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INTRODUCING NEIL KENDALL – Authentic sets, genuine vintage props, traditional techniques – all with a cinematic twist

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Neil Kendall Photography- Neil Kendall has shot genuine vintage portraits for 20 years using traditional hot lights taught to him in his early 20's by Harrison Marks 1950's a noted British pin up Photographer. Neil builds sets using vintage materials and dressings and doesn't use photoshop at all. He recently shot Dita Von Teese at her personal request for her Burlesque Tour and is best known for his vintage portraits of burlesque performers, pin ups and vintage personalities like Lola L'amour and have women and men from all over the world come and visit him at his studio – a complete 1950's house! We find out more from Neil Kendall...

How would you describe your photography style?
Truly authentic vintage photographs of movers and shakers with a cinematic twist, my images are like cinematic snapshots and each one tells a story.

What drew you to this genre over other styles and subject matter?
A genuine love of old cinema and photographers like Cecil Beaton and Horst first drew me into this line of work over 20 years ago. It was the pure glamour that inhabited the very bones of yesterdays pin ups,matinee idols and glamour girls.What was represented in those fading black and white photographs which was and still is for me almost myth almost myth like and that lighting was always sublime! I suppose I wanted to emulate that in my photographs . Its the silhouettes, that sharp tailor the perfect set hair its an enduring promise of glamour

Who would you most like to photograph (past or present) & why?
If I had a magic camera without doubt my top choice Maria Montez exotic star of such B Movies as Siren of Atlantis, she had an otherwordly beauty. Diana Dors would be amazing because we would laught... a lot .I love the old Bombshells of the 1950's, all heaving cleavage and leopard one pieces! She has a blowsy glamour that epitomised that 1950's Bombshell look.. Errol Flynn was a charmer and I think a photo shoot with him would involve duelling over champagne splashed bar so that would be fun and think of the sets I could build!!!

What do you enjoy most about being a vintage inspired photographer?
Its my profession and passion and in that I am very fortunate. What do I enjoy? Its the creation of a shot, making a concept, building a little set, the lighting, working with hair and make up and then of course shooting on set and the reaction I get from all my sitters, '' oh my lord, is that really me!' that makes this job a joy. Today I was shooting with giant peacocks for an Italian Burlesque starlet and I built this crazy set like an opium den with the Peacocks! .. so I feel like I am a latter day Cecil B De Mille or Ed Wood creating these little scenes which I direct. I love the one to one with my sitters because we chat laugh, reminisce,swap notes and talk about the business. I always feel that my last shoot is my favourite though its a challenge coming up with new , original ideas that havent been seen before!
How would you like to see your business grow & the Vintage Industry develop over the coming year(s)?

I am making films shot on 16 millimeter film so just made one set in 1914 which was beautiful! So more of thatt o launch my site I keep getting asked to do it but don't stop shooting so havent had the time , so that is a must. I want to work with new models and artists and I exhibited recently to a great response at Heart Gallery in Hebden Brisde. So I would love to do another exhibition.

A little more from Neil Kendall...
I am really delighted to be progress in the awards as I really care very deeply about my work and yet am not so adept at marketing myself so it would be great to take part and hopefully as a result of the nomination get to work with other vintage models, designers and members of the general public who share my passion!

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