Chris Floyd is a portrait photographer based in London. He has had an extensive career and photographed numerous celebrities, brands, and stories across the globe. I was referred to him by the former art director of Stylist Magazine, Natasha Tomalin Hall, who felt his perspective in the industry might be useful for my study.
The shoot I assisted on was a beauty test (aka portfolio work for everyone) with a model and full team. His approach to shooting was very interesting compared to others I have observed in London. He was much more American in style and subject matter than what I have been used to seeing in European photography especially with the makeup, lighting, and editing used. His work was very technical, precise, and perfectionistic. We took a lot of time to set up the lighting for each shot making sure there was variety in each new makeup look. Both the hair and makeup artists were very observant of the work they were doing and paid close attention to the images coming in to fix even the smallest detail.
Between shots, Chris and I talked for a bit about the differences in the US and UK markets. He said as others have mentioned, there is way more money for photography in the US. Unfortunately, however, across the board, the editorial market is dying and rates are getting smaller and smaller. Back in the late 90s, he talked about a job he did for a big magazine. He said he had a base rate and then was paid per image for each image used in the magazine PLUS expenses. Today, he said there is a flat rate with little wiggle room for expenses or negotiation. In one instance, the shoot he did was promoted from a feature to a full spread and cover. However, the publication refused to change the rate despite requiring more work. The current rate for editorial, which I will not disclose, is not livable.