You know that scene in the movie Shrek when donkey and shrek are talking about onions? And about how ogres are onions with their many layers…. Well, Mr Shiz is an onion too.
On the outside, in this dark, graffiti covered archway in London, with his hat pulled low and his mask covering his face many people would label Mr Shiz as a vandal, a graffiti writing menace to society. What they don’t realize, is that this tunnel is a given place for artists to create their work, an ever changing canvas that your work may only last a day before someone creates work over the top of it… a place for people to hone their craft. The man im here to meet is not a vandal or a menace, he’s a highly skilled artist, a creative and a business man.
I first started chatting to Mr Shiz through Twitter, when I was looking for a graffiti artist to shoot a portrait of. What I wasn’t expecting was to find someone who fitted my larger project perfectly. MrS has made his passion his business, creating works of art for big brands, and giving back to the community via instructional videos on youtube.
Looking on his website you will see the brands he has worked with listed, everything from LFW, to microsoft, Nokia and the champions league. He creates work with spray cans, metal, plastic, wood and even fur to make a giant swinging bunny rabbit (check out the show reel to see that!).
The more of this project I shoot, the more I am reminded why I love photography and the connection to people it offers up. I’ve met someone here who has such passion for his craft that he creates work that may only last a day, he takes on big tasks and finds a way to complete them, he does what he loves.
Even though I took my lighting kit along to the shoot, we shot this mostly with the available light. The tunnel gave us really nice directional light that was just right for this portrait.
As the 1Dx was off for repair* I shot on the 5Diii with lenses ranging from;
Canon 70-200 2.8 ISii
Sigma 35 1.4ART
I couldn't have carried my kit there without my ThinkTank Photo Airport Takeoff bag (probably the best photo bag out there for city shoots).
*a small issue that i'll fill you in on later