UHoP 2018: Q&A with Mike English, photographer

By Holly Miller |

whitefox celebrates another fantastic winner of the Unsung Heroes of Publishing 2018, Mike English, a food and lifestyle photographer. We asked him a few questions about his favourite shoots, common misconceptions about his job and the next big food trend. For a complete list of #UHoP18 winners please see more here.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your approach to your projects.

I always approach every project the same way, I like to create a calm atmosphere at the studio or location and be very aware of the client’s need for their brief to be fulfilled.

2. What do you regard as the most gratifying aspect of the work you do?

Repeat business is the most gratifying aspect of the job. It means that not only did you do a job well, you did it well enough to get booked again and hopefully again after that!

3. You’ve worked on a number of exciting projects. Tell us about one of your favourites.

Lucy Watson’s two cook books are an obvious choice as they include food shots, portraits and lifestyle but a singular shoot would have to be shooting the entire Christmas magazine for Spinneys Supermarket in Dubai. I even had a day and night shooting in the dessert for a New Year’s Eve story!

4. Do you have any predictions for new cookery or food trends?

Plant based diets are definitely hitting the mainstream now and will certainly be in the future of our food culture for sustainability, but trends move so quickly. I think the next trend will be slightly more technology based, with Alexa, OK Google and Sonos leading the way.

5. What are the biggest misconceptions about your job?

That the job ends at the end of the day. Editing and retouching are a grey area for most people especially when you’ve fired off 50+ frames of each portrait to capture the perfect moment!

6. Publishers rely on freelancers to help them with lots of their books. How important is the relationship between internal and external creative talent?

So important! I tend to get along with anyone but it’s always great to know that the internal team have a good working relationship as well. This leads to fewer conflicts and a much smarter working environment.

7. What are you reading at the moment and what’s next on your to-read list?

In all honesty, I only have time to read to my daughter (who is 1!) and we are currently loving The Gruffalo but I can’t wait to read The BFG to her, which is one of my all time favourite stories.

You can find Mike English on Twitter and for more examples of his work, check out his website

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