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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Polite Conversations | Stuart Mitchell (Walnutwax)

(Model: Charlotte Rutherford)

People that know me, know I love beauty.  I found Stuart on Tumblr one day and thought his photos were dope and he deserved a mention on Chainsaws and Jelly.  Stuart was kind enough to do a polite conversation for the site.  Thank you so much!  Now you can get to know a bit about the man behind the camera!  Enjoy.

(Model: Laura Meekums)

Walnutwax, aside from the photographs, the name alone caught my eye. Please grace us with a proper introduction.
I'm Stuart Mitchell, I live in London. I work a dull full time job & on my days off I like to take photos of beautiful girls.

The models you photograph are a mixture of beauty, innocence, with a bit of smut. What do you look for when choosing your models?
Yeah, they sure are beautiful. A lot of the time I never actually meet the models until the day of shooting. I go by their portfolio & facebook photos. I would rather see them on facebook being candid than their polished portfolios on Model Mayhem. I’m in a really lucky position that I get a lot of mail from girls wanting to work with me. From there, if it's someone that's been on my radar for a while or someone who I can see fitting into my portfolio then it'll be a "YES YES YES LETS MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!" And if I’m feeling good about my work, I sometimes e-mail some of my favorite models asking if they wanna shoot. I find it really hard to say no to girls and they shouldn't take it the wrong way but they sometimes do. I like beautiful girls who look like they know how to party if that makes sense. I have shot a lot of alternative style girls but I also like classic looking models too. There's just got to be a spark there. Within a few messages, I can tell if I’m gonna hit it off with a model. If she has a attitude or she's flakey or she's too demanding then I'll politely say thanks but no thanks. There's been times when I've thought it's been going good then I never hear from them again which I’m okay with. I’m not everyones cup of tea.

(Model: Femke Fatale)

You say you’re a rookie photographer but your photos don’t give that vibe.  What sparked your interest in photography?  What camera do you use? Do you have a preference?
Well thank you! I've always loved photography from a very early age but the first show I went to that really inspired me was “If One Thing Matters, Everything Matters” by Wolfgang Tillmans. After seeing that show, I said, "That's it, I have to photograph people." That was in 2003 but it took me another 6 years or so to really push myself, haha. I use a Nikon D90 and a Fuji Instax 100. I love my Instax the most. Every shoot I do, I'm doing less and less digital which is a good thing for me.

Aside from being a photographer, what does Stuart like to do during your free time?
Normal things like hanging with friends, I like going to the cinema, galleries etc etc. I always carry a camera with me so I find it pretty hard to switch off from photography.

(Model: Rosy Cherrington)

Any vices?
Beer & chocolate.

You mentioned a new book to me. Tell me about it.
Yeah, I decided to make a book using some of my Instax work through the website Blurb. It has 73 images/26 models in it. All the images were taken with a point and shoot instant camera. You can see it (& buy one) here for anyone who's interested:

(Model: Jen Rowley)

Hope I was gentle enough, I told you it was short and sweet :) Ending polite conversations is always blah for me. So Stuart, anything you’d like to add, (i.e. shout outs, promtions, upcoming projects, etc.)
Just a big shout to everyone who has supported me over the last 2 years. I recently hit 1,000,000 views on my Flickr photos and I'm so overwhelmed by it all. So every follower whether it be on Flickr, Tumblr, or Facebook a big massive thank you!

I plan to do more books through Blurb, watch this space. I've got a “must shoot” list of models I have to work with this year so I plan to get cracking with that. A friend of mine is planning to use a few of my images for t-shirts which is pretty cool. I'm always juggling with a lot of balls. Too many to mention, haha.

And of course thank you very much for digging my work.

(Model: Samantha Bentley)

You can view more photos by Stuart Mitchell, and  

Don't forget to view (and/or buy) his book at

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