We sat down with Richard Heeps to get an insight into his day to day life as a world-famous photographer, and his favourite artworks.
No one knows art like the artist himself. Richard gives us an insider's peek into the 5 favourite photographs that he has taken over the years.
"Taken in the year 2000, for some reason it lay hidden in my negative files until I finally printed it in 2021.
A lot of my work is about a journey, taken on my first visit to America and this involved a road trip around parts of Nevada and California. Touching down in Las Vegas, I was looking for a heightened sense of Americana, looking to capture all the ingredients from the many American films I had seen. Lone Pine was a former movie town, with a history of Westerns, many of which I’d seen as a child growing up in 1960’s and 1970’s, the era of the Western.
In this picture we have the Bonanza Restaurant, the interior of which was the front cover of my book Man’s Ruin. ‘Bonanza’ was a 1950’s and 60’s Western tv programme that I grew up with. The scene within the picture against the snow-capped mountain backdrop and the crisp blue sky tells a story."
"Taken at a beach party at the Rockabilly Festival at Hemsby. It was an event people travelled from around the world to attend in this Norfolk village and in this photograph, you have an American car, driven by a German, on a British beach. I have a history of photographing hot rodding for Custom Car and Classic American magazine and Drag Racing at Santa Pod Raceway and ultimately, I was trying to capture speed and danger in an artistic way, again I was influenced by cinema. This particular year photographing donutting on the beach the atmospherics were perfect as it had been a dry spring that meant all the dust went airborne evoking the scene of a muscle car in the desert."
"I am fascinated with the British seaside. The seaside has its own specialised architecture and I like how the landscape has been made more exotic and, in this picture, it combines the elements of mid-century architecture and a palm tree making it feels like Miami meets the Mediterranean."
"I exhibited at art fairs in Milan for many years, I have a great connection with the Milanese collectors. In 2018 I had the opportunity to do a special project for the next years Art Fair and so my series A Short History of Milan began and is ongoing as I revisit to build the collection. One of the aspects I was drawn to was the unique foyers of every apartment building. This one I particularly like for its strong yellow interior, even though it was much simpler than many others. The image is heightened by the low autumnal midday sunlight creating strong shadows, it has a cinematic sense of film noir – but in colour."
"Photographing for my book Man’s Ruin, I took many portraits of 1950’s inspired lifestyle over seven years in many different settings. I photographed Wendy and her classic Oldsmobile over several days, capturing quiet, natural moments creating a cinematic sequence."
I’m a slow starter with coffee.
Eleanor. My partner who I work with very closely, constantly bouncing off ideas and she keeps me organised.
I'd like more days out shooting or in the darkroom.
I work in my home studio. I have a list of orders and work to the deadlines of whose needs to be dispatched. In my studio I cut all my mounts individually to each artwork to suit its border, I dry-mount the prints to aluminium dibond through a press, this protects the fragile photographic paper from denting. I place the mount on and then I pass the works to Eleanor who frames them.
I package all my artworks for safe shipping around the world. It’s a pretty tough job but there’s something about working with cardboard that takes me back to childhood as I used to love model making with cardboard. Two afternoons a week I go to the print lab which involves a lot of intense scrutiny of prints. I’m constantly looking through print boxes and negative files, as I have about 3000 published artworks, there’s often a lot of variety to what I’m making. I work into the evening usually finishing about 9pm.
Then I like to do my Instagram. I like to post sets of ten pictures, and I find it a really good way to review my work, constantly trawling through my archive seeing stories and patterns emerge.
When I see new negatives.
I’m very passionate about my work and that keeps me motivated. I love making new work so I’m always keen to evolve and progress.
I often review prints or negatives and contact sheets, it’s my creative time.
I get to follow my passion.
Justifying yourself to people and the assumptions they make about what being an artist is.
We love Richard's passion for his craft. To discover Richard's collection of stunning limited edition prints click here. Need help deciding what one is perfect for you? Discover the Art Republic team's favourite photographs by the talented artist here.