Robert ‘Giles’ Clark
Okay, so when I say “The Team”, I’m not going to lie – it’s me… just me, Robert Clark. I created Giles Clark Photography in April 2015 and if you were wondering about the name, well Giles is my middle name and, call me vain, but I just thought it sounded a bit classier!
I’ll try to keep this brief but the story of how I ended up as a professional Photographer starts with my love of sailing. For most of my life, I ran a Conference Production Company based in Bristol called Roadshow and sold that in 2008, just as the economy crashed, to buy a 42′ Grand Soleil yacht called Canasta of Lymington and set off on a slightly bonkers single-handed circumnavigation. I say ‘bonkers’ because, inspired by the cult 1970’s book ‘The Dice Man’, I planned my route and every landfall by throwing a dice. The project was called W2N (Where to next?) and made it as far as Knysna in South Africa before having to accept that essential ongoing funds from the sale of the business were not forthcoming. That was a problem to be addressed but, to be honest, Knysna is a stunning little estuary (they call it a Lagoon) on SA’s famous ‘Garden Route’, I’d met a lovely South African girl and settled into a pretty idyllic lifestyle. Six incredible years passed before I was rather unceremoniously ‘ejected’ from South Africa leaving Canasta bobbing around on her mooring! I’m not going to dwell on the details of that too much here, but, to wrench this story back to the topic of photography, during those six years, I developed an interest not just in general hobby photography but, more specifically, in Virtual Tours.
After some research, I invested in the US VPiX Virtual Tour platform as they seemed to be technologically ‘switched on’, and very quickly started creating 3D tours for the high-end Holiday Letting market. I called that business Lighthouse HD Virtual Tours and, having perfected the product, started to think about targeting the leisure-marine market. Well, circumstances conspired to force my repatriation to the UK in January of 2015 and with it, the decision to specialise exclusively in yacht photography seemed timely. That wasn’t going to happen overnight, it needed investment, marketing, perfecting new retouching skills and techniques for shooting those tiny areas like the engine bays and day-heads. During that development process, and while making the move back into my tiny Hampshire flat in Bramshott, I took a job with Force 4, the UK’s largest Chandlery. It was there that I made a few industry contacts, experimented with a few private photography projects and set up Giles Clark Photography. And then, out of the blue, a call from Princess Motor Yacht Sales.
Long story short, Princess have been a loyal customer now for three years. Their interest initially was primarily in the 3D Virtual Tours but over the years, I have introduced HDR stills photography (crazy not to really – the VPiX Virtual Tour system uses a standard DSLR camera and relies on clever lens technology and stitching software to create the spherical tours). And really, that nicely concludes the story. Well, almost. Have a look for yourself at my Portfolio to see Giles Clark Photography’s complete leisure-marine photographic package but also, as this is about me, have a look at my own creative photography and retouching.
Oh, one last thing; I didn’t mention the Drone Photography. Well, I have very nearly completed the process of becoming a PfCO (CAA) approved UAV (Drone) Pilot. That means I’ll very soon be commercially qualified to add drone photography to GCP’s leisure-marine package. That’ll be a useful tool for the Brokerage and Charter market but, to be honest, I’m most looking forward to just getting out there, on the Solent of a weekend, photographing the public enjoying their boats (with their permission of course!)
So, look out for that…