An Interview with Barry Makariou

  • Lisa Franklin moisturiser
  • liquid
  • watch
  • phones
  • Ararat brandy

Barry has been a friend of Direct Digital for some time and often uses the kit from our London and Manchester office to create his impactful shots. We managed to catch up with him on a break from his busy schedule to ask a few questions about how he got started in photography, his process, and how he’s embraced the needs for moving image along with stills photography shoots.


How did you get into photography?

I was fortunate enough to do a foundation course in Art where I was torn between Graphic Design / Photography. I was lucky enough to be offered a place at Central St Martins for Graphic Design where I also specialised in Photography.

The best thing about St Martins was the attitude there: if you want it go make it happen a lack of latest equipment never held us back. We were taught to be creative with what we had, and this ethos still helps me even to this day!


How would you describe your style?

My style is bold and generally has a graphic look to it. It’s rare that I shoot something as it is. I would always look at something and take inspiration in what it's for and what it does then create a backdrop that really sells the product. Many of my shoots rely on multiple assets to create one image. I enjoy manipulating everything I have at my disposal to create something unique.


What inspires your photography, how did you discover your style?

I like it when the viewer asks, “how was that done!” I think this inspires other photographers to be creative. I love creating something that no one else has done or approached a project in a different way. My style comes from the vision I want to create in my head. I do tend to create higher contrast punchy images than dark and moody.


What are some of your favourite shoots you have worked on?

My favourite shoots are the ones where a single element gives me many different looks. Generally, when I’m creating a back-drop I like manipulating an asset, be it liquid or concrete powder. 

My latest Shoot for Men’s Health to create 6 unique watch front covers was very interesting as it involved CGI. I still had full control of the designs and how it was integrated with the watch photography I provided; in this case, it was a perfect solution to a problem. 


As a photographer primarily, how has the push towards moving image affected your style?

With film you can sell something over a set period of time, it can allow you to tell a story about the product before you even see it. With photography you only have that one chance to say everything in one hit; both are challenging. As it stands, I use both mediums when I can to show the difference in approach. To get the best from each medium I believe that they should be separated: set days for stills, set days for the film.


What equipment do you like using? Do you have a preferred brand?

For stills, I use Hasselblad together with Broncolor flash. For filming a RED Dragon is the preferred choice with a high frame rate matched up with high powered LED or HMI flicker free set-ups.


Why do you choose to use Direct Digital? How have we helped you?

Direct Digital always look after me. The secret is in the preparation for the hire: everything is in good order and packed perfectly. Direct always have access to the latest equipment. I always believe you get what you pay for!


What’s next?

I’m currently working on a pitch to film and photograph wine in Armenia. Also creating content for a new coffee company. I’m also moving to a bigger studio soon to accommodate my filming. Eventually, I’d like to launch my own Behind the Scenes YouTube Channel…I’ll keep you posted! I’ve recently been Awarded Photography of the Year with one eyeland and UK Gold Title winner!


For more of Barry's artwork, follow him on instagram @barrymakariou