Action & Sport, Portrait

Iden Ford on growing as a photographer

Based in Toronto, Iden Ford specializes in still and promotional gallery photography for the film and television industry. Some of his other projects include portrait and dance photography. His work is often featured in promotional artwork and advertisements plus feature reviews for CBS television, Entertainment Weekly, and The Washington Post to name a few. We asked him to share his story on how he got started with photography to where he is today.

The start of a successful career

“I started out in 2003. It took a fair amount of time to get into the film and TV union, which was my goal. I worked shooting for a theatre in Toronto called the Young People’s Theatre where I photographed posters with the cast for the individual shows as well as the dress rehearsals. It was rather thrilling to see my name in the Toronto Star accompanying a review of the show that I had shot.

I’m primarily a portrait photographer in a general sense. While I have a small portrait studio for headshots, most of my income from photography comes from doing set shots and publicity photos for the film and TV business. I am a member of the Cinematographers Guild of North America, which means I get picked up for work on either feature films or television series.

I got a gig to photograph Cuba Gooding and Christian Slater in a movie called ‘Sacrifice.’ That was the show that kicked the door open to get into the union. Once that happened, the gigs gradually came in, but the past three years have really taken off. In fact, I’ve turned down work in the past three months because I’ve gotten so heavily booked.”

“Sharpness and color accuracy are always important in my work. The resulting billboards look amazing.”

Iden Ford on growing as a photographer

Ambition and drive

“By nature, I am an ambitious person. I think my mother instilled that in me as she was a successful dancer and Paris fashion model back in the late 1940’s. Sadly she passed from breast cancer at a very young age, but whenever I get a big gig, I write to my Godmother, who was my mother’s best friend, and I always ask her if she thinks my mother would be proud of me.

Creatively what drives me is to always learn something new. If I get an idea outside of my work that I want to try out, I do it. You always learn from both the good photos and the bad ones.”

Reaching a career highpoint

“I always feel that as one’s skill increases, having a system that gives you the greatest potential to create awesome photos is very important. Yes, it’s a risk to invest in high-end equipment, but you are also investing in your career and your life. At this stage, I want the best equipment that gives me a chance at reaching something great in my work.

I became a part of the Phase One family by investing in a 645+ body, IQ1 60 and an 80mm LS lens. The Phase One upgrade system has worked fantastically for me. I went from the IQ1 60MP to the IQ3 60MP and finally to the IQ3 100MP. I always want the best…that’s just my mission at the moment.

“The resolution, level of details and color accuracy helps me accomplish my clients’ visions. I feel so confident that I’m providing my clients the best images possible.”

I think the results I get from my Phase One systems have played a huge reason as to why I get rehired by clients. It helps me separate my work out from the photographers who use traditional DSLRs. It’s been a huge catalyst to reaching for work that forces me to really stretch as an artist.

Phase One treats its clients, us, as we are customers for life. If you want to grow into the best system, you can get there a lot faster by starting with an earlier system. I am always very proud of the work I deliver to the client. I feel so confident that I am giving them the best product their money can buy.”

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Iden Ford on growing as a photographer