The man behind the lens – Glenn Larkby
If you've ever wondered who is behind the amazing shots featured in our brochures, lookbooks and on our website, now you can find out!
We asked Glenn Larkby (our photographer of choice EVERY time) what he loves most about the job...
How did you become a photographer? is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
I picked photography to study at A-level but before then really hadn’t had any exposure to it. It quickly became my favourite subject and so I decided to study it at university but even at that point I felt like I’d be very lucky to make a living out of it. I got my break mostly because of being quite social at university and meeting people on fashion design courses.
Tell us a bit about growing up.
I grew up in a small town in Kent called Swanley. I used to enjoy playing football at the local park, riding my bike, being with my friends. My family mostly all work in insurance so I’m the odd one out a little bit.
Glenn, showing a lot of drive, on the left, his brother on the right.
When you work on a shoot how do you prepare for it?
Every shoot is different really but it usually starts with finding a studio then planning the lighting and sourcing all my equipment. I try to stay a few steps ahead and get everything booked in plenty of time. Not all shoots are the same sometimes I only get a couple of days, I find this a bit stressful.
For this shoot we used Brick Studios which has everything you need and is a brilliant place to work.
What do you love most and is there anything you dislike about the job?
I love the interesting people I meet on the job especially when you get to work for clients who are totally passionate about their brand. It’s really rewarding being able to deliver them imagery that they love. I dislike the quiet spells, the last couple of months have been really slow, you always get the odd quiet week but lockdown has been a struggle.
You’ve worked on so many Helen Moore shoots - what moments stand out for you?
Probably my first shoot and getting to know everyone for the first time, we really hit it off from the start. And they loved the imagery we were producing. Not all first shoots are as easy as that, sometimes it takes a bit of time but it was fun from the start and have really enjoyed every time we’ve worked together since.
Tell us a bit about the process during the shoot - is there anything you particularly like or dislike about the job?
During the shoot I can relax and enjoy it a bit because everything I’ve had to plan by that point has come together. Even more so after the first look is done. I can start to focus on the photography and making everything look nice.
Do you like listening to music while you work?
I try to just be a crowd pleaser with the music most of the time on set. Luckily the Helen Moore team enjoy my 70’s rock playlist Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, Steely Dan. When I’m at home editing I mostly like listening to podcasts or audiobooks, something about spoken word seems to help me concentrate.
During lockdown you must have had to adapt your work totally - tell us about how you did this?
Like everyone I’ve just had to do the best I can. I’ve barely had any of what I’d call my normal work. I’ve worked as a digital operator I had a few retouching jobs that I could do from home. I’ve had to just use other areas of my skills to keep going.
Has social media changed the way you work?
It’s definitely something that is always considered now, whether that is shooting to a certain crop or shooting a video to fit in the 15 sec time limit on stories or just getting content throughout the day. It is always present on set now especially with fashion clients. But on a personal level it has definitely given me more opportunities for work and to advertise my work. It’s also a good source of inspiration because you have access to a lot of other artists work that otherwise you wouldn’t see.
Recent beauty work by Glenn
You’re freelance now - what projects have you been working on?
The most interesting thing I’ve been working on was a video I shot for a sustainable fashion brand. It was shot very candidly in India before lockdown and was to serve as a look inside the natural dye house they use. The project was put on hold over lockdown but has just been reeased and hopefully becomes part of a series of films.
During lockdown tie dyeing kept me occupied while I had no work on. I love being part of that team too. They’re so nice to work for.
We’re a cruelty free faux fur brand and now we only use vegan leather - is this ethos important to you?
Extremely important. I love animals and believe they should be afforded the same basic rights as humans, most importantly the right to avoid suffering. We have great cruelty free alternatives now so there’s really no excuse not that there should be any excuses. It’s also fantastic that the huge brands are getting on board with this as well, it soon filters down.
If you could choose one thing from the collection what would it be?
I have always been a fan of the hats so it would have to be the Brown Quail Pillbox Hat.
What’s next for you?
Well I’m hoping to expand on the video I shot in India once things get back to normal. Hopefully work with some other brands in a similar way, telling the story and showing the process, trying to highlight to people this is why these things cost more than fast fashion. I’m also of course looking forward to the next Helen Moore shoot!
Fashion, Beauty, Still Life, Video.