Clinton Lofthouse is a UK based photographer and expert digital retoucher working out of Bradford, Yorkshire in the North of England. I first discovered his incredible work back in 2013 through a mutual Facebook friend and over the years his work has matured immensely to reach new levels of awesomeness. His style is iconic and visually breathtaking. Working with some absolutely stunning alternative tattoo models, urban backgrounds and abandoned locations (even horror and gore themes) he can create photography that captivates the viewer and wows the senses with his techniques. Clinton chooses beautiful tattooed subjects and manages to capture their energy and personality in his shots. He is also a fan of tattoos and you can see his love of ink throughout his work. I had the extreme pleasure of getting an exclusive interview with him for Tattoodo where he talks about his own tattoo work and his creative process.
When did you start getting tattooed and what style did you go for?
I got my first tattoo around 2002, it was only a small one on my forearm, it was a typical 2000’s walk in to a tattoo parlour and choose from the board scenario. At the time I wasn’t looking for a certain style but the more I got into tattoos, the more I became more conscious about it. At the time I was quite heavily into rap music so I leant towards the Mr Cartoon and Boog style. Nowadays I get my tattoos done at Hand on Heart tattoo studio in Bradford by award winning tattooist Luke Naylor
Do you have a particular one that has a strong meaning for you?
Lots of people say pick a tattoo that has a meaning to you, but I kind of pick tattoos that look cool to me...but, each tattoo I have reminds of that period of time, or holds memories for me, so by proxy they do now have meanings.
What drew you towards shooting tattooed alternative models for you work?
I think being tattooed myself, listening to music where tattoos played a big part in the culture etc I was just drawn to shooting alternative models...tattoos always look good on image.
How do you approach your ideas for Photoshop compositions and where does your inspiration come from?
I try to approach each idea/concept in an organised way. Once I have an idea or image in my head I will draw a rough sketch, I then try to build on the sketch with mood boards and research. Eventually I will do a more involved sketch. Then it’s time to arrange the shoot. My inspiration comes from everywhere but I would say a large part of it is influenced by cinema, comic books and music. A recent inspiration has been the old master artists, painters like Delacroix and the sublime painters of old.
One of Clinton's most recent collaborations was with alternative model and fire performer Shelly D'Inferno on a series of post-apocalyptic style pieces. Shelly is certainly one artist to look out for and you can follow her on Instagram. The result of the collaboration with Clinton was amazing check this out!
Tell us about your recent work with model Shelly D'Inferno.
My recent work with Shelly D’inferno, was down to her love for Mad max, she was asking around for photographers to work with who could create some apocalypse themed images. I heard about this got in touch, she looked at my portfolio and that was that. For the Shelly images I came up with the ideas based around her costumes and ideas. I shot the backgrounds first, created them before the shoot so I knew how I wanted Shelly to pose and how I needed to set up the lights etc. On the day Shelly was amazing, every pose was a cinematic, comic book style pose which greatly helped the images have that something extra, model wise…this is why I always sing her praises. She made my job 10x easier! Again I used my cinematic and comic book influences to give the images a hyper-real painterly look.
Who are you working with now and what themes are you creating?
Recently I have been focusing on building a commercial portfolio, to open up prospective clients…but I have also recently been working with a new alternative model from my local area, Bradford. Her name is Madison Phoenix, and I think there will be big things to come from her. She has the look, the personality and she works her arse off!!
Aside from his work with beautiful models Clinton also has a love of horror and video games. He has some pretty creepy and gory stuff from killer clowns to zombies in his portfolio take a look!
What's next for you as a photographer? Tell us about upcoming new projects for this year.
The plan this year is to build my commercial portfolio up, which will be more traditional portraits and commercial looking image...but I’m already itching to get into some heavy creative Photoshop images so who knows, probably by next week all sorts of crazy things will be happening haha