Photographers Graham Wylie & Ralph Nisbet talk to us

Get ready for some fantastic photography from Graham Wylie & Ralph Nisbet. But before you tuck into their delectable photographic tapas whet your appetite on their Q&A interview.

Art Pistol (AP): What’s the first thing you can remember painting?
Graham Wylie & Ralph Nisbet (GW&RN): 
I remember shooting my friends in school, there were no instant pictures then, so would rush home to develop my black & whites in my makeshift darkroom! My friends probably never got to see them… I still take them out from time to time as some of the people are still current in my life.

AP: When did you first realise you were an artist?
GW&RN: My dada had a camera shop so I grew up with a Leica in my hand. I was the weird kid in school, snapping away at playtime whilst the other kids were off round the bike shed! I’ve always loved photography although my first job was a dental lab technician. I met my now business partner Ralph, who loves the still life side of photography and we decided we were going to make a living taking pictures, 30 years on and we still are. Realisation hits when others see beauty in what you do.

AP: How would you describe your art to someone that has never seen it before?
GW&RN: There are many images you create commercially and there are images you create, capture, see , enhance, magnify, amplify, project, rejuvenate, express, engage with, seize, intensify, elevate, augment, strengthen, convey…… Create. Sometimes you take photographs and then sometimes you make pictures.

AP: Is your work on any famous person’s wall?
GW&RN: Apart from magazines & billboards, I think one or two celebrities we’ve shot may have a sneaky portrait hanging in their mansion cludgies!

AP: If you had the opportunity to change something in the art industry what would it be?
GW&RN: Amateurs with Instagram. Educating from an early age, the value of Art .

AP: Do you have any other interests or talents that you’d like to share?
GW&RN: Really interested in Architecture, am currently working my way through all of the Gherry buildings. Also getting into cooking, objective…. to make a 15 minute meal in 15 minutes.

AP: Describe yourself in 3 words, one has to be a colour?
GW&RN: GW would say interesting (GW’s wife would say – full of boring facts, would be good on QI), funny (GW’s wife would say – but not as funny as me) and black (GW’s wife would say – makes Fashion Faux Pa’s less likely).

AP: Tell us your perfect scenario for painting.
GW&RN: Loving beautiful women (aesthetically of course) concrete and calm clear days, then I would say…. shooting Christie Turlington at 5pm on top of the Guggenheim.

AP: If you weren’t an artist you’d be..?
GW&RN: David Attenborough’s right hand man.

AP: Do you have any advice for photographers just starting out?
GW&RN: Making a living in photography gets harder every year so be really focused. Be creative, be different, know your market, find your niche and be prepared to evolve, don’t be scared of change as the pace in this market moves, fast! Embrace the change but be warned, the competition is fierce. Don’t be afraid to charge for your talent.

AP: And finally, what are you working on just now?
GW&RN: Am writing to you from Cape Town shooting fashion & swimwear in 37 degree heat, fantastic location, would retire here in a heartbeat! I am hoping to complete a personal project whilst here that I started on my last trip out, revisiting the townships in Hout Bay. The people here are warm and friendly and make interesting subjects, inviting me into their humble habitats. We had a great time with the kids last time we were out, such fabulous little characters. Our client donated the entire range we had shot to these people, little things make a big difference here.