do you have a favorite fashion shoot that you were a part of?

DD: I am extremely lucky to have been able to be apart of as many incredible fashion shoots as I have…from working on set with Madonna in London, to the Beckhams in an abandoned rock quarry outside of Madrid, to Brad Pitt in Germany. But none of these experiences come close to the feeling I get from shooting my own successful fashion story.  As far as favorites go, I would have to say that my most recent shoot tops the list.  I just shot this woman’s fashion story in an incredible dilapidated apartment building where the inspiration of the imagery came from this woman la femme nikita partially a-wall character holding a man captive…with a slight love interest twist.  It’s really a beautiful story…everything just clicked: models, fashion, hair, make-up, props.  Working with a team that really knows what they are doing just makes my job that much easier!

EFM: What type of camera do you use?

DD: The two camera systems I use primarily are the Canon 1DS Mark III and the Mamiya RZ with a P30+ digital back.  I also like to use my Pentax 67 as much as possible.

EFM: You have assisted some of the best in the industry.  Can you tell me how you obtained the opportunity to assist Steven Klein and Mark Seliger?

DD: Breaking into the NY photo assisting industry isn’t supposed to be easy, but in my case I got lucky.  Two weeks after moving to the city, I was given the opportunity to intern for Steven Klein. Another two weeks later, I had “graduated” from intern status and was working as a paid assistant and digital tech! At the time, I was so hungry to get into the thick of it, I really couldn’t have asked for a better experience.  During my time there and at Seliger’s, I was fortunate enough to have worked on some of the largest, most complex, and expensive photographic sets being created in our industry to-date.


EFM: How important it is to assist established fashion photographers?

DD: Everyone’s path is different.  Some of the most successful photographers have never assisted a day in their lives, while others have assisted for 10 years or more.  I believe in assisting before shooting for the following reasons: you get to learn from someone else’s mistakes, you have the opportunity to develop a network of other like-minded assistants that you can work with on your own projects, and you get to learn the ins and the outs of the industry.

EFM: What have you learned from them?

DD: The most important thing that I learned from assisting is that anything is possible.  Before I worked as an assistant, I didn’t understand the scope of what went into creating worldwide campaign images. The perspective I developed from these experiences has enabled me to push myself that extra mile, not to give up when I get frustrated or tired, and to stay true to my gut instinct.

EFM: Can you tell me a little about your exhibition?

DD: My exhibition at Studio Girault consisted of a series of portraits and fashion imagery from my earlier work.  It was really an incredible experience getting to display my artwork and being able to witness the effect it had on viewers.

I have another solo exhibition coming up in late March to mid April that I'm in the process of preparing for.  It will consist of a series of images from my recent month-long trip to remote regions of the Himalayas in Nepal.  The body of work includes incredibly graphic black and white portraits of the villagers that I encountered during my trek.  I am also set to release a book of the images around the same time as the exhibition.  More details about the exhibition and book release is now posted on my website, www.drewdoggett.com.

EFM: What do you look for in an assistant?

DD: The most important thing I look for in an assistant is his or her ability to stay focused while I am shooting.  It’s so important for your assistants to be able to anticipate your needs.  This comes with time and repetition.

EFM: What advice can you give to the aspiring who would like to become a fashion photographer?

DD: I feel weird offering advice to aspiring fashion photographers because I feel like I am still aspiring myself!! But if I had to, I would say don’t give up.  Not everyone you meet is going to like your pictures and you’re bound to get all sorts of mixed responses from agencies, magazines, etc.  None of this feedback is given on a personal level.  In the midst of all this criticism it is important to stay honest with yourself about your images.  What matters is that you’re happy with your artwork and inspired to keep shooting!

The other piece of advice that I would offer would be to learn, early on, how to maintain control over the creative process of making your vision into reality.  You are bound to come across plenty of people on your sets that think they can do your job better than you can.  This can be extremely intimidating at first!! It’s imperative, for your confidence as an artist, that you take their feedback into consideration, but ultimately follow your gut!!

Bookmark and Share  

Interview by Rochell “E” James


EFM is given the right by the artists. Material contained within this online magazine may NOT be reproduced, distributed, modified, transmitted, reused or adapted without  the prior written permission of the EFM.