Ravi Sidhu – Bare Essentials

Hypebeast's Ravi Sidhu talks shooting essentials, being inspired and working with Richard Branson...

Tego Sigel

7 years ago

By Tego Sigel


With a portfolio featuring the likes of RWD, Complex and Hypebeast to name but a few, Ravi Sidhu is one of the most exciting and diverse photographers in the UK. Now with a brand new studio taking his repertoire to the next level, the north London residing Renaissance man has begun 2014 in incredible form. Speaking to Tego Sigel, Ravi talked shooting Sir Richard Branson’s Essentials, being passionate about
his work, inspiration, career defining moments and more.
Photography Adrian Nettleship

On Career Defining Moments… I’m critical of my own work. It could have been something in my head, which I wanted to capture in a certain way, so I don’t think about the impact externally. When Frank Ocean played at XOYO, it was an intimate show, and I ended up shooting there; next thing I know MeLo-X was using [one of my shots] as an album cover. Part of me is a bit pissed off because I didn’t get credit, but before I knew it, Complex picked up on it, so I reached out to them saying ‘this is my picture, where’s my credit?’ That led to the music editor contacting me and saying can we get you to shoot more stuff. It has that affect you’re not expecting so it’s nice. The adidas Euro 2012 stuff was great too; the feedback and response from that was positive and people were saying it was my best work. I was proud of that and I was able to believe in myself more afterwards and the response was humbling.

“[Richard Branson] had speech notes, contact lenses, but not much else, so I was asking if I could get his watch in there, his ring too, so I was kind of directing him so I was a bit nervous.”

On Shooting Richard Branson’s Essentials… He was cool because he allowed me to do what I wanted to do and was up for it. He was doing another event and I went down and approached one of the PRs saying this is what we wanted to do and I think they appreciated it; [the event] was about young entrepreneurs so I think they wanted to relate to that. We told them about the Hypebeast Essentials series and our target audience and they liked it. It wasn’t a forced thing because we didn’t have any product placement or anything like that; it was literally like ‘Empty your pockets.’ He had speech notes, contact lenses, but not much else, so I was asking if I could get his watch in there, his ring too, I was kind of directing him so I was a bit nervous. I would have asked him to take his shoes off but it was probably a bit too far [laughs]. It worked out well in the end and was one of our most popular Essentials.

On His Essentials… My essentials would be what I carry everyday. With work and travel; I carry everything I need in a day. It wouldn’t be superficial.

On Being Inspired… the best advice I can give is to just keep shooting. That’s how I started out; it’s the only way to hone your skills and learn your own style. I would also say remain professional, you never know who’ll you’ll meet. Relationship building is all progression, working for people like Hypebeast and RWD, you make the connections and you build on those, which leads on to other things. You might not be the best photographer, but in this industry, if you remain professional you’ll make the right contacts. Take pride in your product and your images, they represent you. If you know you’ve done everything you can possibly do, that’s when your work will speak for itself.

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Ravi Sidhu wears adidas Energy Boost £115 available at jdsports.co.uk