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What inspires me: Phil Palmer

What inspires me: Phil Palmer

What brought you to Junction Eleven?

My first encounter with Junction Eleven was as a client, for almost 5 years, I used to regularly hire the studios for photo-shoots. Then I became a freelance re-toucher and worked directly with the J11 team and as time went by seemed to increasingly spend more time here. After a period of about 2 years they decided to offer me a permanent position. How could I turn them down?!

What’s your experience/background?

I trained as a graphic designer at Bournemouth College of Art & Design with a specialism in photography. After working at various agencies I found myself art directing photo-shoots more and more and enjoyed working with the re-touchers. I picked up as much as possible from them and combined that with my photographic knowledge and decided to specialise in image manipulation.

What’s the most exciting/interesting/unusual shoot you’ve had to retouch?

One that stands out I my in mind is a photo-shoot that I art directed in Croatia with the Croatian Army. I had to shoot various army vehicles in action and get into all sorts of awkward positions and places to get the angles and shots I required. We set off explosions and had soldiers with weapons acting. Afterwards we would go back to base and have supper with them. This always consisted of soup with bread and a whole raw onion (eaten like an apple). On the last day we had a celebration meal of spit-roasted wild boar that they had killed that day in the forest on the base. To wash the meal down we had some home brewed wine, I slept well that night! I was itching to get back and retouch everything and was very pleased with the final outcome.

What has been your highlight of the year?

My highlight was a suite of images that we produced for Infiniti cars. It involved all three aspects of my job, photography, CGI and retouching. We had to shoot the cars in the studios, place them into location back plates (pre shot) and add/change various parts on the cars, which the CGI guys had made. I enjoy working with CGI. As well as compositing I get a kick out of producing detailed texture maps for them to use.

What inspires you?

I get inspired by good work, no matter where it comes from. I regularly check out Behance and have an extensive personal contact list of photographers and high-end retouchers etc that I keep an eye on. I regularly contact them to discuss new ideas and trends.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I am very much a family man and dedicate a lot of time to my wife and two teenage daughters. We have recently acquired a new member of the family, a cockapoo puppy called ‘Willow’. I take her to dog training classes and eventually hope to take part in dog agility. I often bring her into work and she has a great impact on the working atmosphere! As well as this I like motorsport and have a great home cinema and a very large collection of Blu-rays.

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