Type: Gallery
Category: Student stories

Being commissioned by a major publication is an unforgettable accomplishment; not only does it validate the artist’s creative practice and vision, it gets their work out into the world.

Nick Drabble, third year BA(Hons) Fashion Photography student, was “over the moon” at his recent commission, a portrait shoot for a feature in the fashion culture mag, i-D Magazine. Founded by former VOGUE art director Terry Jones in 1980 and now owned by VICE Media, i-D is a popular bi-monthly magazine dedicated to fashion, music, art and youth culture.

When asked how it felt to see his work published, Nick said: “Brilliant! Of course, I was really chuffed. I sent the article to my mum immediately!”

Nick’s subject, Denzil Forrester, is an esteemed artist and painter from London, who now lives in Cornwall. He’s largely known for his depictions of black communities and police brutality. The feature was about his working process; in particular, how many of his most popular paintings have been created from sketches Denzil made of London nightclubs in the 1980s. Many of these nightclubs no longer exist, adding historical intrigue to the works.

Nick told us: “Denzil was a great subject. Initially, it was a case of taking photographs whilst he was being interviewed, then afterwards working to get something slightly more set-up. It became obvious very quickly that he wasn’t one to pose for the camera, so I got him doing what he does – painting – and he was perfectly relaxed again.” 

When photographing Denzil, Nick’s focus was on “good light and character”. 

“I assumed his studio would be letting in plenty of light,” Nick explained, “but I still had a full lighting set-up with me, just in case I needed it. In the end, the entire shoot took place using only natural light. Simply, I wanted to capture him in his environment, doing what he loves most, in beautiful light.” 

After he graduates, Nick is looking to work with model agencies in the North West. Eventually he’d like to work as a technician in Higher Education, teaching subjects such as Photoshop, retouching and lighting. 

You can see the full feature and Nick’s images here.

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