6 ways Simon Frederick became a respected and sought after photographer.

By Joseph Aspinall

Earlier today, world renowned photographer Simon Frederick hosted an exclusive masterclass where he spoke about his life and career to young Londoners.  The photographer, or as he prefers, ‘image maker’, has more than managed to stand out both in London, one of the biggest photography ‘centres’,  and now globally.  Here is what seems to have given him the edge…

1. Being Competitive

Frederick compares his standing in the photography world with being on a treadmill. He boasted that others would have to run until their feet bled to beat him.

2. Being Fear-Driven

Where many see fear as a barrier, Frederick uses it to his advantage, as a success mechanism. ‘I’m driven by my fear’, I’m driven by my insecurities’. If a footballer is under pressure to score a goal, ‘it’s the fear of f***ing up that gets him the prize’.  

3. Being Creative

Frederick has always been creative. He used to love drawing. His mother would encourage him in his artwork, his father would insist he read instead. This same father now shows off his son’s artistic successes to his friends over a bottle of rum!

4. Being Resilient

When the financial crisis hit in 2007, Frederick lost everything. He was broke and had no regular employment. He was considered too talented to be underpaid. Ironically, he says he ‘would have done it [photography work] for a penny’. The rejections made him stronger, however, and he didn’t give up.  It was when it began to take a toll on his home life that he decided he had to rebuild himself and he’s never looked back.

5. Being Intimate

Frederick believes a photography session is the most intimate thing to do with another person, besides sex. He feels he is able to get intimate with his subjects by understanding their humanity and humility. His portfolio suggests he knows what he’s talking about. He has worked all over the world at places such as Elle and MTV and toured with the likes of Amy Winehouse and Beyonce.

6. Being Brave

During the inspirational talk, Frederick compared life decisions to an underground station. Either you walk with the flow and stay ‘invisible’, or you turn against it, accepting that you’re going to get bumped and bruised, but that you are on your own path and you will stand out for your individuality.

September 6th 2016

By Joseph Aspinall

London360 Junior Reporter

This piece is also published on the London360 Junior Reporter blog at

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